poisonings occur when a small child visits grandparents and goes through the medicine
cabinet or grandmother's purse.
c. Some pharmacies sponsor poison prevention campaigns. These campaigns
focus on the basics of poison prevention. Frequently overlooked basics include keeping
materials (cleaners, drugs, insecticides, and so forth) in their original containers and
disposing of unused medications. Many persons repackage substances (like
insecticides in soft drink bottles) only to tragically discover that a young child has
ingested the poison thinking it was something else. Above all, these publicity
campaigns seek to make people aware of dangerous practices which could result in
Section III. THE TREATMENT OF POISONING
Suppose a poisoning has occurred. What should be done to treat the patient?
Because of your position in the pharmacy you probably will not be called upon to treat
persons who are victims of intended or accidental poisoning. You should know the
essentials of first aid and you should know to immediately take the victim to medical
professionals who have been trained to treat poisoning victims. The information given
below is not intended to serve as a strict procedure for the treatment of poisonings.
Instead, it is intended to give general guidelines. Remember, the treatment given
depends, to a great extent, on the poison ingested, absorbed, or inhaled.
9-9. TREATMENT GUIDELINES FOR POISONING VICTIMS
a. Screen the Patient. In the screening process it is important to identify the
specific poison affecting the person and how the person was exposed to it. That is, if a
child is suffering from poisoning from a particular insecticide (for example, malathion)
was the insecticide swallowed or was it absorbed through the skin?
b. Minimize Absorption. There are two ways in which the amount of poison
absorbed into the patient's system may be decreased.
(1) Remove the poison. The poison, if swallowed, can sometimes be
removed by emesis (having the patient to vomit). Depending upon the type of poison
ingested, the physician may or may not have the patient to vomit. Syrup of Ipecac and
apomorphine are recognized as effective emetics. Emetic agents should not be
administered to all patients. Specifically, emetic agents should not be administered to
patients who are unconscious or convulsing, to persons who have ingested caustic or
corrosive agents, or to patients who have ingested volatile petroleum products. One
should not administer sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3) to a patient who has ingested a
substance containing a corrosive agent such as hydrochloric acid (HCl), because the