Table 4-5.Common stomach irritants and possible sources of contact
|Irritant||Sources of Contact|
|Arsenic||Dyes, insecticides, paint, printers ink, wood preservatives|
|Copper||Antifoulant paint, batteries, canvas preservative, copper plating, electroplating, fungicides, insecticides, soldering, wood preservatives|
|Mercury||Bactericide, batteries, dental supplies and appliances, disinfectants, dyes, fungicides, ink, insecticides, laboratories, photography, wood preservatives|
|Phosphorus||Incendiaries, matches, pesticides, rat poison|
|Silver nitrate||Batteries, cleaning solutions, ink, photographic film, silver polish, soldering|
|Zinc||Disinfectants, electroplating, fungicides, galvanizing, ink, insecticides, matches, metal plating and cutting, paint, soldering, wood preservatives|
stomach. They produce nausea, vomiting, convulsions, and severe abdominal pain. The victim may complain of a strange taste, and the lips, tongue, and mouth may look different than normal. Shock occurs in severe cases. Examples of noncorrosives are listed in table 4-5.
First aid for most forms of noncorrosive poisoning centers on quickly emptying the stomach of the irritating substance. The following steps are suggested:
1. Maintain an open airway. Be prepared to give artificial ventilation.
2. Dilute the poison by having the conscious victim drink one to two glasses of water or milk.
3. Empty the stomach, using emetics or gastric lavage.
a. Giving an emetic is a preferred method for emptying the contents of the stomach. It is quick and can be used in almost every situation when the victim is conscious, except in cases of caustic or petroleum distillate poisoning, or when an antiemetic has been ingested. In most situations, a hospital corpsman will have access to syrup of Ipecac, which can be given in a 15 ml (3 tsp) oral dose, repeated in 20 minutes if the first dose is nonproductive. In an emergency room the medical officer can rapidly induce vomiting by the injection of various medications. If nothing else is available, tickle the back of the victims throat with your finger or a blunt object to induce vomiting.
b. Trained personnel may use gastric lavage by itself, or after 2 doses of Ipecac syrup have failed to induce vomiting. After passing a large caliber nasogastric tube, aspirate the stomach contents. Next, instill 100 ml of normal saline into the stomach, then aspirate it out again. Continue this flushing cycle until the returning fluid is clear. Gastric lavage is preferred when the victim is unconscious, or subject to seizures, as in strychnine poisoning.
4. Collect the vomitus for laboratory analysis.
5. Soothe the stomach with milk or milk of magnesia.
6. Transport the victim to a definitive care facility if symptoms persist. Corrosives
Acids and alkalies produce actual chemical burning and corrosion of the tissues of the lips, mouth, throat, and stomach. Acids do most of their damage in the acidic stomach environment, while alkalies primarily destroy tissues in the mouth, throat and esophagus. Stains and burns around the mouth and the presence of characteristic odors provide clues to corrosive poisoning. Swallowing and breathing may be difficult, especially if any corrosive was aspirated into the lungs. The abdomen may be tender and swollen with gas. Examples of corrosive agents, and sources of contact are listed in table 4-6.
When providing treatment for the above poisons, DO NOT INDUCE VOMITING. The caustic damage to the mouth and esophagus will