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What should you do if you accidentally swallow something poisonous?

A:

Quick Answer

If a person swallows poison, he should remove everything remaining in his mouth, states Mayo Clinic. If the poison is a household cleaner or chemical, he should read the container's label for instructions on what to do in case of accidental poisoning.

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Full Answer

The treatment of poisoning varies depending on the person's age, symptoms and the type and amount of poisonous substance he accidentally ingests, notes Mayo Clinic. If a person suspects that he or another person is a victim of poisoning, he should call poison help at 800-222-1222 in the United States or his regional poison control center. The poison control centers provide appropriate advice once the caller provides particulars about the poison and the victim. Sometimes in-home observation is the only care the patient needs.

The signs and symptoms of poisoning are vomiting, drowsiness, labored breathing, breath that smells like chemicals, and confusion, reports Mayo Clinic. When a person suspects another to be a victim of poisoning, he should look around for clues, such as empty pill bottles and odors and stains on the person or nearby objects. If the patient starts vomiting, the person observing him should turn the patient's head to the side to prevent choking. The person should then call poison help if the patient is stable, exhibits no symptoms, and is receiving transport to a local emergency department. He should immediately call 911 or the local emergency number instead if the patient starts exhibiting the signs and symptoms of poisoning.

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