Obtain Patients History

a. Determine What was Taken. If there is a bottle, keep the bottle and its remaining contents with the patient. The label on the bottle and the number of pills remaining may give indication as to what and how much was ingested.

b. Determine When it was Taken. Speed and duration of different substances vary markedly.

c. Determine How Much was Taken. It is important to know how much of the substance the patient took.

d. Determine Route of Administration. Drugs can be taken by mouth or be injected by needle intravenously, subcutaneously (just under the skin), or into muscles. It is important to know if drugs were taken by any other route. Overdoses will usually represent a combination of agents.

e. Determine What was Done to Correct the Situation. The patient may have taken steps to help himself or bystanders may have assisted.

NOTE: Street resuscitation procedures are frequently as dangerous as the overdose itself, and the rescuer needs to know exactly what the patient has been given.

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