First Aid
Dealing with Toxins and Toxic Fumes

Dealing with Toxins

Intoxication by inhalation:
Many cases of intoxication result from inhaling some fumes or vapors of toxic liquids. Intoxication by inhalation is characterized by the rapid spread of the toxin in the blood, which causes the intoxication to happen quickly. In this case, the injured person requires immediate medical attention. If you find yourself with a person who has inhaled toxins, follow the instructions below:
  1. Call emergency numbers for help.
  2. Take the necessary precautions to protect yourself before trying to save the injured person. You can do that by placing a wet cloth on your nose and mouth.
  3. Open windows and doors to let toxic gases and fumes out.
  4. Immediately take the victim out to fresh air. Relieve any pressure on their body by loosening neck ties and removing tight clothing. 
  5. Avoid lighting matches or using a lighter, because some gases are flammable.
  6. Once the victim is rescued, they must be examined. Their airway, respiration, and pulse must be checked and monitored. Start performing rescue breathing and CPR on them if necessary.
  7. Perform artificial respiration in the case of a respiratory failure after removing obstructions in the victim's mouth as follows:
    • Tilt the victim's head back, to open airways, while pinching the nostrils closed with your fingers.
    • Seal the mouth and exhale directly into the victim's mouth. Watch for the victim's chest to rise by itself as the lungs get filled with air.
    • Release the nostrils and the seal around the mouth to allow the victim to exhale. Watch for the chest as it moves back down.
    • Repeat the previous process until the patient regains his normal breathing.
  8. If the victim vomits, place him on one side to prevent suffocation.
  9. If the victim is unconscious, avoid giving them anything orally.
  10. Keep the person warm if they seem to be cold or start shivering. 
  11. Calm the injured person down if they are aware of their surroundings.
  12. Immediately take them to the nearest hospital.

Dealing with Gases
Precautions to be taken during chemical incidents:
If you were outside and learned that you are in a toxic gas area, do the following:
  • Enter the nearest house or store. If you cannot do that, stay inside your car and keep calm.
  • Turn off car engine and close the windows.
  • Place a piece of cloth over the ventilation holes of the car.
  • Cover exposed areas (e.g. hands and face). It is also preferred to cover the lower limbs of children and toddlers and use socks and shoes.
  • If you have a gas mask, use it.
  • It is advisable to keep a nylon bag containing a wet towel or wet gauze pads, to be used in cases of nerve gases. In cases of mustard gas, the towel or pieces of cloth should be dry. Use it to cover the head, hands, or lower limbs of children, as well as the car's ventilation holes. 

When you arrive home:
  • Ensure that the doors and windows are closed. Stay in the room prepared to be used in toxic gas wars, accompanied by your family members.
  • If your clothes are contaminated, take them off immediately and place them outside your home in an airtight container. Dispose of them afterwards. Either burn your contaminated clothes or bury them with lime soda.
  • Wash your body and the affected areas to remove the remnants of toxins and reduce their absorption. You can use lukewarm water and soap if you are sure they are not contaminated. Keep them away from your mouth, eyes, or nose.
  • Stay calm, and make sure all your family members remain calm as well.
  • In the case of an injury, call Civil Defense (998), the Red Crescent (997) or go to the nearest clinic or hospital. Give your doctor a full description of the symptoms, after making sure that the air is free of toxins.

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