There were 3800 fatal accidental poisonings that occurred in the UK in 1992 of which 4.8% were children under the age of six years. When all drug categories are combined, medicines are clearly the biggest group of agents responsible for childhood poisonings.
WARNING: ANY INGESTION OF A POTENTIAL POISON, DRUG, OR SUBSTANCE RESULTING IN ANY IMMEDIATE DISTRESS, A BEHAVIOURAL OR MENTAL STATUS CHANGE, OR UNEXPLAINED SYMPTOM(S) REQUIRES THE EVALUATION OF A PHYSICIAN, PRIOR TO PROCEEDING IN THIS FILE.
It is essential for every household's "First Aid Kit" to contain IPECAC SYRUP.
This product is available at your local chemist, without prescription, and is used to induce vomiting. NEVER attempt to induce vomiting if the patient is not completely awake and alert, or in those with a seizure disorder. After most oral exposures we recommend that you first rinse the patient's mouth with water to remove any remaining residue. Oral fluids are often indicated to dilute irritants.
Some experts now advocate the home use of activated charcoal in some ingestion's. This compound serves to bind the offending agent in the gut where it will be expelled in the stool. Charcoal has been particularly useful in cases where one or more hours have elapsed since the time of ingestion.
The following POISON FILE contains some of the most commonly encountered exposures (toxic and nontoxic). First aid treatments are for oral ingestion's, unless otherwise specified. Most toxic plants in the UK can be investigated under the general heading of PLANTS. It is difficult to list every potential toxin, particularly medications; therefore, we suggest that ANY pills taken in excess of the recommended dosage be considered toxic, and treatment with ipecac considered. Most recommendations are based on the volume (cc or oz.) consumed. See the users manual for common metric/English conversions.
Some treatment modalities are controversial and are constantly being updated. We suggest that you seek the advice of your local Emergency Room, or Poison Control Centre. Our medical staff has endeavoured to give you the most current information pertinent to the management of acute poisonings; nevertheless, the recommendations SHOULD NOT be considered universal or absolute.
They are used here for the sole purpose of identifying any potentially toxic ingestion's, or ingredients.