Knowing the signs of alcohol poisoning and its treatment is critical, as it can often be fatal. Being able to recognize the symptoms of alcohol poisoning can make the difference between getting treatment in time In many cases this can make the difference between life or death.
Alcohol poisoning is what happens when someone drinks too much. Poisoning results when the amount of alcohol in the person’s body is more than they can absorb and eliminate.
Ingesting too much in a short period of time impacts your central nervous system and causes your heart rate and breathing to slow down to dangerous levels. It also affects a person’s gag reflex, making choking a serious threat.
Here are some of the signs and symptoms of alcohol poisoning to look out for:
Throwing up repeatedly
Shaking & Seizures
Slow and/or irregular breathing (less than 8 breaths per minute)
Clammy, Pale, or blue skin
Body temperature less than 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit.
Loss of consciousness (The person can not be wakened)
If you suspect someone is showing the signs of alcohol poisoning, call 911 IMMEDIATELY. Delaying treatment can be fatal.
If the person is still conscious but you are unsure about whether or not they are showing the signs of poisoning, you can also call the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222. The center will be able to help you decide if medical attention is necessary.
If someone you know needs treatment for alcohol poisoning, it is important to stay calm. Be sure you tell the hospital what – and how much the person has had if known. The hospital will likely do tests but telling them what you know will help make sure the person you care about gets the proper medical attention needed.
This medical attention may include any of these things:
- Ventilator/Breathing Support: Since alcohol severely impairs a person’s breathing, and choking is possible, the emergency staff will make sure the person’s airway is clear and provide oxygen if necessary.
- Intravenous Fluids: The treatment usually consists of making sure the person does not become dehydrated. Vitamins or other nutrients may be given intravenously (through a vein).
- Monitoring: The emergency staff will make sure the person is monitored carefully while receiving alcohol poisoning treatment. This will help them identify and quickly respond to any changes in breathing or heart rate.
What happens after alcohol poisoning is treated?
After a person recovers from alcohol poisoning (usually within 24-48 hours if prompt medical attention is administered), it is important that the person be assessed for alcoholism. For many alcoholics battling withdrawal and addiction, it is easy to start drinking again even after a scare such as being hospitalized. Speaking to an alcoholism rehab center can be beneficial after receiving treatment for alcohol poisoning – and a step in the right direction towards preventing it from happening again.