Poisoning, which can be defined as the deterioration of body functions due to different toxic substances, can affect a person’s vital functions. Depending on why poisoning is caused, different symptoms can be seen in the person. Nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, fatigue, dizziness and diarrhea are among the most common symptoms in the presence of poisoning. Poisoning often occurs due to nutrients. However, the number of poisonings through breathing and skin is also considerably high. It is extremely important to get medical help immediately when the person realizes that he is poisoned. In case the person applies to the health institution with suspicion of poisoning, the physician firstly performs a physical examination to understand the general health condition of the patient. If poisoning is severe, signs of life are evaluated and consciousness is checked. It is extremely important to determine the cause of poisoning of the patient before treatment. For example, if the chemicals are swallowed, the patient should not be forced to vomit. Therefore, information such as what type of poisonous substance is, what medications a person uses regularly are extremely important. The question of “What is poisoning?” It is necessary to answer the question.
What is poisoning?
Intoxication can be defined as the impairment of one or more bodily functions by ingesting a toxic substance that is toxic to the body or a normally non-toxic substance. Poisoning varies according to the age of the person, his physical characteristics, the type of toxic substance exposed, the form and dose of the body. 60% of poisonings occur in children under 5 years old and 90% in home environment. Poisoning caused by digestive food, drugs, alcohol and mushrooms are the leading factors causing poisoning. However, poisoning can also occur through breathing or skin. Depending on the cause of poisoning, the complaints and findings of the person differ. Likewise, the type of treatment varies depending on the detection of the poisoning factor. When it is noticed that the person is poisoned for different reasons, firstly, the toxic substance that causes poisoning should be removed from the patient and the institution where it can get first aid should be applied quickly.
What are the factors that cause poisoning?
Depending on the cause of poisoning, many different symptoms can occur in the person. Some types of poisoning can be serious enough to cause a person to die. Therefore, it is extremely important to determine the cause of poisoning. Poisoning occurs in three different ways.
Toxicity caused by oral toxic substances is the most common form of poisoning worldwide. Conscious or unconscious drinking of chemicals such as broken foods, poisonous mushroom types, excessive alcohol use, high doses of medication, cleaning products are among the most common poisonings that occur through digestion. Symptoms of food poisoning also differ according to the cause of poisoning.
- Food Poisoning: It mostly occurs by consuming foods or beverages exposed to bacteria or toxins. Food poisoning is most common; It occurs due to bacteria called campilobater (Campylobacter), which is contained in uncooked meat, fish, unpasteurized milk and untreated water. The second most common factor is the bacteria called salmonella. This bacterium is found in raw eggs, raw meat, unpasteurized milk, and poultry. Bacteria called E. coli (Escherichia coli, coli bacillus), clostridium botulinum, listeria, shigella and clostridia are among the other factors that cause foodborne poisoning. In food poisoning, symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, bloating, diarrhea and abdominal pain are frequently seen.
- Ingestion of Chemicals: Intoxication that occurs due to ingestion of chemicals can occur either consciously or unconsciously. Unconscious poisoning often occurs when chemicals are put in boxes of products that previously contain nutrients. It is extremely dangerous to take chemicals such as bleach, salt spirit, bleach and lightener into the body orally. In this case, which can lead to third degree esophageal burns, the person should not be vomited in order not to increase the damage caused by the product through the same road again. Water, milk, buttermilk, etc. drinks should not be given. As soon as possible, the patient should be given a coma position (half prone to the right side), covered and an ambulance should be called. It is characterized by symptoms such as nausea, diarrhea, burning sensation in the stomach and throat.
- Drug Poisoning: Drug poisoning, which can lead to serious problems that can result in death, can occur by deliberately drinking drugs as well as by deliberate drinking. In this type of poisoning, the effects of which can be prevented when detected early and intervened quickly, the patient should be kept in a coma position until the ambulance arrives. The drug can be seen as symptoms of intoxication, nausea, vomiting, contraction, cramping, abdominal pain, acceleration of breathing, increased pulse, sleepiness, fainting and loss of consciousness.
This is the second most common form of poisoning, which occurs when inhaling poisonous substances. Respiratory poisoning caused by the entry of poisonous substances into the body through breathing is mostly caused by inhaling carbon monoxide gas leaking into the environment due to reasons such as tube leakage, flue leakage, exhaust gas. Headache, nausea , fatigue, shortness of breath, heart palpitations are among the most common findings. In such cases, the person should be taken to an environment where fresh air can be rapidly absorbed, all the windows and doors in the environment where the gas is located should be opened and the place should be ventilated. If the patient is unconscious, an ambulance should be called by giving the coma position. Another factor that causes respiratory poisoning is the use of chemicals such as bleach by mixing with a different chemical. The combination of bleach and salt spirit is the best example. Heartburn, itching, redness, nausea, vomiting, respiratory distress, dizziness, diarrhea and chest pain are among the most common symptoms. In such cases, the person should be removed from his / her environment quickly, should not be vomited and should be taken to the health institution quickly.
This type of poisoning, which occurs with the contact of toxic substances with the skin, is mostly caused by insect bites, drug injection, hair dye, and absorption of poisonous chemicals through the skin. In skin poisoning, the symptom is mostly characterized by redness, blistering, inflammation and loss of sensation in the area of contact. Depending on the type of toxic substance exposed, numbness can spread to the entire limb or the entire body. In such cases, if the hands come into contact with the poisonous substance, they should be washed quickly and the clothes containing the toxic substance should be removed. The body area exposed to the poison should be washed with plenty of water and contact the nearest emergency room.
What are the symptoms of poisoning?
Different types of poisons that enter the body in different ways can harm the vital functions of the body. Therefore, determining the source of poisoning is extremely important. Intoxication takes place in three different ways: digestion, respiration and skin. Symptoms generally occur in the form of nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhea. In poisoning caused by inhalation of toxic substance, symptoms such as shortness of breath , headache, skin rash, bruising and dizziness may occur. On the other hand, poisonings that occur through the skin generally progress with symptoms such as flushing, loss of sensation, and a feeling of inflammation. When poisoning affects the circulatory system, symptoms are seen as headache, cold sweat, cardiac arrest, and if the nervous system is affected, symptoms such as muscle pain, contraction, movement disorders, shock and loss of consciousness are seen.
When it is noticed that the person is poisoned, what the toxic substance is first must be found and removed from the person. After maintaining the vital functions of the patient, the patient should be taken to the emergency room of the nearest health facility. If you think you are poisoned, do not forget to have your checks by applying to the nearest health institution. We wish you healthy days.