First aid for food poisoning

Food poisoning refers to intoxication of the body caused by exposure to poisons or toxins ingested with food. Depending on the type of poisonous substance, the first symptoms of intoxication may appear after a few minutes or after several hours / days.

Treatment of food poisoning depends on the properties of the toxin. In some cases, a person can cope with the problem on their own, with the help of medicines included in the standard set of home first-aid kit, and sometimes hospitalization and complex therapy are required to cleanse the body of a poisonous substance and eliminate the consequences.

Mechanism of development of poisoning

The most common cause of food poisoning is pathogens that enter food when food is stored or cooked improperly. Failure to follow the rules of personal hygiene can also cause poisoning. For example, the dish was prepared in full compliance with sanitary and hygienic standards, and the person simply did not wash his hands before eating.

When toxins enter the gastrointestinal tract, inflammation of the mucous membranes of the digestive system organs - the stomach, large and small intestines begins.

Further, toxins, penetrating into the blood, spread throughout the body. At this moment, all organs and systems of the human body suffer. With food poisoning, the load on the liver, heart and nervous system increases significantly. In some cases, this condition can lead to the death of the patient.

Food may contain pathogens of various infectious diseases - typhoid fever, dysentery, salmonellosis. Botulism bacteria are considered one of the most dangerous pathological microorganisms. When they reproduce under anaerobic conditions, a toxin is released, which, when it enters the body, leads to severe intoxication and a sharp deterioration in the general condition. The patient can be cured only in a hospital setting using special sera. Botulism can cause vision loss, disability, or death.

Symptoms of food poisoning

Reproduction of pathogenic microflora in the body has pronounced symptoms. The main thing is to note the deterioration in time and seek the advice of a doctor. Sometimes it is enough to take standard sorbents to normalize the condition, and sometimes quite complicated treatment is required. The danger lies in the fact that, regardless of the degree of exposure, food poisoning has the same symptoms at the initial stage, and complications appear later.

Signs of food poisoning:

  • fever body - from 37°C to 40°C. It all depends on the type of toxin and the individual characteristics of the organism;
  • paroxysmal abdominal pain;
  • diarrhea, vomiting, hiccups, heartburn, flatulence (these symptoms can be either single or complex);
  • loss of appetite;
  • weakness, malaise;
  • drop in blood pressure;
  • chills, cold sweats;
  • clouding or loss of consciousness.

If we are talking about severe poisoning by poisons that were present in food for any reason, then the symptoms will be more serious - decreased visual acuity; convulsions ; respiratory failure; hallucinations ; dehydration; coma.

Dietary toxins, which are relatively easy for a healthy person to handle, can be detrimental to the elderly and young children.

If home treatment of poisoning does not bring visible improvement after 24-48 hours, medical attention should be sought immediately.

Diagnosis of food poisoning

When a patient is admitted with suspected food poisoning, the doctor first records the complaints and tries to establish the cause of the deterioration. It is important to tell everything here - the more information the specialist receives, the easier it will be for him to establish the cause of the poisoning.

Next, be sure to pass a whole range of tests. In order to identify the pathogen, bacteriological culture of feces, vomit is carried out. If the patient assumes which foods caused the poisoning, food samples are also sent for research. A blood test for toxins and viruses is mandatory. After establishing an accurate diagnosis, a treatment regimen is developed.

First aid for food poisoning

The sooner you can clear the body of toxins, the sooner you will get better. Additional operational cleansing of the body will reduce the negative impact of pathogenic microflora and accelerate full recovery.

If there are symptoms of poisoning, but there is no vomiting, the gag reflex should be induced. The patient should drink as much warm water or a decoction of herbs as possible, such as chamomile. The warm liquid will put pressure on the walls of the stomach, which will cause vomiting. If this manipulation does not help, the gag reflex is caused by mechanical irritation of the base of the tongue (the procedure is repeated 3-4 times).

The next step is an enema. Thus, toxins that are in the large and small intestines are removed.

Vomiting and diarrhea cause dehydration. Therefore, the patient must constantly drink liquid - warm herbal tea without sugar, dried fruit compote, mineral water without gas. A pharmacy solution for oral rehydration will not be superfluous.

Activated charcoal is indispensable for food poisoning. The drug is given in the proportion of one tablet per 10 kg of the patient's weight. Charcoal has a porous structure and perfectly absorbs toxins, which are then excreted along with the stool. It is important to drink the tablet whole, without crushing or dissolving it in liquid.

In this state, the patient is contraindicated to eat any food.

If the body temperature rises above 38o C, it is necessary to take antipyretics.

In what cases is it definitely not worth self-medicating? An ambulance is called immediately if: symptoms of poisoning appear after eating mushrooms; high body temperature is not knocked down by pharmaceutical preparations; the patient has hallucinations or loss of consciousness; symptoms appeared immediately in several family members; The patient complains of blurred vision. Young children are at particular risk, so food poisoning in them is best treated under strict medical supervision in a hospital.

  1. Yushchuk N. D. Food poisoning. Food poisoning. - Moscow: GEOTAR-Media, 2017. - 160 p.