Alcohol Poisoning

Alcohol Poisoning

Posted Aug 12, 2021 by Cura Hospitals

Alcohol poisoning occurs due to an overdose of alcohol. Too much consumption of alcohol within a very short span of time causes alcohol to be mixed with the blood, to slow down heart rate, stop brain function and other important functions of the body.

Usually, liver drains out the alcohol toxins from the body. But liver cannot function properly, if alcohol is consumed too quickly. Alcohol poisoning can lead to coma and death.

Sometimes alcohol poisoning occurs when adults and children accidentally drink household items containing alcohol. Persons affected with alcohol poisoning require immediate medical intervention.

Symptoms of Alcohol Poisoning

Observing certain signs and symptoms, you can be assured of alcohol poisoning in a person. These symptoms include:

  1. Confusion
  2. Vomiting
  3. Seizures
  4. Slow breathing (less than eight breaths a minute)
  5. Irregular breathing (a gap of more than 10 seconds between breaths)
  6. Blue-tinged skin or pale skin
  7. Low body temperature (hypothermia)
  8. Slow responses (gag reflex)
  9. Passing out (unconsciousness) and can't be awakened

Causes of Alcohol Poisoning

All alcohol drinks contain ethyl alcohol or ethanol. Due to binge drinking within a short span of time, a person consumes more amount of ethyl alcohol or ethanol which results in alcohol poisoning. When a male consumes five or more alcoholic drinks within two hours, or a female consumes at least four drinks within two hours, it is called binge drinking.

Besides, consuming isopropyl alcohol (found in rubbing alcohol, lotions and some cleaning products) and methanol or ethylene glycol (found in antifreeze, paints and solvents) knowingly or unknowingly can cause alcohol poisoning that require immediate medical treatment.

After binge drinking although a person becomes unconscious and stops drinking, alcohol continues to be released from stomach and intestines and gets into bloodstream resulting in the rise of alcohol level in body.

Risk Factors of Alcohol Poisoning

Usually men consume more alcohol than women. Men and middle aged people are more prone to suffer from alcohol poisoning as middle aged people take more prescription drugs compared to the young adults. The risk factors of developing alcohol poisoning include:

  1. Body Weight
  2. overall health
  3. alcohol tolerance
  4. food eaten recently
  5. effect of drugs
  6. amount and speed of drinking alcohol
  7. amount of alcohol in the drink

Alcohol Poisoning Diagnosis

Doctors diagnose alcohol poisoning by observing certain symptoms. They also recommend for certain blood tests and urine tests to check alcohol level in the body.

Treatment for Alcohol Poisoning

When a person is brought to the doctor suspecting alcohol poisoning, the doctors at first pump out the alcohol from the stomach. This prevents alcohol getting mixed with the bloodstream.

At the hospital, the doctors also use certain procedures to treat alcohol poisoning. These are:

  1. Sending fluids through an IV
  2. Supplying extra oxygen to help the patient breathe
  3. Flushing off toxins from the stomach
  4. Removing toxins from blood

Prevention of Alcohol Poisoning

With little awareness and precautions, alcohol poisoning can be averted. These precautions are:

  1. Always drink in moderation. It’s best for men to have not more than two drinks a day and for women only one.
  2. Alcoholic drinks can be alternated with non-alcoholic drinks, such as: water.
  3. Drinking in an empty stomach should be avoided.
  4. Avoid drinking while taking prescription medicines or other drugs.
  5. Avoid playing drinking games or using funnels or beer bongs.

About CURA

CURA, Multispeciality Hospital Bangalore has an excellent world class set up to treat patients suffering from minor to severe ailments. Our doctors, nurses and support staffs are very much caring and sincere about their jobs. In our Out-patient Department and Emergency the attending doctors and nurses treat the patients with empathy. With their immediate intervention, and superior experiences they have saved the lives of hundreds and thousands of accident victims and of those who require instant medical interventions.

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Published by Cura Hospitals

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