Poisoning

Photo: Joonas Brandt / Suomen Punainen Risti

In the event of poisoning, determine the substance that has caused it.

Poisoning can be caused by a variety of substances: alcohol and other intoxicants, medication, mushrooms, poisonous berries or domestic detergents and chemicals. Carbon monoxide and other gases can also cause poisoning if inhaled.

The severity and speed of appearance of poisoning symptoms depends on the substance and amount, as well as the method in which it entered the body. Substances can enter the body through the mouth, airways, skin or eyes, or be injected.

Symptoms of poisoning

  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Skin symptoms
  • Disorientation
  • Headache, dizziness
  • Shortness of breath, increased heartbeat
  • Seizures, unconsciousness

First aid for poisoning

1. Call the Poison Information Centre, tel. 0800 147 111. In case of severe symptoms, call 112.

2. Find out which substance caused the symptoms.

3. Find out how it got into the body.

4. Find out how much of the substance got into the body.

5. Find out when the exposure took place.

6. If you are unable to wake up the person but they are breathing normally, turn them into the recovery position.

7. If the person cannot be woken up and does not breathe normally, start resuscitation.

If the person you are helping has swallowed poison

  • Clean and rinse the mouth.
  • Do not try to make the person vomit.
  • If necessary, give them medicinal charcoal.

If the person you are helping has inhaled poison

  • Move the person to fresh air.

If the poison is on the skin or in the eyes

  • Rinse the poison off the skin or eyes using plenty of water.


Further information on poisonous substances is available around the clock from the Poison Information Centre, tel. 0800 147 111. www.myrkytystietokeskus.fi

Always call the emergency number 112 whenever someone’s life, health, property, or the environment are in danger or threatened or you suspect this to be the case.

How to make an emergency call

First aid instructions: how to remove a foreign object from the airways of