Signs or Symptoms of Poisoning and First-Aid Treatment

Poisonings due to pesticides are usually acute and result from extensive skin contact or ingestion. Signs and symptoms vary with the type of pesticide and can sometimes be confused with those of other illnesses.

Indications of Pesticide Poisoning

General: extreme weakness and fatigue

Skin: irritation, burning sensation, excessive sweating, staining.

Eyes: itching, burning sensation, watering, difficult or blurred vision, narrowed or widened pupils.

Digestive system: burning sensation in mouth and throat, excessive salivation, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea.

Nervous system: headaches, dizziness, confusion, restlessness, muscle twitching, staggering gait, slurred speech, fits, unconsciousness.

Respiratory system: cough, chest pain and tightness, difficulty with breathing, wheezing.

It is important to gather additional information:

Has the patient been working with a pesticide?

Did contamination occur?

Precisely which product was used?

How much was ingested?

How long ago?

An effort should be made to obtain evidence from pesticide containers or spray equipment; the labels on containers should be read and retained.

If pesticide poisoning is suspected, first aid must be given immediately and medical advice and assistance must be sought immediately. If possible, the patient should be taken to the nearest medical facility.

First-Aid Treatment

If breathing has stopped: Give artificial respiration. If no insecticide has been swallowed, mouth-to-mouth resuscitation may be given. Pull the patient’s chin up and tilt the head back with one hand to keep the airway clear.

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Place the other hand on the patient’s forehead, with the thumb and index finger toward the nose. Pinch together the patient’s nostrils with the thumb and index finger to prevent air from escaping. Take a deep breath, then form a tight seal with your mouth over and around the patient’s mouth.

Blow four quick, full breaths in first without allowing the lungs to deflate fully. Watch the patient’s chest while inflating the lungs. If adequate respiration is taking place, the chest should rise and fall. Remove your and allow the patient to breathe out.

Take another deep breath, form a tight seal around the patient’s mouth, and blow into the mouth again. This procedure has to be repeated 10-12 times a minute (once every five seconds).

Signs or Symptoms of Poisoning and First-Aid Treatment

Artificial respiration should be continued for as long as possible if there is still a pulse. If insecticide has been swallowed, another form of artificial ventilation should be used.

If there is insecticide on the skin or in the eyes: Rinse the eyes with large quantities of clean water for at least five minutes. Remove contaminated clothing from the patient and remove the patient from the contaminated area.

Wash the body completely for at least 10 minutes, using soap if possible. If no water is available, wipe the skin gently with cloths or paper to soak up the pesticide. Avoid harsh rubbing or scrubbing.

Vomiting

Do not induce vomiting unless the patient has swallowed pesticide that is known to be highly toxic, and medical help is not expected soon.

Never induce vomiting if the patient has swallowed oil spray or products diluted in diesel or kerosene, because of the possibility of inhalation of the vomited material, which would be more dangerous than the intestinal poisoning.

The product label should indicate whether the pesticide is highly toxic (skull-and-crossbones signs). Vomiting should be induced if the patient is conscious. If necessary, sit or stand the person up and tickle the back of the throat with a finger.

Whether vomiting occurs or not, give the patient a drink comprising three tablespoonfuls of activity charcoal in half a glass of water. Repeat until medical help arrives.

Caring for the Patient

The patient should be made to lie down and rest because poisoning with organophosphorus and carbamate compounds is made by movement. Place the patient on her or his side with the head lower than the body.

If the patient is unconscious, pull the chin forward and the head back to ensure a clear airway. Cover the patient with a blanket if he or she feels cold, and cool the patient by sponging with cold water if excessive sweating occurs.

If the patient vomits spontaneously, ensure that he or she does not inhale the vomit. In the event of convulsions, put padded material between the teeth to avoid injury. Do not allow patients to smoke or drink alcohol. Do not give milk. Water can be given.

In conclusion, the great variety of pesticides used in agricultural production system worldwide presents varying degrees of hazard. Consequently, personal protection equipment must be used when spraying and mixing pesticides, or during impregnation of fabrics with pesticides.

If pesticide poisoning is suspected, first aid must be given immediately and medical advice and assistance must be sought immediately. If possible, the patient should be taken to the nearest medical facility.

Pesticides or their metabolites may poison humans and animals;

The relative toxicity of pesticides, and hence the danger they pose to warm-blooded animals, is expressed in a measure known as LD50, which stands for lethal dose, 50 percent;

Personal protection equipment must be used when spraying and mixing pesticides, or during impregnation of fabrics with pesticides; and

Poisonings due to pesticides are usually acute and result from extensive skin contact or ingestion.

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Benadine Nonye

An Agric. Consultant & a Writer. - National Diploma in Agricultural Technology - Bachelor's Degree in Agricultural Science - Master's Degree in Science Education... Visit My Websites On: TheAgripedia.com - For Scientific Research Based Agricultural Knowledge and Innovations. Agric4profits.com - For Practical Agricultural Knowledge and Natural Health Benefits. WealthinWastes.com - For Proper Waste Management and Recycling Practices. Join Me On: Twitter: @benadinenonye - Instagram: benadinenonye - LinkedIn: benadinenonye - YouTube: Agric4ProfitsTV - Pinterest: BenadineNonye4u - Facebook: BenadineNonye

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