Emergencies Involving Poisonings

Participants enrolled in standard first aid training will learn to recognize, care and treat for patients with suspected poisonings. Courses are available throughout Canada with courses in Victoria now available. Participants must incorporate the skills and knowledge learned in previous sections to successfully complete the poisoning component. Candidates will learn to care for patients that have ingested, injected, inhaled and / or absorbed poisons. The material posted on this page is for information purposes only. To learn to recognize and care for patients that have suspected poisoning enroll in a standard first aid course.

To successfully complete the poisoning component of a standard first aid course candidates must:

  • Check the scene and environment for any hazards or dangers being careful to avoid any exposure to the poison.
  • Determine the mechanism of injury, history or cause of the emergency. Try to gather information about the suspected poison if possible.
    Managing poisonings
    Remember to manage any wounds involved with a poisoning.
  • Complete the primary assessment (ABC’s, levels of consciousness, etc.)
  • Contact EMS and obtain a AED using a bystander if possible.
  • Contact the poison control centre for treatment information.
  • Place the patient into a appropriate position and limit movement if possible.
  • Reassure the patient and treat for shock.
  • Rescuer must use / wear appropriate barrier devices.
  • Complete the secondary survey.

For victims of ingested poisons:

  • Do not induce any vomiting unless directed by EMS, MSDS, or poison control.

For victims of injected poisons:

  • Limit as much movement as possible and position limb below the heart to minimize circulation.

For victims of inhaled poisons:

  • Remove victims from the source.

For victims of absorbed poisons:

  • Flush the area with cool water and remove clothing that has come into contact with the substance.

Additional Information:

  • Rescuers should consider allergic reactions when treating for suspected poisons.
  • Rescuers should be aware of contact numbers for poison control.

To successfully complete a standard first aid course candidates need to be able to demonstrate skills and knowledge pertaining to treating and rescuing victims of suspected poisonings. The material posted on this page is for information purposes only and candidates should register for a standard first aid course with a credible provider to learn to recognize and treat victims of poisonings.