What information should I gather if I think someone has swallowed a poison?

Jonathon E. Pangia, DO
Emergency Medicine
If you think someone has swallowed poison, you should call the Poison Control Center -- it’s one of the best things that's happened in this country to help people who have a suspected poisoning. If you don't have that number posted somewhere in your house, you should. They will help guide you by asking about the chemical -- or at least the brand name. They have great resources to look up and know every single thing that's in that particular chemical. And, if they can't get the answer, they will call the company that made the chemical directly and make them give them the answer. You don't necessarily need the ingredient list, but you do need the brand name and the label of what it was.
If you suspect someone has swallowed a poison, try to find out:
  • The type of poison
  • The quantity taken
  • When it was taken
  • How much the person weighs

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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.