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Health Services > Queensland Poisons Information Centre

First aid

If the patient has collapsed, or is not breathing, ring 000 for an ambulance. For these patients, only ring the Poisons Information Centre (13 11 26) for information once the ambulance is on the way.

Poisoning advice is available on 13 11 26 anywhere in Australia 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

If you, or someone in your care, may have been poisoned, do not wait for symptoms to occur. Take these first aid steps, then contact the Poisons Information Centre (13 11 26) to find out what to do next.

Swallowed Poison image

  1. Give the person who has swallowed the poison a sip of water.
  2. If safe to do so, take the poison container to the telephone. Alternatively, if the poison container is contaminated, note down the product name and any ingredients listed. Take this note with you to the telephone.
  3. Call the Poisons Information Centre on 13 11 26.
  4. Do not try to make them vomit. Do not use Ipecac Syrup unless recommended by the Poisons Information Centre or your doctor.

Poison in the Eye image

  1. Flood the eye with water from a slowly running tap or a cup or jug.
  2. Continue to flush for 15 minutes, holding the eyelids open.
  3. If safe to do so, take the poison container to the telephone. Alternatively, if the poison container is contaminated, note down the product name and any ingredients listed. Take this note with you to the telephone.
  4. Call the Poisons Information Centre on 13 11 26.

Poison on the Skin image

  1. Remove contaminated clothing, taking care to avoid contact with the poison.
    • Flood skin with running water.
  2. Wash gently with soap and water and rinse well.
  3. If safe to do so, take the poison container to the telephone. Alternatively, if the poison container is contaminated, note down the product name and any ingredients listed. Take this note with you to the telephone.
  4. Call the Poisons Information Centre on 13 11 26.

Inhaled Poison image

  1. Immediately get the person to fresh air, without placing yourself at risk.
  2. Avoid breathing fumes.
  3. If it is safe to do so, open doors and windows wide.
  4. If the victim isn't breathing, start "mouth-to-mouth" resuscitation and call an ambulance on 000.
  5. If safe to do so, take the poison container to the telephone. Alternatively, if the poison container is contaminated, note down the product name and any ingredients listed. Take this note with you to the telephone.
  6. Call the Poisons Information Centre on 13 11 26.

These First Aid steps can be printed and kept for future use. Alternatively, a poisons advice brochure may be ordered. Other resources, including a sticker for your telephone can also be ordered.

First Aid Information on product labels can become outdated. Always contact the Poisons Information Centre on 13 11 26 for up to date advice.

First Aid courses are run by many organisations including St John Ambulance Australia and Queensland Ambulance Service.

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Last Updated: 01 October 2013
Last Reviewed: 01 October 2013