Dirt - swallowing
This is poisoning from swallowing or eating dirt.
This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of an actual poison exposure. If you have an exposure, you should call your local emergency number (such as 911) or the National Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.
There are no particular poisonous ingredients unless the dirt contains contaminants such as insecticides , herbicides, fertilizers, parasites, and waste.
Swallowing dirt may cause constipation and intestinal obstruction , which results in stomach pain.
Before Calling Emergency
Determine the following information:
- Patient's age, weight, and condition
- Time it was swallowed
- Amount swallowed
Poison Control, or a local emergency number
The National Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222) can be called from anywhere in the United States. This national hotline number will let you talk to experts in poisoning. They will give you further instructions.
This is a free and confidential service. All local poison control centers in the United States use this national number. You should call if you have any questions about poisoning or poison prevention. It does NOT need to be an emergency. You can call for any reason, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
See: Poison control center - emergency number
What to expect at the emergency room
The patient may not need to visit an emergency room. If the person goes to the hospital, treatment may include:
- Medicines to treat the symptoms
Recovery is very likely unless the dirt contains something that can cause complications.
Weinberg A, Levin MJ. Infections: parasitic and mycotic. In: Hay WW Jr, Levin MJ, Sondheimer JM, Deterding RR, eds. . 19th ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill; 2009:chap 39.