First aid: Poisoning
Many conditions mimic the signs and symptoms of poisoning, including seizures, alcohol intoxication, stroke and insulin reaction. So look for the signs and symptoms listed below and if you suspect poisoning, call your regional poison control center or, in the United States, the National Poison Control Center at 800-222-1222 before giving anything to the affected person.
Signs and symptoms of poisoning:
When to call for help:Call 911 or your local emergency number immediately if the person is:
If the person seems stable and has no symptoms, but you suspect poisoning, call your regional poison control center or, in the United States, the National Poison Control Center at 800-222-1222. Provide information about the person's symptoms, the person's age and weight, and any information you have about the poison, such as amount and how long since the person was exposed to it. It helps to have the pill bottle or poison container on hand when you call.
What to do while waiting for help:
What NOT to doDon't give ipecac syrup or do anything to induce vomiting. The American Academy of Pediatrics advises discarding ipecac in the home, saying there's no good evidence of effectiveness and that it can do more harm than good.
Last Updated: 2010-01-12
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