How to Recognize Alcohol Poisoning
Signs and Symptoms of Alcohol Poisoning
- Unconscious or semi-consciousness and cannot be awakened.
- There is no response to pinching the skin or other physical stimuli (gentle shaking, etc.)
- The person vomits while passed out and does not wake up during or after.
- The person has seizures.
- Slow respiration (breaths) of eight or less per minute or lapses between breaths of more than eight seconds.
- Irregular breathing.
- Cold, clammy, pale or bluish skin -especially around the lips and nose. In the event of alcohol poisoning, these signs and symptoms will most likely be accompanied by a strong odor of alcohol. While these are obvious signs of alcohol poisoning, the list is certainly not all inclusive.
What Can You Do to Help?
- Call 911 immediately Do what you would do in any medical emergency—call immediately.
- While waiting for 911 emergency transport, gently turn the intoxicated person on his/her side and maintain that position by placing a pillow in the small of the person’s back. This is important to prevent aspiration (choking) should the person vomit.
- Stay with the person until medical help arrives.
- If a person appears to be “sleeping it off” it is important to realize that even though a person may be semi-conscious, alcohol already in the stomach may continue to enter the bloodstream and circulate throughout the body. The person’s life may still be in danger.
- Do not wait for all of the signs to appear and do not try to guess the level of drunkenness
- Do not leave the person alone
- Place the person on his or her side
- If vomiting occurs, clear the airway by sweeping vomited material out of their mouth
- Monitor their breathing and heart rate
- If breathing and heart rate cease, begin CPR
How to Help an Intoxicated Friend
When a friend is Intoxicated:
- CONTINUALLY MONITOR THE INTOXICATED PERSON.
- CHECK THEIR BREATHING, waking them often to be sure they are not unconscious.
- A DRUNK PERSON should not be put in charge of another drunk person.
- DO NOT exercise the person.
- DO NOT allow the person to drive a car or ride a bicycle.
- DO NOT give the person food, liquid, medicines or drugs to sober them up.
- DO NOT give the person a cold shower; the shock of the cold could cause unconsciousness.
REMEMBER: THE ONLY THING THAT CAN SOBER A DRUNK IS TIME!!!!