Poisonous Mushrooms: What You Can Do As First Aid
If you think you have eaten a poisonous mushroom, seek medical help right away. Treatment may include fluids, medicine, and stomach pumping.
The mushroom species will be identified if possible and specific antidotes may be given if available. Most importantly it’s important not to consume mushrooms unless an expert confirms it’s safe.
If the mushroom poisoning is severe, the person may need to be hospitalized for treatment, which may include:
i). Intravenous fluids to prevent dehydration and support kidney function. These are solutions given directly into a vein through a catheter to provide hydration, electrolytes, and other nutrients or medications to the body.
ii). Medications to control symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhoea
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iii). Activated charcoal absorbs toxins in the stomach. It is different from the charcoal used in grilling or cooking. It is a form of carbon that has been specially processed to make it very penetrable and able to absorb toxins. It is often used in emergency medicine to help treat certain types of poisonings by absorbing the toxins in the stomach before they can be absorbed into the body. It is commonly given in a liquid form, mixed with water or other liquids.
iv). Gastric lavage, or stomach pumping, in severe cases. A tube is passed through the nose or mouth and into the stomach to wash out the stomach contents. It is often done in cases of suspected poisoning or overdose to remove harmful substances before they can be absorbed into the bloodstream. It is done under sedation or anaesthesia, and may also involve the use of charcoal. It’s important to consult with a medical professional if you suspect someone has ingested a toxic substance.
v). Treatment of specific symptoms such as seizures or liver failure.
In the meantime, there are a few things that can be done as first aid:
Induce vomiting: Give the person a glass of water with a teaspoon of salt in it, or use syrup of ipecac, if available.
Activated charcoal: Give the person activated charcoal to absorb any remaining toxins in the stomach.
Monitor vital signs: Keep an eye on the person’s pulse, blood pressure, and breathing.
Hydrate: Keep the person hydrated by giving them water or an electrolyte solution. An electrolyte solution is a liquid that conducts electricity made of positive and negative ions. It’s used in batteries, electroplating, and other chemical processes. Examples include salt water, blood, and industrial chemicals.
It’s important to note that these remedies should only be used before seeking professional medical help.