How can I tell if a person has been poisoned?

American Red Cross
Administration
Signs of poisoning can appear in a number of ways, from digestive issues to skin problems. These include:
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Chest or abdominal pain
  • Trouble breathing
  • Sweating
  • Changes in consciousness
  • Seizures
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Irregular pupil size
  • Burning or tearing eyes
  • Abnormal skin color
  • Burns around the lips, tongue, or on the skin

Continue Learning about Poisoning

Poisoning

Poisoning

Poisoning involves ingesting or coming in contact with substances that damage your body. Typical poisons include household and industrial chemicals, drugs, exhaust fumes, plants, metals or spoiled food. The dangers of poisoning va...

ry widely, from minor annoyances to coma and death. Typical signs of poisoning include rashes, vomiting, redness around the mouth and nose, chemical odors and burns. Empty pill bottles, unresponsiveness and difficulty breathing are also signs. If the person is not breathing, start CPR and call for help immediately. Since poisons work in different ways depending on the amount and type ingested, it is important to consult with a doctor or a poison control center to seek advice for treatment.
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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.