Q:

How would you know if someone was being poisoned?

A:

The signs and symptoms of poisoning are vast and vary considerably based on the type of poison ingested, according to eMedicineHealth from WebMD. Some poisons enlarge the pupils while others constrict them; some create drooling, while others dry out the mouth; and some produce an increased heart rate, while others slow the heart rate. Additional symptoms of poisoning include pain, slowed or increased breathing rate and hyperactivity.

Poisoning can be difficult to identify because the symptoms of poisoning are all commonly found with other illness that are unrelated, according to eMedicineHealth. While vomiting and nausea can be symptoms of poisoning, they are also symptoms of influenza, stroke, heart attack and a number of other conditions. Symptoms of poisoning can occur within hours or take several months to occur, creating a dangerous delay in seeking medical attention.

If poisoning is suspected, it is important to seek medical help immediately and not wait for symptoms to occur. During a doctor's visit, the doctor takes a history, conducts a physical examination and performs blood and urine laboratory testing to determine the cause of the poisoning. If poisoning is found to be the case, various treatments are used to help the patient, including elimination of the poison from the body and the administering of antidotes to halt damage to the body, notes eMedicineHealth.


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