Hydrogen peroxide overdose, as the name suggests, occurs when the substance is consumed in more than the amount that is considered to be safe. Know about this condition from this article.
All types of medication share one common aspect between them; the possibility of being consumed or administered more than what is required thus, causing an overdose. And the same goes with what we know as hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). As most of us are aware, this substance is a weak acid, and a liquid that is commonly put to use to fight off germs. It has a pale blue appearance, and has strong oxidizing and bleaching properties.
In case you were not aware, this acid is also known as ‘wonder drug’; capable of treating and even curing many types of medical conditions. Some common uses of H2O2 may include wound cleansing, mouthwash, removing earwax, and it is also used in teeth-whitening products as well. However, the same substance, when used more than required or in high-strength formulations, may become potentially dangerous to healthy tissues of the body.
Facts on Hydrogen Peroxide Poisoning
An overdose of hydrogen peroxide overdose can cause what is known as hydrogen peroxide poisoning. It occurs when an excess amount of the liquid comes in contact with the eyes or the lungs of the affected person. The standard strength of this product that is usually recommended for household purposes is 3% or less. If one ingests small amount of the liquid having this strength, at the most, it would cause a mild irritation.
However, the same liquid if ingested in large amounts, then it may spell trouble. Also ingesting even a small amount of a solution containing 30% of H2O2 has been known to cause death. So it is extremely essential to be aware of the symptoms that may occur after someone has had an overdose of the liquid. Common symptoms may include:
- Pain in the abdominal region; cramps may accompany
- The poisoned person may experience a burning sensation in his oral cavity and throat
- If the affected person is exhibiting breathing problems, then it can be considered to be a certain indication that the ingestion of the acid has occurred in large quantities
- Eyes may burn
- The skin may take on a white appearance, temporarily
- The stomach may swell
- Vomiting is also one common side effect that occurs as the body attempts to flush out the hydrogen peroxide
The above symptoms occur when someone consumes a large amount of H2O2 in its diluted form. But ingesting the same in concentrated form may lead to serious complications, some of which include:
- Bleeding in the stomach
- Brain swelling
- Formation of air bubble in the bloodstream
- Ulcerative colitis
- Ingesting an industrial-strength 35% hydrogen peroxide may trigger seizures, and respiratory arrest. Although, such situations are a rarity
- In some cases, even death
An overdose of hydrogen peroxide is a medical emergency. Experts recommend against using any kind of home remedies to get rid of the liquid that has been ingested. Many people attempt to make the sufferer throw out with an intention to flush out the liquid. This is, however, not a proper approach to treat the problem.
On account of the liquid getting into the eyes or on the skin, clean the areas under running water, at least for 15 minutes. In the United States, the National Poison Control Center must be contacted as soon as the above symptoms begin to appear after using hydrogen peroxide. The Center can be reached at 1-800-222-1222. If you are not a resident of the US, it would be wise to keep the details of the poison control center of the place where you stay, handy.
Furthermore, while the help arrives, it is advisable to note down a few basic details regarding the patient. These may include the patient’s age, weight, and state of condition. Other details to determine may include the name of the product, the amount that has been ingested or exposed to the body, and the time when the overdose had occurred. The purpose behind jotting down these details is to help the poison control team to be aware of the situation, before commencing the treatment.