Five Minutes to Live: Poison Prevention - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

11/3/03

Five Minutes to Live: Poison Prevention

The first five minutes of an emergency is critical. So, over the next few weeks, NewsChannel 11 will be teaching you how to respond to an emergency.

In this case, it's a parent's worst nightmare, a poisoning emergency, Ruben Villarreal knows all too well. "My daughter wasn't feeling well, so instead of going and waking me up, she woke her friend up and they went inside the restroom and her friend decided to give her some medicine and take some herself."

Within minutes, medicine becomes a deadly threat for 5-year-old Brenna and 6-year-old Alyssa. Villarreal says, "There were several bottles of medicines, so we didn't know which one they had gotten into so we took them in and they each pointed out which one they did actually take."

What would you do? Lubbock EMS Training Chief Debra Morris says there are steps you can take even before the ambulance arrives.

  • First, call 9-1-1.
  • Then, call poison control and see if there are any other instructions and see if they can help you until our arrival.
  • Next check the label for instructions. If the patient is unconscious, make sure the patient is on their side, so if they do have any vomiting, they don't aspirate why they're vomiting.
  • Finally, keep them calm as possible. If they are conscious,you don't want them running around the room getting excited."

It's steps like these, that could save a life in a poisoning emergency. Fortunately, lots of water was the only treatment, Alyssa and Brenna needed. But the lesson is learned. Alyssa says, "I learned you're not supposed to take medicine without your parents permission. I'm not supposed to take anything under the cabinet." As a parent, Villarreal is also taking steps to prevent an emergency like this one. Green Mr. Yuk stickers mark which products the kids should stay out of. Villarreal says, "Now, we put the medicine up in the kitchen, way up high." Safety Solutions for your poisoning emergency.

If you need to contact poison control, call 1-800-222-1222. For more poisoning prevention tips, ( click here ).

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