What information should I give when I call poison control for help?

When you call poison control for help, tell them exactly what substance the person ingested or got in the eyes or on the skin. Each substance will have a different treatment. They cannot help as much if they don't know what the substance is.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)

First, remember to stay calm when calling for help. Not all substances are poisonous, and not all contact with a substance results in a poisoning. Arm yourself with information, and be ready to communicate the following information when you’re on the phone with the experts:

  • The suspected poison. You will need vital information printed on its label.
  • The victim’s age, weight, and any additional health problems or conditions.
  • How the product came into contact with the person (by mouth, by inhaling, through the skin, or through the eyes).
  • How long the product was in contact with the victim.
  • What, if any, first aid has already been provided.
  • Whether the victim has vomited.
  • Your location.
  • How long it would take you to transport the victim to get to a hospital.





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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.