Acute alcohol poisoning is something that occurs when someone drinks too much alcohol at one time or within a short period and it causes a flood of alcohol into the bloodstream. Binge drinking is the most common reason for acute alcohol poisoning. Binge drinking is when either a woman consumes 4 or more drinks within 2 hours or when a man consumes 5 or more drinks within 2 hours.
Information on Acute Alcohol Poisoning
Drinking too much alcohol too quickly will lead to serious impairments and can cause serious damage and, in some instances, it can even be deadly. Acute alcohol poisoning comes with some serious side effects that you should know about in the event you or someone around you experiences this. Knowing the symptoms can be the difference between life and death and they include:
- Slowed heart rate
- Passing out or difficulty remaining conscious
- Clammy and blue colored skin
- Extremely low body temperature and eve hypothermia
- Slowed and irregular breathing (less than 8 times per minute)
- Confusion and slowed responses
- Vomiting while being passed out and not waking up when it happens
- Problems with bladder and bowel control
The Dangers of Acute Alcohol Poisoning
Acute alcohol poisoning is a serious health risk and should not be taken lightly. The CDC reports that there are around 2,200 deaths related to alcohol poisoning every single year in the United States. If you see someone with these symptoms or if you suspect someone has acute alcohol poisoning, do not hesitate to call 911 immediately. You do not have to wait for the person to be exhibiting all of these symptoms either to call for help.
More About Alcohol Poisoning
Do not take a chance and try playing doctor with someone experiencing alcohol poisoning because the results can be deadly. Things like cold showers, walking, and hot coffee will not help them or reverse the effects of acute alcohol poisoning. This condition has to be treated by a medical and clinical team at a hospital or by first responders. Once someone is in a state of alcohol poisoning, they have basically almost drunk themselves to death, and are most likely in delirium, unresponsive, unconscious, or close to it. After you have called 911 and are waiting for medical help to arrive, there are a few things you can do to help prepare them when help arrives or keep them safe in the meantime including:
- Get them prepared for when help arrives so that you can provide any information to responders when they get there. Try and ask the person the amount of alcohol they have consumed, if they have used any other drugs, and any other health information about them. This can include things like medications they are taking, allergies, and any health conditions.
- Do not leave the person with acute alcohol poisoning alone. If they are alone they are at a greater risk of harming themselves by falling or choking. Instead, keep the person sitting on the ground in an upright position. Having them in a chair or standing can cause a fall.
- Make sure you help them if they are vomiting. Lean them forward a little bit if they are choking. If the person happens to be unconscious and lying down, roll them onto their side so they do not choke on their vomit.
Medical Professionals Deal With Alcohol Poisoning
Once a person with acute alcohol poisoning is at a hospital or with medical help, they can take over from there. You have done your part to keep them alive. There are a few different things that medical professionals and doctors will do to treat acute alcohol poisoning. They may administer IV fluids to treat dehydration and increase their blood sugar levels. If they are having trouble breathing properly, they will likely give oxygen either through the nose or down the windpipe if they are having trouble breathing on their own. Stomach pumping is likely also going to be done. It is a way to clear the person’s stomach of any toxins and prevent further poisoning. Alcohol poising is very dangerous and the best way to avoid it, to begin with, is to avoid binge drinking. Listen to your body and be watch how much you are drinking.