Joint Commission International
(JCI) Accredited Hospital

Poisoning first aid


Items that can cause poisoning include:


Symptoms vary according to the poison, but may include:

First Aid

Seek immediate medical help by CALLING 132.

For poisoning by swallowing:

Check and monitor the person's airway, breathing, and pulse. If necessary, begin rescue breathing and CPR.

  1. Try to make sure that the person has indeed been poisoned. It may be hard to tell. Some signs include chemical-smelling breath, burns around the mouth, difficulty breathing, vomiting, or unusual odors on the person. If possible, identify the poison.
  2. DO NOT make a person throw up unless told to do so by poison control or a health care professional.
  3. If the person vomits, clear the person's airway. Wrap a cloth around your fingers before cleaning out the mouth and throat. If the person has been sick from a plant part, collect the vomit. It may help experts identify what medicine can be used to help reverse the poisoning.
  4. If the person starts having convulsions, give convulsion first aid.
  5. Keep the person comfortable. The person should be rolled onto the left side, and remain there while getting or waiting for medical help.
  6. If the poison has spilled on the person's clothes, remove the clothing and flush the skin with water.

Check airway

For inhalation poisoning:

Call 132 for help. Never attempt to rescue a person without notifying others first.

  1. If it is safe to do so, rescue the person from the danger of the gas, fumes, or smoke. Open windows and doors to remove the fumes.
  2. Take several deep breaths of fresh air, and then hold your breath as you go in. Hold a wet cloth over your nose and mouth.
  3. DO NOT light a match or use a lighter because some gases can catch fire.
  4. After rescuing the person from danger, check and monitor the person's airway, breathing, and pulse. If necessary, begin rescue breathing and CPR.
  5. If necessary, perform first aid for eye injuries or convulsion first aid.
  6. If the person vomits, clear the person's airway. Wrap a cloth around your fingers before cleaning out the mouth and throat.
  7. Even if the person seems perfectly fine, get medical help.



After doing first aid steps at home, you may need to go to the emergency room. Take the container with you to the hospital, if possible. At the hospital you will have an exam. You also may need the following tests and treatments.


Be aware of poisons in and around your home. Take steps to protect young children from toxic substances. Store all medicines, cleaners, cosmetics, and household chemicals out of reach of children, or in cabinets with childproof latches.

Be familiar with plants in your home, yard, and vicinity. Keep your children informed, too. Remove any poisonous plants. Never eat wild plants, mushrooms, roots, or berries unless you very familiar with them.

Teach children about the dangers of substances that contain poison. Label all poisons.

DO NOT store household chemicals in food containers, even if they are labeled. Most nonfood substances are poisonous if taken in large doses.

If you are concerned that industrial poisons might be polluting nearby land or water, report your concerns to the local health department or the state or federal Environmental Protection Agency.

  • Kulig K. General approach to the poisoned patient. : In: Marx JA, Hockberger RS, Walls RM, et al., eds. Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2014:chap 147.
  • Mowry JB, Spyker DA, Cantilena LR Jr, McMillan N, Ford M. 2013 Annual Report of the American Association of Poison Control Centers' National Poison Data System (NPDS): 31st Annual Report. Clin Toxicol (Phila). 2014 Dec;52(10):1032-283. PMID: 25559822

Related medical services

Emergency and Ambulance services

The Apollo Bramwell Hospital Emergency Department is geared to meet all medical and surgical emergencies, including pediatrics, obstetrics gynecology, and geriatrics and poly trauma for 24 hour Read more...



Read more

Jane and I wanted to thank you so much for the care you and your colleagues took of Jane whist in Mauritius. Everything went well and Prakash did a great job of getting us to your clinic and back over the 6 dialysis days. We had a wonderful holiday and our children and grandchildren plus the other family all enjoyed it enormously. Best wishes to you all

Andrew and Jane Stewart