Poisoning can occur by inhaling, swallowing, or coming into contact with a poison. “Contact” can mean getting poison in your eyes, on your skin, or on mucous members, which includes the inside of your mouth or nose. Poisoning can cause short-term problems as well as permanent, even life-threatening complications.
Dial 911 or call the Poison Control Center at (800) 222-1222 if you suspect you or someone near you has been poisoned. If it is not an immediate emergency, you can use InQuicker, the Dignity Health Central California ER waiting service to wait at home, not the ER. Our board-certified emergency medical specialists are highly trained in treating poisoning in Central California.
Common Causes of Poisoning
Almost any substance can be harmful in large enough quantities. Sometimes what does not harm adults can be harmful to children.
Poisoning can be caused by:
- Outdoor chemicals, such as pesticides and herbicides
- Gases, including carbon monoxide
- Automobile fluids, such as gasoline and antifreeze
- Household cleaners and other products
- Alcohol, especially from binge drinking
- Personal care products, such as hydrogen peroxide and nail polish remover
- Vitamin supplements
- Over-the-counter and prescription medicines
Symptoms of Poisoning
Signs of poisoning depend on the specific poison and which parts of the body are affected. Common symptoms include:
Always call 911 or the Poison Control Center at (800) 222-1222 if you suspect poisoning. Some poisons can damage internal organs even if there are no obvious symptoms.
Poisoning Treatment at Dignity Health Central California
Calling a Poison Control Center can help you decide on the best course of action in a poisoning. Sometimes you can manage poisoning at home. Other times, emergency medical care is required.
If you come to a Dignity Health Central California ER, our emergency doctors and nurses will provide the appropriate treatment with personal care.
If you call the Poison Control Center, they will tell you what to do until help arrives. Poison experts no longer recommend giving ipecac syrup to someone who has swallowed a poisonous substance. For exposure on the skin or in the eyes, you may be advised to rinse the area with water for up to 20 minutes. Collect any samples of the poison or containers it came in to give to emergency personnel.
Find a Doctor at Dignity Health Central California, and talk to them about ways to help you and your family prevent poisonings, including proper disposal of medications.
Dignity Health Central California provides emergency services, including treatment for poisoning, in Bakersfield, Merced, San Andreas, and Stockton, CA.