About three hundred thousand different chemical compounds, more or less toxic, surround today's civilized man. Many of these chemicals are found in the immediate vicinity of man, in his work and home environment. This is one of the reasons why mortality from poisoning is already in fourth place in mortality from cardiovascular disease, injuries, and malignant tumors. The health and life of the poisoned person, in other words, the success of hospital treatment and rehabilitation often depend on the timely and proper provision of first aid, the knowledge and willingness of citizens to provide such assistance quickly at the scene, in circumstances where medical care is not available or delayed. But it should also be noted that the place of first aid is often a "battlefield" where a direct and decisive battle for the life of the poisoned person takes place, given that in this initial stage of poisoning very often life-threatening disorders develop.

In reality, when help is given to an acutely poisoned person, then that help is regularly insufficient, or rather no or bad, so it should not be surprising that poisoned people sometimes suffer more because of the wrong than because of no help. Psychological reasons are also important when helping a poisoned person. Man's primordial fear of poison often provokes an effective reaction of form and intensity which we seldom see in cases of other calamities; from immobility, stiffness to fleeing the scene. Sometimes the panic and the deeply ingrained delusion that an poisoned person must be given an antidote, lead to the poisoned person being given to drink all kinds of "antidotes" that they find on hand and that they know about from folklore. This is most often milk, brandy, honey, baking soda or anything else, just so that the poisoned person gets something, such as heart drops, tranquilizers, etc.

When removing toxins from the body, the rules should be followed, if possible, that the toxin is removed from the body in the same way that it entered the body. If someone swallows poison, the success of first aid can be significant, especially if help is started immediately after taking the poison. The goal of first aid is to expel toxins from the stomach as soon as possible and take measures to prevent or at least reduce the amount of toxins absorbed into the blood. Within first aid there are three basic procedures:
1. Inducing vomiting, which is achieved by irritating the soft palate or the back wall of the pharynx with the finger. In people who have difficulty vomiting, finger irritation may be associated with gargling warm soapy water (not detergent).
2. Gastric lavage, which can also be performed at home immediately after the poison has been swallowed, is performed by inducing vomiting first. After that, warm water is drunk, and vomiting is induced again. By alternating drinking water and inducing vomiting, the stomach is flushed better than the gastric tube used in certain cases in the hospital. Gastric lavage is performed until the vomited contents are a clear liquid. Do not drink more than half a liter of water at a time. Vomiting and gastric lavage should not be used in poisoning by liquids such as acids and alkalis, followed by poisoning by gasoline, paint solvents, and petroleum distillates. Vomiting should not be attempted in an unconscious person or in those who resist.
3. Binding (adsorption) of toxins is performed using animal or vegetable charcoal. The antidote ability of activated carbon has long been proven. Since we are never sure whether all the poison has been removed by vomiting and gastric lavage, other measures should be taken as part of first aid to prevent further resorption in the intestines. Activated charcoal binds the poison best in the digestive system and is an irreplaceable physical antidote. In recent decades, its antidote ability has been proven by numerous experiments, although as early as the early nineteenth century, the French pharmacist Thouery proved its effectiveness by drinking a multiple lethal dose of strychnine with activated charcoal without any consequences. Animal or vegetable charcoal, if taken early enough, binds most toxins to itself whether organic or inorganic in nature. It is given in five to ten times larger amounts than the amount of poison taken. An adult is given at least two tablespoons dissolved in a glass of water.

By inhalation, gaseous toxins, dust and fumes enter the body. Inhaled toxins immediately enter the arterial blood without any obstruction over a large area of eighty square meters made up of about three hundred million alveoli. The poisoned person should be removed from the environment in which he was poisoned as soon as possible, ie taken out of the poisoned atmosphere into the fresh air. The general condition of the poisoned person should be established immediately. Since the toxin is removed from the body by breathing, maintaining airway patency and enabling breathing is the most important first aid measure. If necessary, artificial respiration should be performed. If poisoned unconscious and breathing, it should be placed in a lateral position to prevent suffocation with one's own tongue or vomit.
Many are mistaken when they believe that undamaged skin safely protects against the entry of toxins into the body. Many toxins, the most dangerous, enter the body through healthy skin and can cause deadly poisoning. In first aid, it is necessary to rinse with as much water as possible, and then wash with soap.

After removing the toxins from the body, funds for their elimination can be given as part of first aid. Such agents are called antidotes or antidotes. Timely and proper application of antidotes can save the life of a poisoned person and significantly affect the healing process. When applying the antidote, the basic medical rule stated by the Roman physician Galen two thousand years ago should be followed: "Primum nil nocere", ie the poisoned person should not be harmed in the first place. Therefore, he should not be given any remedy for which it is not known for sure whether it is medically justified. Fatal mistakes often occur due to the inappropriate application of various "antidotes", such as milk, which many consider a universal antidote and give it in almost all cases of poisoning, works useful only in the poisoning of the so-called. corrosive toxins (acids, alkalis, salts of heavy metals). In most other poisonings, milk only worsens the condition of the poisoned person because it helps to better absorb the poison into the body. This is also true of many other folk remedies.