Food poisoning in a hike - what to do?
Food poisoning or food intoxication - acute, rarely chronic diseases resulting from the use of food, massively seeding pathogens and their toxins, or other substances of non-microbial nature. Infection with pathogenic microorganisms (food infection) is observed more often than poisoning by natural or chemical toxins (food intoxication). Poisonings are characterized by a picture of acute gastroenteritis and intoxication.
Clinical manifestations of poisoning are more often in the nature of gastrointestinal disorders (abdominal pain, vomiting, abnormal stools, general malaise). However, in some cases these symptoms are absent (with botulism, poisoning by lead compounds, etc.) Sudden onset and short course are characteristic of food poisoning. In cases of long-term consumption of food products containing harmful substances, food poisoning can also occur according to the type of chronic diseases.
The human body is a rather fragile mechanism that is extremely easy to spoil or break. But if in the city in case of illness, you can simply come to the doctor or call an ambulance, then in a multi-day hike you have to rely solely on your own strength and your knowledge. Therefore, it is much easier and more convenient to prevent health problems. Avoid hypothermia and injury, protect yourself from ticks and mosquitoes, do not have suspicious roots and no less suspicious looking sausage. But no matter how careful you are, accidents happen anyway. So, what to do if someone still poisoned in the campaign?
Food poisoning - Diagnosis
First you need to determine that we are really dealing with food poisoning. Typical symptoms are:
- nausea and repeated vomiting;
- weakness and dizziness;
- temperature increase is possible;
- painful cramps in the stomach.
All this does not begin immediately after a meal, but after a while. At least half an hour. Maximum - the next day. And on average - 4-6 hours. This period is usually enough to determine the cause of the poisoning. This should be done immediately, as a quick identification of the infectious agent will help prevent new poisonings. In addition, it will allow us to determine whether we are dealing with foodborne illness or with toxic poisoning. The actions in each of these cases are different. If it is possible to cope with toxicoinfection independently, then chemical toxins beat the liver so much that without qualified help a person cannot be saved.
Good. Source found and eliminated. Poisoning is. What's next?
Food Poisoning - First Aid
No matter how much time has passed! The first thing to do is flush the stomach with plenty of water. If there is salt on hand (2 tablespoons per 5 liters), soda (1 teaspoon per liter) or potassium permanganate (weak, pale pink solution; it is weak - only mucus was not enough to burn in high concentration) - excellent. In principle, even a weak soap solution is suitable for these purposes. You need at least 10 liters of warm water. It is warm, so as not to overcool the body. It would be optimal to make a halt at the source of clean water and organize its large-scale boiling - there wasn’t enough to add infection to a weakened body, which can live in freshwater bodies. If the inventory has any water filters - even better. Substantial savings in precious time.
So. It is necessary to wash the stomach until the washings are absolutely clean. At one time you need to drink up to 5 glasses of water, after which - induce vomiting by pressing the root of the tongue. Well, everything was washed. Next comes the turn of enterosorbents . Banal activated carbon or more modern Enterosgel absorb the remnants of toxins and prevent their further entry into the blood. These drugs are simply required to be present in any travel kits. If there are no drugs, there is another way - boil a thick rice broth, it acts as a whole in the same way as Enterosgel, also nutritious. Well, they took tablets (1 tablet per 10 kg of weight) or gel (1 tablespoon), washed down with warm water, repeated the procedure several times (in the case of decoction, you can drink nothing, of course). Wrapped the victim blanket and put in a convenient place.
Now at least 2 days will have to deal with the consequences before the victim can at least somehow continue the path. The first day he shouldn’t eat anything at all - only boiled water, weak (preferably green) tea and juice. Or ... all the same rice water, which, in general, is nutritionally the same rice, so with hunger, in general, if there is rice and the ability to cook it, the poisoned person will not die. Only the rice itself should not be fed - only liquid food is shown. From the second day you can give broths.
If there are any saline solutions in the first aid kit - for example, Regidron or something like that (they are produced in the form of powders, so they weigh a little) - even better. A great way to combat the loss of salts and electrolytes. Give at the rate of 10 ml per 1 kg of mass after each liquid stool. It is necessary to drink slowly - at least an hour of time, and preferably three. It is necessary that salts and electrolytes are completely absorbed by the body. If you calculate the milliliters and the mass of laziness, try to simply dilute such a concentrate, which the patient will not refuse to accept because of the specific taste. According to the instructions, Regidron is diluted with 1 packet per 1 liter of water. In general, Regidron helps in any case, and you can drink it in case of poisoning, in general, instead of rice broth. If you stretch a liter of Regidron intermittently with green tea for the whole day, you don’t want to.
Also, the victim should be ensured complete rest and be given the opportunity to recuperate. Well, basically, everything. Further treatment depends on the condition of the first-aid kit. Well, if there are any hepatoprotectors - the same Essentiale Forte - 2 capsules 3 times a day. Any toxins hit the liver - the sooner you start to deal with their effects - the better. If there is Mezim or other drugs that normalize digestion and intestinal microflora - great.
Food Poisoning - Complications
In mild cases, the patient does not even need these two days of rest. Unfortunately, things can be much worse and more dangerous. If the following symptoms are observed:
- pain in the liver, kidney, pelvic organs;
- high temperature, which does not subside for a long time;
- vomiting and diarrhea lasting more than two days
It is best to deliver the victim as soon as possible to the hospital and provide him with qualified medical assistance. How to do this is another question. We will write about the transportation of victims in the field, but in a different article.
Separately, I would like to tell you about another, extremely dangerous disease, which at first is easily confused with the usual food poisoning - about botulism. The causative agent is Clostridium botulinum anaerobic bacillus. Source - substandard canned food. And since it is the canned food that occupies the dominant place in the ration of tourists, the risk of infection is higher. The beginning is similar - vomiting, weakness, fever, diarrhea. But as the gastrointestinal symptoms subside, a new one appears - paralytic. Visual disorder, manifested by "flies" in front of the eyes and a poor distinction between nearby objects; complete atony of the intestine, severe dry mouth, partial paralysis of the facial muscles while maintaining sensitivity. The muscles of the diaphragm and the intercostal muscles are also subjected to paralysis. There is no need to clarify what this may lead to. It is impossible to treat this in the field - systematic administration of antitoxic serum, intravenous administration of electrolytes and artificial ventilation of the lungs are required. Therefore, it is extremely important to recognize botulism in the initial stages and to take the patient to the hospital as soon as possible.
In any situation, the main thing - do not panic. Yes, food poisoning is an extremely unpleasant thing. Yes, it requires treatment. Yes, it can be life threatening. Yes, delays the group. But if everything is done clearly and accurately - unpleasant consequences can be avoided. Some redistribution of daily rations will be required, given 2 days of inactivity and a light diet for the victim. Fortunately, they can be cut off quietly, because the remaining members of the group will not be subjected to physical exertion. Staying near the reservoir can also be used - fishing and collecting edible plants will help offset the loss of food. If you are dealing with botulism or various complications, then feel free to call the MOE. Your situation just falls under the criteria of "emergency, associated with a threat to human life . " Remember, whatever happens - do not panic . Accurate, prudent and competent actions - this is what can save human life and health.