Poisoning Accidents. Antidotes of Poisons.
Accidents from poisons are of such common occurrence, that every person should know the proper remedies, and not be obliged to wait the arrival of a physician before the proper corrective is applied. The most common remedies, with the methods of applying them, will be given under the proper heads below.
Poisons may be classified under two heads: viz., mineral and vegetable.
In the treatment, three objects are to be kept in view: first, to get rid of the poison; second, to stop its action; and third, to avert its tendency to death.
The first indication is accomplished by the administration of emetics to cause vomiting, or by the use of a stomach pump. The simplest way to provoke vomiting is to give large draughts of lukewarm water, and to thrust a finger down the throat.
The term stomach pump was formerly given to a rubber tube which had a bulb about two feet from the end that was passed through the mouth and down the esophagus into the stomach. This had a syringe like action and by suction drew the poison of other material out of the stomach. The term is now used for any tube which answers the same purpose, and any rubber tube three or four feet long with a diameter of one half inch may be used with good results. The absence of the syringe bulb makes the use of a slightly long tube necessary, so that a siphon action can be attained by first closing one end of the tube and after filling with lukewarm water, the pointed end is passed into the stomach, usually requiring 18 inches of tube from the teeth. The longer end is then dropped toward the floor and the water will flow from the tube by a vacuum forming and removing the fluid from the stomach.
A teaspoonful or two of mustard in warm water is oftentimes an effectual emetic. Some of the emetics are ipecacuanha, tartar emetic, sulphate of zinc, and sulphate of copper. Sulphate of zinc in twenty. grain doses is about the best.
The second indication is to use an antidote. The third indication is fulfilled by palliating the symptoms, and neutralizing the after. effects on the constitution.
After copious vomiting, soothing liquids should be given, such as oil, milk, beaten up raw eggs. These are useful when the poison has been of an irritating character.
If the patient be much depressed in mind or body, the hands and feet cold, the lips blue, the face pale, a cold perspiration on the forehead and about the mouth, some stimulant may be administered. Strong, hot tea is the best, because it is a chemical antidote to many poisons. Strong coffee is a good stimulant. Brandy and other spirits are sometimes necessary. Sometimes when the powers of life are much depressed, artificial heat also is necessary.
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