Signs and symptoms of poisoning

The symptoms of poisoning partly depend on the route of entry into the body. Common symptoms include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, difficulty in breathing, headaches, changes in heart rate pattern (fast, slow or irregular), watering of the eyes, confusion, and impaired consciousness. If the exposure has been to the skin, the person may also complain of swelling, rashes, redness and itching of the skin.

You should suspect poisoning if there are empty containers for medicines or chemicals near the poisoned person, or there is a strange smell present (for example, of bleach or kerosene). So, in considering poisoning, you should look around where the person became ill and ask questions to gather possible clues. Take the containers with you to show the doctor when you transport the patient to the nearest health facility. Knowing what has been swallowed will help the medical staff to know what action to take to neutralise the poison.

Last modified: Tuesday, 15 July 2014, 9:55 PM