Cyanide poisoning is a serious condition, and it can be fatal. It occurs when someone drinks or breathes cyanide gas. Cyanide can be found in some household items, such as insecticides and cleaning solutions. In this article, we’ll take a look at what cyanide poisoning is – how it happens and the effects on your body.
This is an image of a pink pill with the words cyanide poisoning on it. The word “poison” has a green background while the rest of the text in black font. Below that are two images, one being an illustration of someone coughing and drooling with their mouth open (the other shows what appears to be police lights). Underneath those pictures is more copy which reads cyanide can kill you!
The red text at the bottom says “read more here”.
coughing and drooling from the mouth;
weak pulse – difficulty breathing – sudden death without warning!
How it happens: Cyanide is a poisonous chemical that binds to haemoglobin (a protein) to interfere with oxygen transport around your body. It’s found in household products such as paint remover, weed killer and rat poison so make sure you know where these are stored when they’re not being used! Other sources include cigarette smoke, car exhaust fumes and some commercial fireworks which release cyanide gas during combustion. You should also beware of ‘cyanogenic’ foods that contain high levels of cyanide, such as apple seeds and raw almonds.
What to do if you think someone has been poisoned:
Give them something in their mouth so they can spit out whatever’s being ingested;
Administer three breaths every five seconds by putting your hand on the person’s chest and pushing down one third of the distance between their breastbone and nipple line (you’ll need to give 12 deep breaths);
If cyanide poisoning is confirmed, start performing artificial respiration – this means giving 30 sharp blows with the heel of your hand directly onto a child’s chest and then rubbing it gently afterwards.
Pronounce cyanide as “si-kaneed” not “sihn-ayd.” The former is the British pronunciation and it’s more commonly used in North America;
There are two types of cyanide poisoning, with food being one type. Other types of cyanide poisoning can be found through exposure to smoke or from drinking water contaminated by industrial chemicals such as pesticides and fertilizers that contain high levels of cyanides. Carbon monoxide is another common source of this poison because carbon monoxide binds to the same hemoglobin inside red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout your body. Once bound, carboxyhemoglobin interferes with a person’s ability to use available oxygen and thus can cause cyanide poisoning.
Symptoms of cyanide poisoning are similar to those for many other types of poisonings (such as arsenic) and often include weakness, headaches, confusion, vomiting or nausea, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chest pain, convulsions and coma. People may also have a decreased heart rate with low blood pressure;
Treatment for cyanide is different from treatment for most poisons because the antidote is time rather than an injection like it would be in some cases such as snakebites. Emergency care consists mainly of removing any clothing that has been contaminated by chemicals along with washing off any skin contact with the poisonous chemical if possible;