Chemicals that are swallowed may harm the digestive tracts or cause more wide spread damage if they enter the blood stream and are transported to other parts of the body.

Hazardous chemicals include common household substances. For example, bleach, dishwater detergents, kerosene are all corrosive when swallowed. Drugs whether prescribed or bought over the counter are also potentially harmful if taken in overdose. The effects of poisoning depend on the chemical ingested.

Recognition features

Depends on the poison, but there may be;
Vomiting, sometimes blood stained.Impaired consciousness.Pain or burning sensation.Empty containers in the vicinity.History of ingestion/exposure.


Maintain breathing, airway and circulation.To remove any contaminated clothing. Try and identify the poison.To arrange urgent transport to hospital.  


If casualty is conscious, ask her what she has swallowed and try to reassure her. Look for clues around the casualty for possible poison. Example empty drug containers around children.If lips are burnt by corrosive chemicals, give her frequent sips of cold milk or water while waiting for medical help to arrive. Dial for ambulance or rush to hospital which ever is quicker. Give all information to the doctor.  


Never attempt to induce vomiting, the chemical if corrosive will once again burn the food pipe on its way out, or worse the patient could aspirate the chemical in to his lungs.If the casualty becomes unconscious; be prepared to give rescue breaths and chest compressions.If there is chemical on the casualty’s mouth – ALWAYS use a face shield or cloth for rescue breathing. 

(Extracted from: FIRST AID MANUAL)

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