Mental health articles

OF mental health care and mentally ill

How to Treat Suicide

The medical treatment of suicide attempts

The general rule is that if you have a hospital nearby, rush a person who has attempted suicide there so that time is not wasted in case medical help is needed later.

Hanging, stabbing, gunshot wounds, deep cuts or burns

These are serious medical emergencies. While you are waiting for the person to be moved to hospital, monitor his breathing, blood pressure and pulse. Insert an intravenous line if the person’s blood pressure is low and administer normal saline. Oxygen should be given. If there is an open wound, clean it and apply a pressure bandage to stop the bleeding.

Overdose of insecticide or other substances

This is a common method of self-harm. If the person is awake, make an effort to make her vomit.

Vomiting can be induced by:

• drinking very salty water;

• one tablespoon of syrup of ipecacuanha.

Give powdered charcoal, which will help absorb the poison.

If there are signs of severe poisoning, such as paralysis, unconsciousness, convulsions or difficulty breathing, rush the person to hospital immediately.

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