Soap poisoning can occur when an individual comes in contact with a certain soap product that contains very strong chemical components. You can often come in contact with soap via mouth or eyes.
The products that can frequently cause soap poisoning are those that consist of a hazardous substance known as amine oxide. This product can be toxic if inhaled or swallowed, sometimes even leading to fatality.
If soap poisoning is suspected, you must get in contact with emergency services provided in your area to prevent any harmful consequences.
How To Detect Soap Poisoning
Soap poisoning can be detected with the help of different signs and symptoms. Some of these symptoms include the following:
- Difficulty in breathing
- Appearance of chemical burns on the surface of skin
- Swollen lips, tongue, and throat
- Vision loss in case the product has come in contact with eyes
- Repeated vomiting with or without blood
- Reduction in the blood pressure
- Severe pain in stomach
- Burning in food pipe
It is to be remembered that not all of these signs can appear in a victim of soap poisoning. Also, the intensity of these symptoms tends to vary according to the following three parameters:
- The nature and type of product
- The extent to which the person was in contact with the product
- The amount of product inhaled or swallowed by the person
How To Handle An Emergency
if a person has swallowed soap product and is showing signs of poisoning, it is important to get in contact with The National Capital Poison Center (NCPC). This is a free and confidential service that can provide you with immediate support and expert level advice. This service is available 7 days a week and you can contact it at any hour.
Once you dial the helpline number of the NCPC, your call will be picked up by a specialist who will guide the caller about how he should proceed. The expert may guide you to the nearest emergency service or to call 911.
Both the NCPC and the medical professionals need complete information about the nature and the quantity of the product suspected of causing poisoning.
Vomiting is usually not encouraged unless a medical professional or a poison control professional has instructed to do so. The NCPC further suggests drinking milk or water, but this is not feasible for a person who is suffering from a seizure or is continuously vomiting. It will also not be the recommended therapy for a victim that is finding it hard to swallow anything.
Prevalence of Soap Poisoning Incidents
NCPC reported receiving more than a million cases in which people had suffered from accidental soap poisoning.
Among all these calls, about 79.4 percent of the cases were accidental and purely unintentional where 16.8 cases were on purpose. A small fraction of 2.4 percent of the cases was due to chemical reactions triggered by drugs, foods and other substances.
As per a report by the American Association of Poison Control (AAPC), children less than 5 years of age account for 47 percent of the cases of soap poisoning.
Treatment For Soap Poisoning
In normal cases, drinking some water can relieve the symptoms of soap poisoning. However, It is necessary that you contact a doctor immediately in case of going through any of the following situations:
- If you are not sure about the nature of product that you have swallowed
- If you are depicting signs and symptoms of poisoning
- If you have swallowed more than a spoonful of soap
The following treatments can be given by the doctor in case of soap poisoning
- Giving IV fluids.
- Treating burnt skin.
- Medication for pain.
- Washing the area that came into contact.
- Using bronchoscope to check airways and lungs.
- Using breathing tube.
- Using endoscope to check stomach and food pipe.