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First Aid & Emergencies

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Ricin Poisoning

Call 911

Ricin is a poison made from castor beans, from which castor oil derives. It can be in the form of powder, mist or pellet. Exposure to ricin may lead to severe organ damage and death.

1. Get Away From the Source

  • If you are outdoors, move away from the area where ricin was released.
  • If ricin was released indoors, get out of the building.

2. Call 911

3. Remove Contaminated Clothing

  • Do not remove clothing over person's head. Cut or tear it off.
  • Place contaminated clothing and anything that touches it into a plastic bag.
  • Seal the bag, put the bag into another plastic bag, and seal that bag.

4. Wash Entire Body With Soap and Water

5. Follow Up

  • At the hospital, treatment will depend on the type and extent of exposure and symptoms. The person may receive intravenous fluids, medications to control seizures, and stomach flushing if ricin was ingested.


WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on November 02, 2015

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