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First Aid for a person who has taken in a poisonous substance.

A poison is any substance that if taken into the body in sufficient quantity, can cause temporary or permanent damage. Poison acts in various ways once it enters the body. Swallowed porsons react directly on the food passages resulting in vomiting, pain and often diarrhoea. 
Corrosive poisons may severely burn the lips, mouth, gullet and stomach thus causing intense pain. In the blood stream, some poisons work on the central nervous system preventing breathing, heart action and other vital life processes. Other poisons act by displacing the oxygen in the blood and preventing its distribution to the tissues.


A poisonous substance, introduced commonly into the body through the mouth, causes such symptoms as nausea, cramps and vomiting. Poisons taken accidentally or with suicidal intent include drugs, herbicides, insecticides, rodenticides and household disinfectants.




The St john Ambulance Bridge, which conducts first-aid training programmes, does not advise dilution and has an absolute veto on inducing vomiting. its advice is limited to checking the airway and pulse; asking the victim what has happened; placing the victim in the recovery position; resuscitating if unconscious and arranging urgent removal to hospital, along with bottles, pill containers and vomit samples. If the victim‘s lips show signs of burning, sips of water or milk are allowed. Antidotes are not recommended.

When the poison is a corrosive acid [such as hydrochloric, nitric. or sulphuric acids), an alkali (such as caustic soda) or ammonia induced vomiting would be particularly harmful as it would inflict further damage to the injured tissues of the mouth and throat.

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