General Management of Poisoning
initial survey should always be directed at the assessment and correction of
life-threatening problems, if present. Attention must be paid to the airway,
breathing, circulation, and depression of the CNS (the ABCD of resuscitation).
patient is not in crisis, i.e. he is alert with normal speech and pulse,
proceed to a complete, thorough, and systematic examination. As far as
treatment is concerned, the emphasis should be on basic supportive measures.
This is with reference to skin/eye
decontamination, gut evacuation and administration of activated charcoal.
Depending on the situation, this can be
accomplished by diuresis, peritoneal dialysis, haemodialysis, haemoperfu-sion,
Unfortunately, antidotes are available for less
than 5% of poisonings.
General nursing care is especially important in
comatose patients and those who have been incapacitated by the poison. Since
some cases of poisoning leave behind persisting sequelae, adequate follow-up
for a period of time may be necessary. Psychiatric intervention is frequently
essential in suicidal overdose