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Automatic dishwasher soaps
Definition This poisoning is from ingestion of an automatic dishwashing soap.
Alternative Names 
Poisonous Ingredient
  • Various alkalai soaps (which can vary in alkali content). Toxicity varies depending on pH and extent of exposure.
  • Where Found
  • Automatic dishwashing soaps
  • Symptoms
  • Respiratory
  • Breathing difficulty
  • (from inhalation)
  • Throat
  • swelling (which may also cause breathing difficulty)
  • Eyes, ears, nose, and throat
  • Severe
  • pain in the throat
  • Severe pain or burning in the nose, eyes, ears, lips, or tongue
  • Loss of vision
  • Gastrointestinal
  • Severe
  • abdominal pain
  • Vomiting
  • Burns of the esophagus (food pipe)
  • Vomiting blood
  • Blood in the stool
  • Heart and blood vessels
  • Hypotension
  • (
  • low blood pressure ) develops rapidly
  • Collapse
  • Skin
  • Irritation
  • Burn
  • Necrosis (holes) in the skin or underlying tissues
  • Blood
  • Severe change in pH (too much or too little acid in the blood, which leads to damage in all of the body organs)
  • Home Treatment
  • Seek emergency medical care immediately.
  • If the soap is in the eyes, flush with lots of water for at least 15 minutes. If the soap was swallowed, have the patient drink water or milk IMMEDIATELY. If the patient is vomiting, keep giving water or milk.
  • Before Calling Emergency Determine the following information:
  • The patient's age, weight, and condition
  • The name of the product (ingredients and strengths, if known)
  • The time it was swallowed
  • The amount swallowed
  • Poison Control, or a local emergency number They will instruct you if it is necessary to take the patient to the hospital. See Poison Control centers for telephone numbers and addresses. Take the container with you to the emergency room.
    What to expect at the emergency room Some or all of the following procedures may be performed:
  • For swallowed poison
  • Placement of a tube down the nose and into the stomach (a nasogastric tube, or an NG tube) to wash out the stomach (gastric lavage)
  • Activated charcoal administration
  • Endoscopy -- the placement of a camera down the throat to see the extent of burns to the esophagus and the stomach
  • Give IV fluids
  • Admission to the hospital
  • Give an antidote
  • Treat the symptoms
  • For inhaled poisons
  • A breathing tube may need to be inserted
  • Oxygen
  • Admission to the hospital or to the intensive care unit
  • Bronchoscopy (inserting a camera down the throat into the airway to evaluate the extent of burns to the airway and lungs)
  • For skin exposure
  • Irrigation (washing of the skin), perhaps every few hours for several days
  • Skin debridement (surgical removal of burned skin)
  • Admission or transfer to a hospital that specializes in burn care
  • Expectations (prognosis) The prognosis (probable outcome) depends on how rapidly the alkali was diluted. Extensive damage to the mouth, throat, and stomach are possible. The ultimate outcome depends on the extent of this damage. Damage continues to occur to the esophagus and stomach for several weeks after the alkali was swallowed. Death may occur as long as a month after the alkali was swallowed.

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