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Poisoning is caused by swallowing, injecting, breathing in, or otherwise being exposed to a harmful substance. Most poisonings occur by accident.
Immediate first aid is very important in a poisoning emergency. The first aid you give before getting medical help can save a person's life.
This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of an actual poison exposure. If you have an exposure, you should call your local emergency number (such as 911) or the National Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.
Millions of poisonings are reported to United States poison control centers every year, with many deaths.
It is important to note that just because a package does not have a warning label doesn't mean it is safe. You should consider poisoning if someone suddenly becomes sick for no apparent reason, or if the person is found near a furnace, car, fire, or in an area that is not well ventilated.
Symptoms of poisoning may take time to develop. However, if you think someone has been poisoned, do not wait for symptoms to develop before getting that person medical help.
Items that can cause poisoning include:
Hack JB, Hoffman RS. General management of poisoned patients. In: Tintinalli JE, Kelen GD, Stapczynski JS, Ma OJ, Cline DM, eds. Emergency Medicine: A Comprehensive Study Guide. 6th ed. Columbus, OH: McGraw-Hill; 2006:chap 156.
Bronstein A, Spyker D, et al .2009 Annual Report of the American association of Poison Control Centers' National Poison Data System (NPDS). Clinical Toxicology 2010: 48; 979-1178.
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