First aid tip: first aid for poisoning

Just about anything can be poisons if taken in big enough doses (even carrots!). First aid for poisoning

There are a variety of routes by which poisons can enter our bodies. Poisons could be

  • Inhaled – breathed in
  • Absorbed through the skin or other exposed surfaces
  • Ingested – eaten
  • Injected – either on purpose or by accident

First aid for poisoning

If you suspect someone has been poisoned, follow the first aid steps below:

Step 1: Ensure the area is safe – is the poison still around? Could it affect you? Whilst this might not apply to all situations, if there are toxic gasses or chemicals around then this could cause further harm. Call the appropriate emergency services to deal with any chemicals/gasses.

Step 2: Try and find out what the casualty has taken. When did they take it? How much did they take? Did they consume anything else (e.g: alcohol)? Look for clues such as discarded pill packets and empty bottles.

Step 3: Call an ambulance. State what you believe the casualty has taken. Monitor the casualty until the ambulance arrives.

Do not encourage the casualty to be sick, this could cause problems with their airway.


John Furst

JOHN FURST is an experienced emergency medical technician and qualified first aid and CPR instructor. John is passionate about first aid and believes everyone should have the skills and confidence to take action in an emergency situation.

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2 Responses

  1. Annie says:

    Have you spelt ‘paediatric’ incorrect?

    • John Furst says:

      Hi Annie,

      We use both the British spelling (paediatric) and American spelling (pediatric) as we are an international site. Hope this clarifies things!


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