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Poisons and Antidotes.

The following table contains suggestions for the proper treatment of those forms of poisoning most likely to occur. Though brief, they are all that will be needed to prompt the physician's memory:

Nature unknown: Provoke repeated vomiting; give bland liquids; stimulate, if necessary; keep up breathing.

Acids—Sulphuric, Nitric, Hydrochloric, Oxalic: Give an alkali (soap, soda, and whitewash usually at hand); lime-water; magnesia; provoke vomiting; avoid stomach-pump; give ice-cream and bland fluids; secure rest; relieve pain by opium; stimulate, if necessary; feed by enema.

Hydrocyanic Acid and Potassium Cyanide: Stomach-pump or emetic; stimulate; potassium permanganate; give dilute ammonia—water—by intravenous injection, if necessary; chlorine—water; cold affusions; give atrophin, gr. 1/60, hypodermically.

Carbolic Acid and Creosote: Give Epsom Salts, dilute sulphuric acid; atropine, hypodermically; stomach-pump or emetics; white of egg; amyl nitrite; stimulate; artificial heat.

Alkalies—Ammonia, Soda, Potash, Lye: Give vinegar, lemon-juice, or orange-juice, or other acid or fixed oil; give bland liquids; secure rest; relieve pain by opium; stimulate, if necessary.

Arsenic—Paris green, Scheele's Green, Fowler's Solution: Stomach-pump or emetics; give hydrated oxide of iron or dialyzed iron and magnesia; give dose of castor oil; secure rest; stimulate, if necessary.

Acetate of Lead: Stomach-pump or emetics; give Epsom salts or dilute sulphuric acid; milk, raw eggs, and water; morphine hypodermically for pain; Potassium iodide to eliminate the drug.

Mercury, Corrosive Sublimate, Antimony, Tartar Emetic: Emetics; careful lavage; give some infusion containing tannic acid; give raw eggs and milk; bland liquids; give dose of castor oil; stimulate, if necessary.

Copper Salts: Give albumin (milk, raw eggs); yellow prussiate of potassium; stomach-pump or emetics; give bland fluids.

Phosphorus: Provoke vomiting by repeated five-grain doses of sulphate of copper; Potassium permanganate (1/3 - 1/5 per cent); give dose of magnesia, but no oil.

Nitrate of Silver (lunar caustic): Give strong salt and water; provoke vomiting; repeat both many times.

Iodine: Stomach-pump or emetics; give starch and water; give bland fluids.

Opium—Morphine, Laudanum, Paregoric, etc.: Stomach-pump; emetic; Potassium permanganate, by mouth; adrenalin; ammonia; hot strong coffee by the bowel; atropine, cocaine, or strychnine hypodermically; oxygen inhalations; artificial respiration; lingual traction.

Chloral—Paraldehyde: Stomach-pump or emetic; artificial heat; massage; stimulate; strychnine; amyl nitrite; artificial respiration.

Nux Vomica—Strychnine, Picrotoxin: Stomach-pump or emetic; animal charcoal or tannic acid; bromide and chloral; amyl nitrite, chloroform by inhalation; artificial respiration.

Aconite—Veratrum Viride: Stomach-pump or emetic; stimulate, heat; atropine; artificial respiration.

Hemlock, Toadstool, Tobacco, etc.: Provoke vomiting and give a purge; tannic or gallic acid: stimulate well; keep up breathing.

Belladonna or Atropine, Hyoscyamus or Hyoscyamine, Duboisia or Duboisine, Stramonium or Daturine: Stomach-pump or emetic; stimulate; enema hot strong coffee; artificial heat; morphine; pilocarpine; physostigmine, artifical respiration.

Alcohol: Stomach-pump or emetic; give ammonia and water.

Decayed Meat or Vegetables: Provoke vomiting; wash out stomach; give a purgative; give an enema; give powdered charcoal and hydrogen dioxide.

Poisonous Gases—Carbonic Acid or Oxide, Sulphuretted Hydrogen: Fresh aid; oxygen; artifical respiration; amyl nitrite or nitro-glycerin; stimulation.

To provoke vomiting, warm water may be used, with or without ground mustard (1/2 ounce to a pint of water), or ipecac (1 drachm of the powder or 1/2 ounce of the syrup), or a finger may be thrust down the throat. It is best to give large quantities (a pint at a time) of warm water whenever vomiting is to be excited. The stomach-pump or simple syphon-tube, if accessible, is better. Apomorphine (1/12 to 1/6 grain) subcutaneously is a reliable emetic.

Bland liquids are milk, raw eggs, some sort of oil, mucilage, barley-water, gruel, etc.

Stimulants are tea, coffee, whisky, wine, etc., or ammonia and water. Of this last a teaspoonful in a teacupful of water will be enough for a dose. In making tea or coffee one must not wait to do it as if for the table, but mix hot water and the leaves or grounds, squeeze them well, stir together, and give the whole—leaves, grounds, everything.

Alkaline antidotes which are most likely to be at hand are ammonia and water (a tablespoonful in two teacupfuls of water), soap and water, lime, whiting, soda, chalk, tooth-powder, plaster, magnesia, whitewash, and even wood-ashes.

Acid antidotes most commonly accessible are vinegar and lemon-juice.

In giving an antidote it is well to remember that it is not always necessary to wait for it to dissolve, but that it may be stirred up in any fluid at hand (except oil), and swallowed immediately.

Antagonists are drugs which physiologically oppose the poison, as atropine to opium, chloral to strychnine, pilocarpine to atropine.


The Eclectic Practice of Medicine, 1907, was written by Rolla L. Thomas, M. S., M. D.



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