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Act Fast: What to Do in the Event of a Poisoning

Tuesday, October 31, 2017By Richard Alexander

Approximately 800,000 times a year in the U.S. the unthinkable happens – a child is rushed to the emergency room due to accidental poisoning. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, accidental poisoning is the second most common cause of unintentional injury death in the U.S. and about 90% of child poisonings occur in the home. As safe as we try to be, there may be a time when someone in your home is exposed to a potentially poisonous substance. When dealing with poisons, it is important to act fast and follow some important safety tips.

First, remain calm. The worst thing you can do in the event of an accidental poisoning is panic. This does no good to the victim and valuable time is lost. A clear head is important when dealing with this type of emergency.

Second, if the victim has collapsed or isn’t breathing, call 911. Skip the poison control center if the symptoms have already progressed to a point of emergency.

Third, if the victim is awake and alert, call the free Poison Hotline at 1-800-222-1222. Be ready to provide the following information:

  • The age and weight of the victim;
  • Any known health problems;
  • The time of exposure to the poison;
  • Type of exposure to the poison (i.e. inhalation, swallowing, skin contact, eyes);
  • The address where the event occurred and how long it would take to get to a hospital;
  • The container or bottle of product believed to be poisonous, if available;
  • First aid already administrated to the victim;
  • Whether the victim has vomited.

If the victim swallowed the poison, do not administer any medication to the victim before calling Poison Control. Do not use activated charcoal to treat the poisoning yourself unless directed to do so by the poison center. Activated charcoal is difficult to use and only addresses certain poisons. Stay on the phone and the emergency operator or poison control center will advise you how to proceed. The poison center will advise you on the best type of treatment and may call a hospital for advice on the treatment recommended if needed.

By following these important safety tips you will be prepared for any accidental poisoning that may occur in your home. But dealing with an accidental poisoning can be devastating. When facing the serious injury or death of a loved one from the effects of poisoning you need knowledgeable lawyers who can advise you of your rights. Call the San Francisco attorneys at Alexander Law Group today at 888.777.1776 to learn more.

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