Treating poisoning protocol

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This protocol is part of first aid protocol and should not be used outside of the accident procedure

This protocol is under review, and has not been accepted.

We are currently gathering feedback and editing this protocol, and there may be errors or bad wording. Please only use this protocol with caution, and if other organisations have definitive protocol, use that instead.

Please see #protocols on Slack to discuss this protocol further.

This document needs review by medical professionals before it is adopted. If you are a medical professional, please use this form to provide feedback

More documents in need of medical review can be found here.

Red flagYou must call for backup, for example an ambulance if you suspect or know of poisoning, even if it's "minor" or if no symptoms are shown.

This is the protocol for dealing with poisoning, such as from overdose (intentional or otherwise).

When to treat poisoning

Spotting poisoning happens in two ways:

  • Via a scene survey or conversation in which you are told or given context suggesting poisoning
    • When doing a scene survey look for packaging of medications (bubble packs/etc) or other substances (bottles, bags,etc), or equipment associated with substances (glasses, needles)
  • When symptoms start to show (such as airway constriction in opioid poisoning)
    • Often further diagnosis is dependent on context.

Poisoning needs treatment as fast as possible following the initial incident, even if the person is not yet showing symptoms.

Queercare only has treatment for poisoning which will reduce harm and help keep people alive until they are given definitive care, as well as reducing the extent and duration of definitive care.

How to treat poisoning

Red flagYou must call for backup, for example an ambulance if you suspect or know of poisoning - no poisoning can be safely treated without clinical intervention
  • You must find out and write down what the substance was and how it was taken. This information is to be passed to an ambulance crew.
  • If the poisoning was by mouth, you should give 50g of activated charcoal as soon as possible.
  • If the poisoning contains opioids, you should use narcan/naloxone.