Crisis Control: Alcohol Poisoning

Crisis Control: Alcohol Poisoning

By Aayushi Sardana

What is Alcohol Poisoning, What are its symptoms and what do you do when you know someone experiencing it?

            Alcohol Poisoning is the over consumption of alcohol in a short period of time. Alcohol is categorized as a depressant so when consumed it is responsible for depressing the activity of the Central Nervous System. Here is why alcohol poisoning is so dangerous. Excessive intake of alcohol can lead to unconsciousness putting the individual at risk of inhaling and choking on vomit. As per its depressant nature, alcohol dilates an individual’s blood vessels leading to a rapid release of heat putting the individual at risk of developing hypothermia. Also, like any drug that impairs an individual, alcohol puts the individual at risk of falling and incurring a potential physical injury.

            Alcohol Poisoning is a condition that is sometimes very hard to identify until the individual is already unconscious at which point 911 should be immediately called. The individual usually strongly smells of alcohol, has a full, bounding pulse, is exhibiting deep, noisy breathing and if it has progressed far enough is unconscious. In later stages of unconsciousness, the individual may exhibit a bloated face, shallow breathing, weak, rapid pulse and dilated pupils that react poorly to light.

            Now what can you do when you have identified an individual as potentially suffering form Alcohol Poisoning? If the individual is conscious, call 911, cover them up with a coat or blanket to protect them from the cold and make note of any injuries that they may have and how they were incurred. Also make sure to monitor any visible changes in the way they are breathing or acting. If the individual is unconscious, immediately call 911; if the individual is unconscious and breathing place the individual on his side in the recovery position (on their side). If the individual is not breathing or is gasping be prepared to administer CPR if you feel comfortable enough to do so. As per CPR regulations you are not required to give an individual rescues breaths unless you want to; chest compressions are the important part. After all, the individual is unconscious so regardless of their condition make sure NOT to induce vomiting.

            According to the CDC, the excessive consumption of alcohol has led to approximately 79,000 deaths per year. If you are ever in a situation where you think that an individual is suffering from this condition immediately call for help. These deaths are preventable and rely in the hands of people just like you and me.