Alcohol poisoning occurs when the body has consumed more alcohol in a short period of time than it can process. This is also known as Binge Drinking. Alcohol poisoning is a serious problem and sometimes deadly. A person body can only process one unit of alcohol in an hour. Any more amount of alcohol in the blood can stop the body from working properly.
The toxic effects of alcohol can overwhelm the body, lead to severe impairment, and potentially death. Drinking too much quickly can affect the breathing, heart rate, body temperature and lead to coma and death. Alcohol poisoning can occur to anyone, regardless of age and gender. Alcohol poisoning is a major problem. It leads to 2,000 American dying every year as a result, or an average of 6 per day.
The risk of alcohol poisoning is measured by a person’s Blood Animal Concentration level. BAC measures the alcohol percentage in blood-stream. It is expressed as the weight of ethanol in grams, in 100 milliliters of blood. BAC level can be calculated from blood, breath and urine tests.
How Does Alcohol Poisoning Develop?
The body breaks down i.e. metabolizes alcohol primarily in the Liver. The body can process 0.5 ounces of alcohol every hour. That is roughly how much alcohol is in one shot or one glass of wine. If an individual consumes more alcohol before breaking down of existing alcohol in the body, that alcohol remains in the blood-stream, ultimately increasing the BAC level.
With every additional drink, the danger of impairment in the body increases. Vision, speech, reaction time, decision making, hearing, memory, balance become impaired and the individual becomes incapable of functioning.
Signs of Alcohol Poisoning
To be aware of the signs of alcohol poisoning is critical. Some signs to watch out that include:
• Confusion or stupor.
• Vomiting, often uncontrollable while unconscious.
• Loss of coordination and Seizures.
• Slow or irregular breathing.
• Blue-tinged or pale skin.
• Low body temperature (hypothermia).
• Passing out and unconsciousness.
• Severely slurred speech.
How to Treat Alcohol Poisoning?
Acute alcohol poisoning is extremely dangerous, even the best intention could make it worse. There are many myths around about how to deal with people, so it’s a good idea to make sure what not to do. If alcohol poisoning is suspected, immediately call 911 and take some of the necessary steps:
• Never leave someone to sleep it off. Too much amount of alcohol in the blood stops the body working properly.
• Never give a coffee to them. Coffee will make someone more dehydrated and severe dehydration can cause permanent brain damage.
• Never make them sick as their gag reflex won’t be working properly so the vomiting could choke them.
• Never walk them around. Walking them around might cause accidents as their brain’s function is improper.
• Do not put an alcoholic person under a cold shower. A cold shower could make colder than they already are.
• Do not let them drink alcohol. It could reach a dangerously high level.
• If they can take the water, give them.
• Try to help them or keep them in a sitting position, not lying down.
• Do not lay them on their back.
• Careful monitoring.
• Oxygen therapy.
• Fluids are given through a vein to prevent dehydration.
• Use of Vitamins to prevent serious complication of alcohol poisoning.
How is this condition treated?
Once the individual is taken a hospital, they will receive medical treatment and staff and doctors monitor their condition and process out the alcohol of their body system. It was made sure that there is no remaining damage that should be treated.
Professional medical treatment for Alcohol Poisoning could include:
• Oxygen Therapy
• Intubation or other methods to prevent choking and help them in breathing
• Intravenous fluids to rehydrate the person from dehydration
• Vitamins and Glucose are given to raise blood sugar and prevent seizures.
• To remove remaining alcohol in the stomach, stomach pumping is done.
• Hemodialysis, especially for people who accidentally consume Ethanol, to filter toxins, and waste from the blood directly.
How to Prevent Alcohol Poisoning?
• Drink in moderation. Have one drink at most per day.
• Drink slowly and do not drink on an empty stomach.
• Make sure to drink sufficient water when required.
• Store the alcoholic product and out of the reach of the children.
• Educate your family members and friends about the dangerous effects of Alcohol Poisoning.