How to Help Someone Who Swallows Gasoline: 13 Steps

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How to Help Someone Who Swallows Gasoline: 13 Steps
How to Help Someone Who Swallows Gasoline: 13 Steps

Sometimes people accidentally swallow some gasoline when trying to siphon fuel tanks by "pulling" it with their mouths. Despite being an unpleasant and even frightening experience, going to the hospital may not even be necessary, as long as proper care is administered. However, swallowing large amounts of gasoline can be extremely dangerous; 30 ml, in adults, or 15 ml, in children, can cause intoxication and even be fatal. Be very careful when helping someone who has swallowed gasoline, never inducing the person to vomit. If you are worried or unsure what to do, call an ambulance right away.


Method 1 of 2: Helping a person who has swallowed a small amount of gasoline

Help Someone Who Has Swallowed Gasoline Step 1

Step 1. Stay close to the victim and help them to be calm

Reassure her by telling her that this “accident” is normal and that no one has ever had major problems when swallowing some of the fuel. Encourage the individual to take a deep, calm breath and relax.

Help Someone Who Has Swallowed Gasoline Step 2

Step 2. Do not encourage the person to vomit gasoline

Small amounts of gasoline are practically harmless once they reach the stomach, which is not true for accidentally inhaling a few drops of fuel, which can cause serious respiratory problems. When vomiting, the person's chance of inhaling gasoline is much greater, that is, it is something that should not be done.

If the victim vomits spontaneously, help him/her to lean far forward, preventing the contents from being aspirated. Ask her to rinse her mouth thoroughly immediately after vomiting and contact emergency services

Help Someone Who Has Swallowed Gasoline Step 3

Step 3. Give her a glass of water or juice to drink after washing her mouth with water, asking her to drink slowly and not cough or choke

If the person is unconscious, do not force them to drink and call emergency services immediately.

  • Do not give her milk unless the rescue team recommends it, as this liquid can make her body absorb gasoline more quickly.
  • Sparkling drinks should also be avoided as they increase the chance of belching.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol for at least 24 hours.
Help Someone Who Has Swallowed Gasoline Step 4

Step 4. Contact your city's poison center and explain the situation

If the person has acute symptoms such as coughing, difficulty breathing, drowsiness, nausea, vomiting, or any other more serious symptoms, call an ambulance.

Help Someone Who Has Swallowed Gasoline Step 5

Step 5. Help the victim get the gasoline off the skin

She should remove all clothing that came in contact with gasoline, putting it aside. Rinse the affected areas with tap water for two or three minutes and then apply mild soap. Rinse the skin again and dry it.

Help Someone Who Has Swallowed Gasoline Step 6

Step 6. The victim must not smoke for at least 72 hours, just as no one must light cigarettes around him

Gasoline and its vapors are extremely flammable, so any kind of smoke can cause a fire. Cigarette smoke can also exacerbate the damage that gasoline does to a victim's lungs.

Help Someone Who Has Swallowed Gasoline Step 7

Step 7. Continue reassuring the subject that gas vapor eructation is normal in this situation

This can go on for up to several days, or disappear within 24 hours. Drinking other fluids can provide some relief to the victim and help the gasoline leave the body more quickly.

If the person starts to feel ill, take them to the doctor

Help Someone Who Has Swallowed Gasoline Step 8

Step 8. Thoroughly wash gasoline-stained robs

Clothes stained with fuel can cause fires and should be left outdoors and allowed to dry for at least 24 hours, allowing gasoline vapor to evaporate before washing. Each piece must be washed separately and in hot water. Adding ammonia or baking soda helps with fuel removal. Let the clothes air dry and check if the gasoline smell has disappeared; otherwise, repeat the process.

Do not put gasoline-smelling clothing in a dryer or it could catch fire

Method 2 of 2: Helping a person who has swallowed a lot of gasoline

Help Someone Who Has Swallowed Gasoline Step 9

Step 1. Keep any remaining gasoline away from the person

The first priority is to ensure that the victim does not ingest more of the fuel. If she is unconscious, skip directly to Step 3.

Help Someone Who Has Swallowed Gasoline Step 10

Step 2. Any child who swallows gasoline will be in danger

When you suspect that a child has swallowed gasoline, treat the situation as an emergency, regardless of how much is ingested.

Help Someone Who Has Swallowed Gasoline Step 11

Step 3. Call 192

Explain the situation in as much detail as possible so that a SAMU ambulance can come to answer the call. If the victim is a child, state explicitly that the situation is very urgent.

Help Someone Who Has Swallowed Gasoline Step 12

Step 4. Monitor the victim closely

If she is conscious, reassure her and let her know that help is on the way, asking her not to vomit. If the person seems to be able to drink, offer water and help them remove gasoline-covered garments, as well as rinse and remove the fuel from their body.

If the victim vomits, help her to lean forward or turn her head to the side, avoiding aspiration of bile and gagging

Help Someone Who Has Swallowed Gasoline Step 13

Step 5. If you notice that the person has stopped breathing, coughing, and moving, not responding to your calls, start CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) immediately

Place her on her back and begin chest compressions. Push the victim's chest about two inches with each compression. Do thirty quick compressions, averaging about one hundred per minute. Then tilt her head back and lift her chin. Close your nostrils and give mouth-to-mouth breathing until you feel the victim's chest rising. Breathe quickly into her mouth twice more and do another series of compressions.

  • Repeat the cycle of thirty chest compressions and two more blows into the person's mouth until the person recovers or the ambulance arrives.
  • If you are on the phone with emergency services, the operator will advise you on the best method for performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
  • The Red Cross recommends that the process be carried out in the same way for children, except in the case of very young children or infants, where the compression should be 3, 8 cm deep.


  • Do not, under any circumstances, make the person who swallowed gasoline vomit. This could make her situation worse.
  • Ever store gasoline in a safe and properly designated container, out of reach of children.
  • Never store gasoline in a beverage container, such as an old water bottle.
  • Never drink gasoline, regardless of the reason.
  • Not use the gas siphon with your mouth. Buy a siphon pump or use air pressure.


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