Paediatric 12 Hour First Aid Level 3 (VTQ) - Online Blended Part 1

132 videos, 6 hours and 7 minutes

Course Content

Poisonous Plants and Fungi

Video 125 of 132
3 min 35 sec
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There are many things that could be found growing in woods and gardens that, if ingested, could cause poisoning in children or adults. Care needs to be taken with children as they often put things into their mouths. Swallowing some types of plants or fungi could result in poisoning. This is a rare but serious condition, and different things will cause different problems. Even eating a small amount of foxglove can cause nausea, vomiting and stomach cramps, and a large amount could be potentially fatal. Foxglove is also known as dog's-finger, fairy gloves, lion's-mouth and many other names. During digestion, toxins are produced that would directly affect the heart muscles. It causes the heart to change, then a heart attack as the heart slows. Eating foxglove also causes vomiting, which will expel the cardiac poisons before they do serious harm.

If laburnum seeds are eaten, it can cause nausea and vomiting. Higher doses can produce intense sleepiness, seizures, coma, slight frothing at the mouth and unequally dilated pupils. These seeds are found on laburnum trees, which are beautiful yellow flowering trees known as common laburnum or golden chain. Other parts of the tree are poisonous, but the seeds are the real problem as children often confuse them with pea pods and eat their contents. Some mushrooms and fungi can also cause nausea, vomiting, and sometimes hallucinations.

Death cap mushrooms cause vomiting and severe watery diarrhoea within 6-12 hours after ingestion and can be fatal. Signs and symptoms include nausea, vomiting, cramping, abdominal pains, diarrhoea, seizures, and finally, impaired consciousness. If you suspect any type of poisoning, try and identify what the poisonous plant is and what part was eaten. You could take photos with your phone, so the emergency services and doctors can easily see what has been taken and take the appropriate action. Take a sample of the plant or fungi and place it in a plastic bag and give it to the doctor or hospital. Try to avoid touching the toxin with your hands, wear gloves or pick it up in a plastic bag. If you do handle the toxin, wash your hands thoroughly. Reassure the patient, and if you are helping a child, they may be upset or scared about getting into trouble, which may cause them to give incorrect information. Tell them to try and say what they have eaten and how much and try to gain their trust. You need to get immediate medical advice from your doctor by calling emergency medical services.

If the casualty becomes unconscious, open the airway using the head tilt chin lift and check for breathing. Be prepared to give chest compressions and rescue breaths if necessary, and place them in a recovery position if the casualty is unconscious but breathing normally. Dial 999 and ask for an ambulance and do not induce vomiting. Prevention is the best action, so try and know what is in your garden to ensure that you do not have plants that can harm you, and if you have fungi mushrooms, remove them wearing gloves and dispose of them carefully. If in doubt, get advice. If you are collecting plants or fungi to eat, make sure you know exactly what you are doing. Otherwise, you may get poisoned. Finally, your pet can also be affected by poisonous plants and fungi. So learn more about what is in your garden to keep the whole family safe.

Learning Outcomes:
  • IPOSi Unit four LO5.1, 5.2, 5.3 & 5.4