Camping food poisoning - what to do?
Food poisoning or food intoxication - acute, rarely chronic diseases resulting from eating foods that are massively seeded with pathogens and their toxins, or other substances of a non-microbial nature. Infection with pathogenic microorganisms (foodborne infection) is more common than poisoning with natural or chemical toxins (foodborne intoxication). Poisoning is characterized by a picture of acute gastroenteritis and intoxication.
The clinical manifestations of poisoning are more often in the form of disorders of the gastrointestinal tract (abdominal pain, vomiting, stool disorders, general malaise). However, in some cases, these symptoms are absent (with botulism, poisoning with lead compounds, etc.) Food poisoning is characterized by a sudden onset and a short course. In cases of prolonged consumption of food products containing harmful substances, food poisoning can also occur as a chronic disease.
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 just go to the doctor or call an ambulance, then in a multi-day trip you have to rely solely on your strengths and your knowledge. Therefore, it is much easier and more convenient to prevent health problems. Avoid hypothermia and injuries, protect against ticks and mosquitoes, do not eat suspicious roots and no less suspicious sausages. But no matter how careful you are, accidents do happen. So what to do if someone is poisoned on a camping trip?
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 eating, but after a while. At least half an hour. The maximum is 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 right away, since a quick identification of the infectious agent will help prevent new poisoning. In addition, this will determine whether we are dealing with foodborne toxicosis or toxic poisoning. The actions in each of these cases are different. If toxic infection can be fought on its own, then chemical toxins hit the liver so hard that it can not be saved without qualified human help.
Good. The source was found and eliminated. There is poisoning. What's next?
Food Poisoning - First Aid
No matter how much time has passed! The first thing to do is flush your stomach with plenty of water. If at hand there is salt (2 tablespoons per 5 liters), soda (1 teaspoon per liter) or potassium permanganate (weak, pale pink solution; it is weak - only the mucous membrane was burned with a high concentration) - excellent. In principle, even a mild 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 large-scale boiling - there was still not enough to infect the weakened organism, which can live in fresh water bodies. If there are any water filters in your inventory, even better. Significant saving of valuable time.
So. You need to rinse your stomach until the rinsing water is absolutely clean. You need to drink up to 5 glasses of water at a time, after which - induce vomiting by pressing the root of the tongue. Well, everything is washed. Next comes the line of enterosorbents . Banal activated carbon or the more modern Enterosgel will absorb the remains of toxins and prevent their further entry into the blood. These drugs are simply required to be present in any first-aid kit. If there are no preparations, there is another way - cook a thick rice broth, it acts in general 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 a decoction, you can, of course, not drink anything). They wrapped the victim in a blanket and put him in a convenient place.
Now, at least 2 days will have to deal with the consequences before the victim can at least somehow continue on his way. The first day, he should not eat anything at all - only boiled water, weak (preferably green) tea and fruit drink. Or ... all the same rice broth, which, in general, is the same rice in nutritional value, so that poisoned people will not die of hunger, in general, if there is rice and the ability to cook it. Only rice itself does not need to be fed - only liquid food is indicated. From the second day you can give broths.
If there are any saline solutions in the medicine cabinet - for example, Rehydron or something similar (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 loose stool. You need to drink slowly - at least an hour, and preferably three. This is necessary so that salts and electrolytes are completely absorbed by the body. If you calculate milliliters and a lot of laziness, just try to dilute such a concentrate that the patient will not refuse to take because of the specific taste. According to the instructions of Rehydron, 1 packet is diluted in 1 liter of water. In general, Regidron helps in any situation, and you can drink it in case of poisoning, in general, instead of rice broth. If you stretch a liter of Regidron with breaks for green tea for the whole day, you will not want to eat at all.
Also, the victim should be completely calm and given the opportunity to restore strength. Well, basically, that's it. Further treatment depends on the condition of the first-aid kit. Well, if there are any hepatoprotectors - the same Essential Forte - 2 capsules 3 times a day. Any toxins hit the liver - the sooner you begin to fight their effects - the better. If there is Mezim or other drugs that normalize digestion and intestinal microflora - excellent.
Food Poisoning - Complications
In mild cases, the patient does not even need these two days of rest. Unfortunately, everything can be much worse and more dangerous. If the following symptoms are observed:
- pain in the liver, kidneys, pelvic organs;
- high temperature that does not subside for a long time;
- vomiting and diarrhea lasting more than two days,
then the victim is best taken to the hospital as soon as possible and provided with qualified medical care. How to do this is another matter. About transportation of victims in the field, we will write, but in a different article.
I would also like to talk about another, extremely dangerous disease, which at first is easily confused with conventional food poisoning - about botulism. The causative agent is the anaerobic bacillus of Clostridium botulinum . The source is poor-quality canned food. And since canned food takes the leading place in the diet 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 disturbance, manifested by "flies" in front of the eyes and poor discrimination of 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 paralyzed. There is no need to specify where this may lead. It is impossible to treat this in the field - a systematic administration of antitoxic serum, intravenous administration of electrolytes and mechanical ventilation are required. Therefore, it is extremely important to recognize botulism in the initial stages in time and to deliver the patient to the hospital as soon as possible.
In any situation, the main thing is not to panic. Yes, food poisoning is an extremely unpleasant thing. Yes, it requires treatment. Yes, it can be life threatening. Yes, it’s delaying the group. But if everything is done clearly and accurately, unpleasant consequences can be avoided. Some redistribution of daily rations will be required, taking into account 2 days of downtime and a lighter diet for the victim. Fortunately, you can cut them off calmly, because the remaining members of the group will not be subjected to physical exertion. Staying near a pond can also be used - fishing and picking edible plants will help offset food losses. If you are dealing with botulism or various complications, then feel free to call the Ministry of Emergencies. 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.