FIRST AID FACT SHEET
First aid for poisoning
Poisoning is a process of inhalation, ingestion, absorption, or injection of a poisonous substance.
Poisoning may be accidental or intentional and can occur from many different forms such as chemicals, alcohol, drugs, common plants, household items.
What to do
- Follow DRSABCD St John Action Plan.
- Urgent medical aid is required. Call Triple Zero (000) for an ambulance.
- Call Poisons Information 13 11 26 and/or follow instructions on any containers.
- Send any vomit, containers, or notes with the casualty to the hospital.
- Listen to the casualty and give reassurance.
- Find out what sort of poison is involved and keep any containers for the medical aid to see.
- DO NOT induce vomiting or give anything to eat or drink.
- Wash any corrosive substance off the mouth and face with water, or wipe off.
- Place the casualty in the recovery position if unconscious and breathing and continue to check their airway and breathing regularly.
- Move casualty and yourself to fresh air.
- Loosen tight clothing.
- Protect yourself (if possible) use protective clothing such as gloves, goggles, and so on.
- Wash the substance off immediately.
- Ask the casualty to remove any contaminated clothing.
- Flush the casualty’s skin with running water.
- Wash gently with soap and water and rinse well.
- Follow DRSABCD St John Action Plan - avoid needle stick injuries to yourself and casualty.
- Treat any other signs and symptoms. Send any empty syringes, bottles, and vials with the casualty to the hospital.
- Toxic fumes
- Toxic substances
- Bites and stings
Signs and symptoms
- Confusion, drowsiness, delirium, seizures, unconsciousness.
- Burns to skin, lips and throat.
- Irritation to eyes and skin.
- Respiratory distress, such as slow breathing or airway blockage.
- Affected heart function.
- Abdominal pain, nausea/vomiting, diarrhoea.
- Blurred vision and headache.