Cover Image
close this bookEnvironmentally Sound Technologies for Women in Agriculture (IIRR, 1996, 213 p.)
close this folderPests and pesticides
View the documentIntegrated pest management
View the documentNeem for plant protection
View the documentNeem oil as mosquito repellent
View the documentBiological control of malaria
View the documentNon-chemical methods of weed control
View the documentSafe use of pesticides
View the documentHazard of pesticides
View the documentPesticide facts and fiction
View the documentFirst-aid measures for pesticide poisoning
View the documentSave your crop from bird damage
View the documentBeekeeping

First-aid measures for pesticide poisoning

Pesticide poisoning symptoms: at first

Irritation of eyes, skin, throat, and lungs, headache and tiredness. then

Giddiness, blurred vision, nausea, vomiting, muscle twitching, abdominal cramps, diarrhoea, breathing problems, convulsions, and unconsciousness.

Be prepared

When you spray or handle pesticides. always make sure you have dean water, soap, and a dean cloth at hand. You can use these to wash off any spilled pesticide.

Farm women often suffer from itching, burning sensation on their hands and feet, as well as watery eyes after spraying pesticides or working in freshly sprayed fields. Some pesticides are more toxic than others. Misuse of such pesticides can cause iliness or even death. Simple first-aid measures, if applied at the right time, can help to save many lives.

First-aid measures

In case of skin contact

1 Remove the patient from the source of contamination.
2 Remove the patient's contaminated clothing.
3 Wash the patient thoroughly with plenty of water and soap.
4 Hold her eyelids open, and wash her eyes with cool, clean water.

In case of Inhalation of pesticide

1 Remove the victim from the place of exposure. Bring her to fresh air. Loosen the victim's clothing to allow easier breathing.

2 If conscious, place the victim in a sitting position with head and shoulders elevated.

3 If not conscious, turn the victim to lying position with head to one side. Watch her breathing.

4 If breathing stops, give artificial respiration.

It pesticide Is swallowed

1 Check the pesticide label to see if you should induce vomiting.

If so

2 Make the patient sit or stand up.

3 Give 1 to 2 litres of salt water.

4 To induce vomiting, tickle inside the patient's throat using a blunt instrument, such as the handle of a spoon. Use two fingers of your other hand to force the patient's cheeks between her teeth.

5 After vomiting, give the patient milk to drink. This helps counteract the poison.

6 Make the patient lie on her side, with her head lower than the rest of her body.

If breathing stops, provide artificial respiration

1 Turn the patient on her back.

2 Pull the chin forward and head backward to prevent the tongue from dropping to the back of the throat.

3 Remove any vomit or obstruction from the air passage.

4 Pinch patient's nose and blow into her mouth.

5 Make sure the patient's chest expands each time you blow into her mouth.

6 Continue until the patient resumes normal breathing.

In case of convulsion

1 Insert a padded gag between the teeth to prevent the patient from biting her tongue.
2 Gently restrain the patient to prevent her from hurting herself.

High body temperature If the patient is extremely hot or is sweating excessively, sponge her with cold water.

Low body temperature

If the patient is cold, cover her with a blanket.

General management

1 Take steps to obtain immediate medical attention.

2 Keep the patient calm and comfortable.

3 Place patient on her side, with her head lower than the rest of her body.

4 Keep a close watch on the patient's breathing and state of consciousness. Take immediate action in case breathing stops

5 Identify the product(s) to which the patient was exposed Save the pesticide container, label, and leaflet to show to the doctor.

Source: Dr. Nelia Maramba