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Accidental Poisoning

Medicine​In 2019, 65,773 people died from accidental poisoning, according to the CDC. That same year, 2.1 million people called poison control centers in the United States for help after unintentional exposure.

Accidental poisoning is very serious and requires immediate medical attention. If you believe you have been poisoned, visit Legacy ER & Urgent Care or call Poison Control immediately.

Acute and Chronic Poisoning – Visit the Emergency Room or Call Poison Control

People can suffer acute and chronic poisoning. Acute poisoning occurs when you’re exposed to a large amount of a chemical and is most common in children. In fact, more than 300 kids in the United States go to the emergency room each day after exposure to household cleaners and medications. Also, approximately two children die each day after ingesting toxic chemicals.

Chronic poisoning occurs when you’re exposed to smaller amounts of toxins over a long period of time. For instance, chemicals like lead and carbon monoxide can build up in your body over time, making you sick weeks or months later.

You should call poison control or go to the emergency room if you notice any symptoms of acute or chronic poisoning.

The symptoms of poisoning include:

  • Burns or a red color around the lips and mouth
  • Breath that smells like ingested chemicals, such as paint thinner or gasoline
  • Vomiting
  • Problems breathing
  • Confusion
  • Cognitive problems

Sun Poisoning – Go to the ER to Treat Significant Symptoms

The term “sun poisoning” is used to describe a severe sunburn that presents with additional symptoms such as:

  • Peeling & blistering skin
  • Severe pain
  • Significant redness
  • Dehydration
  • Nausea & vomiting
  • Headaches, dizziness, confusion & fainting

If you have symptoms of sun poisoning, you need to visit the emergency room. You could become severely dehydrated or suffer skin damage without proper treatment.

Food Poisoning – Go to the ER for Severe Symptoms

If you eat contaminated food, you can develop food poisoning. The illness ranges from mild to severe, and it can take a few hours to several days for the symptoms to develop.

If you have mild to moderate food poisoning symptoms, you can recover at home. These symptoms include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach cramps
  • Fever up to 102 degrees Fahrenheit

However, if your food poisoning symptoms become more severe, you need to visit the emergency room. These symptoms include:

  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Diarrhea that’s lasted four days
  • Fever over 102 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Symptoms of dehydration

Seeking immediate medical treatment is critical so you don’t develop a long-term health problem, such as brain and nerve damage, kidney failure, or chronic arthritis.

Alcohol Poisoning – Call 911

Alcohol poisoning occurs when your bloodstream contains so much alcohol that your brain cannot control your breathing, heart rate, and other functions. This is extremely serious, with an average of six deaths a day, according to the CDC.

Symptoms of alcohol poisoning include:

  • Cold, clammy, and bluish-colored skin
  • Confusion & lack of coordination
  • Trouble remaining conscious
  • Incontinence
  • Seizures
  • Vomiting
  • Choking

If you notice someone suffering from alcohol poisoning, call 911 immediately.

If you think you’ve been poisoned, assess your symptoms. Then, call 911, speak to poison control, or visit the emergency room. Legacy ER & Urgent Care has six convenient locations, so you can get to us quickly. Then, our ER-trained physicians can determine the cause of the poisoning and administer treatment.