Poisoning is a disorder of the normal functioning of the body, which develops against the background of the spread of toxins and poisons in it. A synonymously close concept is the category “intoxication”. There are a lot of factors that can cause poisoning in a person - household chemicals, poisons, medicines, a variety of chemicals and reagents, alcohol, poor-quality or expired foods.
Food poisoning can trap a person after eating a wide variety of foods, from fruits and vegetables to canned food, beverages and ready meals. At the same time, one of the most dangerous for human food poisoning is poisoning with fish and seafood.
What is fish poisoning, why is it so dangerous to humans?
Fish is considered a nutritious and healthy product that doctors and nutritionists advise to include in the diet, especially for children and the elderly. It contains fatty acids, proteins, a complex of vitamins and minerals, including phosphorus. Sea fish is rich in bromine and iodine, unlike its river "sister". Its benefits for the brain, cardiovascular system and musculoskeletal system have long been known to both doctors and ordinary people.
Does this mean that the fish in the human diet always brings only benefit? Unfortunately, this is not the case. It is known that fish, like meat, refers to perishable foods. In addition, fish can inhabit and prey in a variety of water bodies, even those that are heavily polluted and saturated with hazardous waste. Living in dirty, poisonous water, the fish absorbs all the toxic elements from it, and it itself becomes a source of poisons. In addition to the results of human life, which poisoned many reservoirs on the planet, various bacteria, microorganisms, pathogens also live in reservoirs.
In fatty varieties in large quantities can accumulate chlorinated hydrocarbons, mercury, polychlorinated biphenyls, dioxin.
Another danger is that even a normal, healthy fish caught in a clean reservoir, before it reaches the buyer, may have time to deteriorate due to incorrect storage or processing conditions, due to the expiration of the shelf life, violation of temperature. In such a product, parasites, helminths, poisons and toxins may appear as a result of the life of such "inhabitants". However, this fact practically does not bother sellers and manufacturers of fish products, therefore, in the market and in the supermarket you can find fish of the so-called “second freshness”, or even completely spoiled.
Separately, it should be mentioned canned fish - the usual can of sprats in tomato, if the process of fermentation and reproduction of bacteria has begun in it, can cause human death. The combination of “fish + canned food” is especially dangerous, since under preservation conditions the product is in a sealed, practically evacuated form, and all processes, including pathogenic ones, develop in it in a concentrated way. Reproduction in canned bacteria of botulism is especially dangerous.
The main types of fish poisoning
Depending on which factor caused the accumulation of toxins in the consumed fish, the following types of fish intoxication are distinguished:
- bacterial, which occur against the background of reproduction in fish of pathogenic bacteria, and the lack of proper processing of the product;
- poisoning by poison: it is known that some species of fish are poisonous to humans, for example, fugu fish or moray eels;
- poisoning with heavy metals, such as mercury, which accumulates in fish if it lives in water bodies with a high concentration of harmful substances;
- histidine poisoning, which is concentrated in mackerel fish species.
In the form of the flow of intoxication are distinguished:
- choleroid poisoning;
- paralytic fish poisoning.
In the first case, the victim feels signs similar to fever - diarrhea, vomiting, fever. With the development of the paralytic form of poisoning, in addition to abdominal pain and digestive disorders, a person develops disorders of the nervous system - a violation of skin sensitivity, numbness of the mouth and tongue, photophobia and others.
According to the type of fish and the method of its preparation, the following types of fish poisoning are distinguished:
- red fish poisoning;
Intoxication after taking red fish
This condition may be caused by the lack of proper heat treatment. The lovers of Japanese cuisine, namely sushi and rolls, put themselves at particular risk, as they may be accompanied by raw red fish. That is why gastroenterologists categorically do not recommend eating these exotic dishes for food. Red fish is flowing, and during migration along rivers can become infected with parasites.
Another danger - the fish, which has expired. A stale product becomes a source of toxins due to rapidly multiplying microbes.
Home-cooked or salted fish bought on the market is quite a popular snack. Anglers love to harvest their catch in this way. However, salted fish, if the technology of its preparation has been violated, if insufficient salt is used, or if the duration of salting is not maintained in accordance with the recipe, becomes a source of dangerous microorganisms. So, if the fish is harvested correctly, salt kills all the harmful bacteria in it, and the product spoils more slowly. A shop product can be dangerous in that unscrupulous sellers often try to sell a product that has already gone bad - by salting a fresh fish, and there is a chance to sell it under the guise of a normal, high-quality product.
