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Internal Poisoning

When a victim has been poisoned, the most important piece of information you can gather is the name of the poison. Sometimes 

this will be obvious -- if a small child drank a bottle of household cleaner, the bottle will be nearby. However, if someone was 

poisoned by a chemical in a mislabeled or unlabeled bottle, identification can be tricky. 


For purposes of treatment, poisons are divided into two classes: 


    Caustic poisons damage any tissue they come in contact with. Examples include bleach, gasoline and paint thinner. When a 

    caustic poison is swallowed, it damages the mouth, the throat, the esophagus and stomach, in addition to poisoning the body. 


    Non-caustic poisons do not cause direct tissue damage. They only poison the body. 


The difference is important because non-caustic poisons are best treated by causing the victim to vomit. Some of the poison will 

remain in the body but most will be expelled. Caustic poisons must not be vomited however, as they will cause more injury to the 

esophagus, throat and mouth as they are expelled. 


The labelling on the chemical bottle will say whether vomiting should be induced. If the bottle cannot be found or the poison cannot 

be identified, do not induce vomiting. 


Treatment includes: 

. 1 Induce vomiting, if appropriate. 

. 2 Have the victim drink milk, if available, or water otherwise.

. 3 Call Poison Control or 911 for assistance. 

. 4 If in doubt, seek medical attention. 


Poison Control is available 24x7 at: 800-222-1222 


Preventing accidental poisoning is simple: keep all poisons, cleaners and chemicals away from children. Lock cabinet doors or 

place the chemicals on high shelves. Never put a poison, cleaner or chemical in an another bottle -- especially soda bottles. Even if 

they are labelled, small children may still drink them. 


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