Diseases & Conditions : Non-Traumatic Emergencies
The danger of chemical poisoning
Common sources of chemical poisoning include household products, agricultural products, plants, and industrial chemicals. Identifying the poison is critical to successful treatment of poisonings.
What are the symptoms of a chemical poisoning?
Different substances will cause different symptoms. The following are common symptoms of chemical poisoning:
Severe throat pain
Difficulty in breathing
Burns on the lips or mouth
Sudden behavior changes, such as unusual sleepiness, irritability, or jumpiness
Unexplained nausea or vomiting
Stomach cramps without fever
Unusual drooling or odd odor on the breath
Convulsions or unconsciousness (in very serious cases only)
The first action when a person has ingested a toxic substance is to call Poison Help at 800-222-1222. This will get you connected to a local poison center.
New guidelines on ipecac
Syrup of ipecac is an emetic. This is an agent used to cause vomiting. It is made from the dried root of a plant grown in Brazil called ipecacuanha. Although ipecac was commonly used in the past, guidelines now state that you should not use it.