It has a specific taste, with proper preparation does not lose its softness and juiciness. Such a delicacy is very appreciated by beer lovers. If the product is not kept at the right temperature for a sufficient amount of time, eating it is just as dangerous as raw fish.
Raw fish poisoning
In unprepared form, without temperature or any other processing, this food product can be infested with microbes and bacteria:
Raw fish may also contain a large concentration of heavy metals, poisons, toxins.
Boiled, fried and dried product
Poisoning in this case can cause rotten food, the quality of which even the cooking process is not able to improve. Stale, rotten fish can be identified by smell and appearance, and it can not be cooked, and cook in any other way too. With fried fish, a similar situation - if it was originally spoiled and stale, frying it will not save.
A dried dish is prepared under certain conditions, and if spoiled raw materials are used for this snack, the resulting snack can cause poisoning.
The most dangerous poisoning is due to the use of foul, stale product. The processes of decay, which are developing in it, turn such a fish into a real poison.
Cooked in this way, the fish can become a carcinogen, given that for smoking on an industrial scale, manufacturers usually do not use natural smoke, but chemicals. Violation of the technology of smoking also makes smoked food dangerous to humans.
Symptoms of poisoning: how to recognize
As mentioned above, usually poisoning with fish products occurs in one of two forms - cholera-like or paralytic, with the former being much more common, and the latter being considered more severe.
The development of cholera-like forms of poisoning is as follows:
- already in the first few hours a person feels a sharp pain in the abdomen;
- severe stool disorder, dehydration, nausea, vomiting begins, which continues even when the stomach is already empty;
- the affected person has weakness and the temperature rises sharply.
The duration of such a state can be from one to several days. During this time, a person who is constantly tormented by diarrhea and vomiting, vigorously loses water from the body. If the poisoning is severe and acute, it must be urgently taken to the hospital, otherwise the victim faces death.
The paralytic form is less common, as it is provoked by the consumption of reef fish, which in Eastern Europe is not particularly popular as a food product.
The incubation period lasts less than 5 hours. The lesion begins with sharp, spasmodic pains in the abdomen, intestines, and area of the liver. The pain is accompanied by diarrhea and vomiting. In contrast to the cholera-like type of poisoning, further symptoms of disorders of the nervous system work are added to the symptoms of fever:
- numbness of the lips, tongue, mouth;
- metallic taste in the mouth;
- severe skin itching;
- violation of the sensitivity of the skin;
- photophobia, eye pain from harsh light;
- increasing muscle weakness.
A severe form of poisoning is characterized by the appearance of heart and respiratory failure, in addition, the kidney may fail in the affected person. In this case, there is a real probability of death of a person with poisoning.
It should be noted that intoxication can be not only acute, with pronounced symptoms, but also chronic. Chronic fish poisoning occurs against the background of prolonged consumption of a product poisoned by chemicals or heavy metals. Some concentration of hazardous substances accumulates in fish. From one or two fish a person does not feel worse, but with the constant presence in the diet of contaminated food, the effect of accumulation takes effect. Poisons are gradually collected in the internal organs, blood vessels, tissues and cells, destroying them.
How to identify poisoning with fish? The exact answer to the question “what exactly caused the poisoning?” Can only be given by laboratory analysis. However, in the case when a person develops acute symptoms, it is not necessary to find out whether the intoxication is caused by fish or other products. In any case, if 1-3 hours after seafood or fish were eaten, the person has anxious symptoms and deterioration, first aid should be started immediately, and if signs indicate the development of acute, severe poisoning, Be sure to call an ambulance.
First aid to the victim of fish poisoning
The most important thing to do after the onset of symptoms of intoxication is to empty the patient's stomach. Especially popular for this purpose has always enjoyed a solution of potassium permanganate. On a three-liter bottle of clean and warm boiled water, add 2-3 crystals of potassium permanganate. The resulting solution has a pale pink color. However, potassium permanganate is not always in the home medicine cabinet, and now it is almost impossible to buy it in free circulation in the pharmacy. In this case, suitable and soda water solution - 1 teaspoon of soda is put into 1 liter of boiled water.
