b. References. Do become familiar with good references on poisonings and
their treatments. The reason is that all references do not provide the same type of
information, and you need to have an idea of where to look for the answer to specific
questions. These are the references that are most commonly used:
(1) The Physicians' Desk Reference-- contains product information,
manufacturer's index, and product information.
(2) The Merck Index--contains either the generic or the trade name and the
chemical name cross indexed of foreign and American products.
(3) The Handbook of Poisoning-- organized by settings (agricultural,
household, plant, and insect). Discusses poison prevention, emergency treatment, and
(4) The Clinical Toxicology of Commercial Products--comprehensive book
that discusses poisoning signs, symptoms, and treatment.
Poisoning may be accidental, or purposeful, as in a suicide attempt. Either way,
prompt recognition and appropriate treatment are necessary and should begin as soon
as possible. This lesson was designed to familiarize the Medical NCO with some broad
categories of signs and symptoms that may occur and general and specific treatments
and guidelines to follow when an ingested poisoning is suspected. Remember the
importance of the basic steps of management and utilize the poison control center for
more specific advice.