Alcohol poisoning represents definitively the most serious outcome and one of potential lethal complications associated with alcohol consumption. Severe alcohol poisoning carries a significant risk of serious brain damage and lethal outcome.
It is easy to recognize drunk people. Their judgment is impaired, their state of mind is hampered and there is an evident loss of coordination. Still, it is also important to recognize symptoms and signs of alcohol poisoning and act promptly in order to save a person's life. Alcohol poisoning develops due to acute intake of significant amount of alcohol. The person who is intoxicated may lose consciousness, there is an evident drop in body's temperature (hypothermia), person's skin is pale, breathing is irregular and slow. Furthermore, one may develop seizures, vomit and look confused.
How to Recognize Alcohol Poisoning?
It is essential to recognize symptoms and signs of alcohol poisoning, act at once and call for professional medical help.
Nausea and vomiting are introduction signs of alcohol poisoning. These signs actually represent the reaction of the body towards the excess of alcohol. The brains sends to rest of the body signals that there is too much alcohol in the body, actually more than the body is able to metabolize.
A person suffering from alcohol poisoning has no reflexes, the speech is slurred, there is no withdrawal from painful stimuli, a person is confused, there are difficulties to keep the person wake or to awake him/ her, one may behave erratic and there is a chance of seizures. In severe cases the breathing is slow, shallow and irregular. The skin becomes pale or cyanotic. And finally, intoxicated people lose ability to make eye contact or sustain conversation and they commonly pass out.
Treatment for Alcohol Poisoning
Since there is a great chance of choking (a person tends to vomit but may lose consciousness at the same time) it is essential to turn the person to lie sideways and to open the airways. Vomiting is effective way of elimination of excess of alcohol. Since intoxicated person develops hypothermia is is important for such people to be covered with warm blankets or a coat. Having a cold shower may only make the situation worse hence is not recommendable.
The person loses a lot of fluids by vomiting and this increases a chance of dehydration. To maintain optimal level of fluids inside the body the person is administered fluids intravenously. These patients may be also administered glucose. Increased intake of fluids increases urination and elimination of alcohol.
The intoxicated person must be thoroughly monitored. Breathing patterns are what doctors may pay attention to most. It is essential to keep the intoxicated person awake.
Once the person is administered in the hospital his/ her stomach is pumped. This way the excess of alcohol is removed from the stomach. And finally, kidney dialysis helps in elimination of the excess of alcohol from the blood stream.