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April 13, 1957


JAMA. 1957;163(15):1341-1343. doi:10.1001/jama.1957.02970500025007

• The treatment of poisoning by ingestion is as complex as is the enumeration of poisoning agents. There are, however, many practical and general principles that may be applied to any case in which a poison has been taken by mouth. The essence of treatment of any type of ingested poison is the often life saving procedure of emptying the stomach as quickly as possible. Unless the patient is comatose or in cases of poisoning due to petroleum distillates and corrosive agents, gastric lavage should be carried out in every instance. Where emesis is impossible, chemical antidotes may be administered in the lavage fluid. While specific treatment and supportive measures are of great importance, prevention through education is the basic means of avoiding these tragedies.