General Question

kinder222's avatar

Is it a medical emergency if you swallow a splinter from treated wood?

Asked by kinder222 (81points) March 1st, 2015

So I’ve only posted twice on here now and they are both as opposite to each other as any post could get!

My Dad just rung me, he told me he’d swallowed a splinter in his workshop ( it flung into his coffee and he took a gulp) he said he couldn’t breathe and had a coughing fit that finally threw it up.

He told me that splinter was treated wood, arsenic etc etc and he said he was/is the sickest he’s ever been.

This was 4 days ago and of course he hasn’t and wont see a Dr, he’s told me he’s feeling better but how concerned should I be?

He lives alone, doesn’t look after himself, had 3 heart attacks before he finally took himself to the Dr – that kind of Dad….

Any thoughts?

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16 Answers

DrasticDreamer's avatar

Yeah, I mean… It’s always better to play it safe and see a doctor for potentially serious things. Do you know how large the splinter was? If it was a decent size, there’s also a chance that it punctured his esophagus or his intestines – depending on how far down it got before he managed to throw it up.

Regardless, it’s something that he should definitely see a doctor about.

trailsillustrated's avatar

Go check on him.

JLeslie's avatar

I’m not a doctor. If he threw it up because it actually made him sick, then yeah, probably a good idea to call poison control or get some tests run to make sure he doesn’t have high levels if chemicals in his blood.or urine or however they test it. That is if they can treat it. Why spend the money to know if they can’t do anything about it except tell you to drink plenty of water.

I have no idea how those chemical poisonings are treated. Poison control should know, just call the 800 number.

Edit: You can also call the manufacturer. They probably have information for when their employees get poisoned, but they probably will be reluctant to tell the truth if they have chemicals in there that shouldn’t be. Poison control and getting tests run are a better bet.

gailcalled's avatar

1 (800) 222–1222
American Association of Poison Control Centers

Hours: 24 hours, 7 days a week
Languages: English

BosM's avatar

How long has he been working with this material? Working with CCA requires proper precautions to protect against exposure to skin, eyes, and respiratory system. Ingestion would cause a problem as would breathing in airborne sawdust, getting particles in eyes, or touching the wood directly with his hands. Above all he shouldn’t burn it.

To assess risk consider two factors: toxicity and exposure. Ask your dad how he is protecting himself when working with this material. Inhaling a splinter can cause a reaction, but what you describe seems to indicate more exposure than a small splinter would cause.

Contact the National Pesticide Information Center at 1–800-858–7378, they should be able to answer your questions. Good luck, hope your dad feels better soon. If not take him to the doctor and make sure he is protecting himself against further exposure.

cazzie's avatar

It sounds like your father has a history of ignoring his health and well-being. I don’t know if this recent incident requires any sort of emergency attention. (I doubt it, he managed to throw up the splinter.) but your father seems to be the sort who needs a bit of encouragement to see a doctor and have regular check ups. I think you would have more luck encourage your father to have a good, steady relationship with a health professional, then get over-dramatic when an accident occurs. Your father is probably at more risk of age related disease than that of accidental poisoning. I would use this recent incident as an excuse to get him into a healthcare provider.

kinder222's avatar

Yeah thanks everyone. He is a builder, self employed and has worked haphazardly for years. No protection and I’m forever hassling him about it. I will try get him to a Dr. He doesn’t believe in them and still doesn’t think he had heart attacks even though they put in a stent! I will speak to him again, he said it was quite large and got stuck in his throat.

gailcalled's avatar

he said he was/is the sickest he’s ever been.

How old is this guy?

kinder222's avatar

He had me at 19.

gailcalled's avatar

How does he respond when you have a legitimate medical issue? With parental care and concern, or with the same cavalier attitude he directs towards his own health?

kinder222's avatar

He just laughs anything off. Says it all really – I’ve made him go to the dr today so will find out what’s happening soon I hope! He is still coughing really badly and says something feels stuck – it’s taken a week but he finally caved.

JLeslie's avatar

Oh, that is a little different. He might have a piece or particles stuck in his lungs. That’s different than poison control. Let us know what happens.

kinder222's avatar

So just to update, he went to the Dr and the Dr said he seemed fine – how without an x-ray or some internal diagnosis she figures that out I have no idea.
I spoke to him on the phone and he was coughing his lungs up – (sorry.)
He sounded pretty sick to me.

Anyway if the Dr says he’s fine then I guess he’s fine!

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

If your instincts are saying he’s sick and you don’t feel confident that he is fine, take him back to the doctor and make sure she knows he’s coughing or take him to a different doctor. Doctors make mistakes. Ask if she can organise for him to have an x-ray or some form of internal diagnosis if she’s not sure if there’s anything left inside him.

Listen to your instincts.

JLeslie's avatar

When? When was he coughing? When he first swallowed it? Or, still days later?

The doctor probably listened to his lungs with a stethoscope. If he is still symptomatic next week then maybe a different doctor for another opinion.

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