A toxic dose is a dose that is too high to be tolerated by a person. While there are many ways to ingest poison, it is important that poison be taken in a way that is not dangerous. In order to do that, a poison must be diluted.
The lethal dose of a poison is the amount that is lethal for the average person. This is not the same as the amount that kills the person, which is referred to as the toxic dose. The lethal dose is a common way to measure poisons.
The lethal dose can vary from person to person. It can also change over time, as the body gets used to the poison.
For example, a poison may be dangerous for a small child but not for an adult.
The amount of poison that, when ingested, causes a death is called the lethal dose. This is the amount of poison that will kill the average person. A person’s age, health, and size are among the factors that can affect the lethal dose.
A lethal dose is often expressed as micrograms per kilogram (mg/kg), milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg), or millimoles per kilogram (mmol/kg).
The lethal dose is not the same thing as the dosage that is needed to keep a person safe. The dose that is needed is called the therapeutic dose.
The lethal and therapeutic doses of some common substances are listed below.
The following poisonous substances can be lethal in small quantities, but are usually not deadly to an average person.
- Cyanide: A cyanide is a poisonous gas that can be released during the decomposition of certain plants and animals. Cyanide is not usually fatal in small quantities, but death can occur when consumed in large quantities.
- Carbamate: This class of poison is also called organophosphate.
- Organophosphate: This class of poison is also called paraoxon.
- Organophosphate ester: This class of poison is also called chlorpyrifos.
If a person is poisoned by a chemical, the amount that is absorbed into the bloodstream is called the dose. A person’s age and health can affect how much a person absorbs.
The lethal dose is the dose that is lethal for an average person. This is not the dose that is needed to keep a person safe. The dose that is needed is called the therapeutic dose.
Doses are usually measured in milligrams (mg), micrograms (mcg), or millimoles (mmol).
A toxic dose is the dose that is too high to be tolerated by a person. While there are many ways to ingest poison, it is important that poison be taken in a way that is not dangerous. In order to do that, a poison must be diluted.
Some common ways to dilute a poison are:
- Add water.
- Mix with ice.
- Dissolve in a drink.
- Mix with a soft drink.
- Add to a liquid.
- Add to a capsule.
- Add to a tablet.
- Mix with food.
When is poisoning not possible?
Sometimes, it is not possible to get high enough doses of a poison to cause death. Poisoning prevention is one way to help prevent death from poisoning. This is especially important when a person is very young or very old. When a person is very young, it is unlikely that they will be able to absorb the poison, and may not be able to die from the dose.
A healthy fetus will not die from the same dose that is toxic to an adult. A child who is not able to absorb the dose is not at risk for the same effects as an adult.
However, if a person is older and is at risk for poisoning, it may be possible for them to die from the same dose as an adult.
How do you know if a person is poisoning?
People often die from poisoning because a person does not seek medical help, or because they do not take the proper steps to stop the poisoning.
In addition to looking for signs of poisoning, a person should:
- Drink all fluids to prevent dehydration.
- If possible, get help for the person immediately.
- If there is a child or an infant, get help for the child immediately.
- If there is a pregnant woman, get help for the woman immediately.
- Look for symptoms of poisoning.
- If a poison is not used correctly, a person can die from the poison.
Symptoms of poisoning
Symptoms of poisoning depend on what substance is being taken or used and what it is mixed with.
For example, if a poison is mixed with alcohol, a person will experience the symptoms of poisoning, such as:
- Loss of consciousness
- Slurred speech
- Breathing problems
- Skin changes
- Changes in skin color
- Changes in skin temperature
- Changes in heart rate
People with alcohol poisoning may experience other symptoms, depending on their age, health, and the amount of alcohol they consume.
Symptoms of poisoning can also vary based on the person’s age. For example, an infant may not show any symptoms of poisoning. However, older adults are more likely to exhibit some symptoms, such as:
- Blurred vision
- Muscle twitching
It is important to understand that the way someone is poisoned can also affect the symptoms that they experience.
How is poisoning treated?
The first step in treating poisoning is to identify it and determine whether or not it is a medical emergency.
If the poisoning is not a medical emergency, a person should:
- Drink lots of fluids to prevent dehydration.
- Get help for the person immediately.
- If possible, find a poison center.
- Poisoning happens when a person consumes a substance that they believe is harmless.
- Poisoning is a serious problem that can result in death.
- Poisoning prevention is the best way to help prevent poisoning.
- Treatment depends on the type of poisoning and the person’s health.
If a person is poisoned, the best thing that they can do is to call 911 or their local emergency number and request medical help.
A poison center can help treat poisoning. At a poison center, a person can receive a variety of treatments, such as:
- Anesthetics to calm a person’s anxiety, such as through a breathing tube
- Antidotes to treat a chemical overdose
- Antibiotics to treat bacterial infections
- Antiviral medication to treat viral infections
A person may also need to be admitted to the hospital for treatment.
What if I do not have the money to pay for emergency medical attention or the poison center?
Here are some tips for getting the help that you need:
- Visit an emergency department.
- Go to a hospital.
- Contact a local poison center.
- Call 911 or your local emergency number.
- Try to find a place that has a doctor available.
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