For continuous washes it will take up to 10 liters of the prepared solution. It must be warm to prevent hypothermia. In addition, warm fluid slows intestinal motility, inhibiting the further movement of toxins in the digestive tract.
The process of cleansing the stomach is far from the most pleasant, but it is absolutely necessary for the affected. He drinks from 3 to 6 glasses of solution, and then causes vomiting by pressing his fingers on the root of the tongue.
The procedure is repeated until the liquid emerging from the stomach becomes clear and clean.
Having finished washing, the patient takes absorbent drugs three or four times, with intervals of 15 minutes. This may be Enterosgel or activated carbon. The tool should be washed down with boiled water.
If a person feels relieved, he should be laid down, wrapped, and ensure complete rest. On the first day, it is forbidden to eat it - you need to give your intestines and stomach a break. On the second day it is allowed to use oatmeal on the water, vegetable soups, boiled rice. Until complete recovery, you need to follow a diet, that is, to abandon spicy, salty, fried foods, smoked meats, pickled products. It is forbidden to take soda. Mineral waters such as Borjomi and Yessentuki will be useful for the patient, but before taking them, you must completely release the gas. Drinking after poisoning is needed in large quantities to compensate for lost fluid and to prevent dehydration.
When an appeal to doctors is mandatory
The victim can survive some of the poisonings on his / her own if competent first aid at home is provided on time, or if the amount of food eaten was insignificant.
The “ambulance” call is obligatory if during the first-aid measures in case of poisoning with a fish of the affected person the temperature rises to 39 degrees and above.
In cases where a person initially felt weak signs of poisoning, washed the stomach, took sorbents, but over time it only gets worse, weakness, chills, dizziness, clouding of consciousness appear, it is necessary to urgently turn to doctors.
In addition, the “ambulance” must be called if:
- elderly people and children were poisoned;
- poisoning caused by poisonous species of fish;
- There are increasing symptoms of dehydration;
- the victim has signs of damage to the nervous system.
At home, it is impossible to fully cleanse the body of poisons that have entered it, and to compensate for the harm that intoxication has caused to it. In a medical facility, doctors come into the struggle for the life and health of the victim with a whole arsenal of drugs and manipulations.
Glucose solutions, vitamins, saline solutions are administered intravenously.
Botulism and fish poisoning
Botulism is considered the most terrible and dangerous form of poisoning with fish. The disease causes botulinum toxin, which enters the body, and its concentration may be very small - this is already enough for irreversible damage to all internal organs. Fish that have not undergone proper heat treatment may be infected with botulism pathogens. Getting into the oxygen-free sphere, pathogens begin to multiply rapidly, highlighting spores. Spores, in turn, produce a toxin. The use of smoked and dried fish, as well as canned fish in this regard is a lottery, since it is precisely in such products that the toxin of botulism pathogens can accumulate. If the manufacturer of the product negligently respected the technology of cooking such food, it becomes a deadly poison.
The primary signs of botulism are similar to the symptoms of ordinary poisoning - abdominal pain, diarrhea, fever. After a day, the patient's condition, it would seem, comes back to normal and stabilizes. But, unfortunately, this is only the beginning of the process of poisoning the body.By the end of the first day, the patient notes persistent constipation. Further, visual impairment disorders, double vision, squint, restriction of the mobility of the eyeballs, omission of the upper eyelids develop. In a person, swallowing is disturbed, nasal in the voice and a feeling of dry mouth appear. Asphyxia, asphyxiation, chest pain may occur. Muscle weakness gradually increases, which is especially noticeable in the muscles of the neck - after a while the patient can no longer hold his head, he has to help himself with his hands.
How to help a person if he shows signs of botulism? First aid, in addition to the procedure of gastric lavage, also implies the production of a cleansing enema with a solution of baking soda. The patient needs to take large quantities of absorbent drugs. If possible, he needs to put a dropper with a solution of hemodez, trisols and lactosols. Of course, all these actions are carried out after the ambulance is called.
Food poisoning by fish delicacies is, unfortunately, a very common phenomenon. In addition, the intoxication caused by fish poisons is considered difficult, as it is difficult for the body to tolerate, the use of dried, smoked and canned fish in general can cause a person to develop botulism, a deadly poisoning that cannot always be overcome even under conditions hospitals. In cases of suspected poisoning, it is necessary to provide the victim with first-aid care - to rinse the stomach, take sorbents, soothe, wait for the doctors to arrive.