In poisoning prompt first aid should be given
(i) If the person is conscious, ask him what he has swallowed, in what quantity and at what time?
(ii) If there are empty containers, wrappers or drugs lying near the patient collect and examine them which will provide information regarding the poison he has consumed. In turn it will help in giving the right treatment.
(iii) If the person is conscious and co-operative, induce vomiting by any of the following methods:
(a) By tickling the back of patient’s throat with the help of fingers.
(b) By administering a glass of warm water containing two teaspoonful of common salt.
(c) By administering emetic drug like syrup of ipecac. The vomited material should be preserved for chemical analysis.
(iv) If the patient is unconscious or is suspected to have consumed strong acid or strong alkali then do not induce vomiting because these are corrosive poisons which bum the mouth, throat and stomach. There is severe pain in throat and abdomen. Breathing is difficult.
In such cases give following first aid:
(a) Do not induce vomiting.
(b) For strong acids like sulphuric acid, hydrochloric acid etc. give chalk powder, milk of magnesia, calcium hydroxide or sodium bicarbonate (baking powder) in water.
(c) For strong alkalies like sodium hydroxide, potassium hydroxide, strong ammonia etc. give lemon juice, vinegar or butter milk.
(d) Apply ghee, oil or glycerin over burnt area in the mouth.
(v) After vomiting and gastric ravage give the patient milk, tea, coffee or egg albumin orally.
(vi) In case of gaseous poisoning like smoke, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide the following first aid measures should be taken:
(a) As quickly as possible take the patient out of the room filled with gas, to an open place where fresh air is available.
(b) Avoid crowding near the patient so as to provide fresh air to him.
(c) Loosen his clothing’s.
(d) If necessary give him artificial respiration.
(e) If condition is serious immediately shift him to a hospital.
(vii) If poisoning through skin has occurred wash the affected area with plenty of water and ask the patient to drink as much water as he can.
(viii) Give specific antidote if specific poison is detected otherwise administer (burnt chopati or charcoal) universal antidote consisting of 2 parts of activated charcoal, 1 part magnesium oxide (milk of magnesia) and 1 part of tannic acid (strong tea).
(ix) If the symptoms are serious, shift the victim immediately to a hospital emergency room.
(x) Inform the police.