Poisoning occurs after ingesting, touching, or inhaling toxic substances. Some substances are only toxic in excessive amounts. Chemicals, carbon monoxide, and alcohol are all potential sources of poisoning. Some substances, such as household cleaners, don’t pose a threat to adults but can be poisonous for children.
Always call 911 or the local poison control center at (800) 222-1222 for immediate care for poisoning.
Poisoning is often curable, but needs to be treated quickly. Emergency services staff at Dignity Health Southern California care for various types of poisoning, from alcohol to contact poisoning. For mild cases, visit our emergency department or urgent care centers in Long Beach, Northridge, Downtown LA, Glendale, and Inland Empire cities San Bernardino, Fontana, and Highland. You can wait at home until you’re ready to see a doctor by using our online waiting tool InQuicker.
When to Seek Emergency Care for Poisoning at Dignity Health Southern California
The symptoms of poisoning can be delayed and appear long after contact with the toxic substance. Always seek emergency treatment if you or someone you care for ingest or touch a poisonous material, even if symptoms aren’t immediately present.
Symptoms of Poisoning
The symptoms of poisoning can vary depending on the substance. Poisoning symptoms can also mimic other serious medical conditions. You may experience external symptoms, such as rashes or skin redness.
Other symptoms of poisoning include:
- Chemical-like or unusual breath odor
- Difficulty breathing
- Loss of consciousness
- Drowsiness or confusion
- Rash, burns, redness, or sores around the mouth
- Abnormally large or small pupils
First Aid for Poisoning
You can treat some cases of poisoning at home with the help of the local poison control center. They can offer you guidance and help you stabilize the poisoning until medical help arrives.
Always follow these first aid tips for poisoning:
- Rinse skin and eyes for up to 20 minutes
- Give the toxic substance and containers to emergency medical personnel
- Do not give syrup of ipecac for cases of swallowing a poisonous substance
Emergency services at Dignity Health offer 24/7 treatment for poisoning in Southern California.