February 22, 2012

What is Alcohol Poisoning and How Does it Affect the Body?

Posted in Category : General Health

Alcohol poisoning occurs when, in a very short time, you have consumed a very large amount of alcohol. This condition is particularly dangerous because it impedes the normal functions of the body such as breathing, your heart rate and also your blood pressure. Binge drinking is usually the most important cause of alcohol poisoning and occurs when at least four measures of alcohol have been consumed one after the other. Most people also believe that consumption of insufficient snack while drinking also leads to alcohol poisoning.

It is not very difficult to spot somebody affected by alcohol poisoning. There are some very evident signs the person will exhibit in such cases. The main signs of alcohol poisoning are clammy skin, slow and irregular breathing, vomiting, and unconsciousness. The other signs include low body temperature and occasional seizures. Any person suffering from these signs while consuming or just after the consumption of alcohol would need immediate attention. Here are some things that you should do in order to help the affected person recover:

  • A person suffering from alcohol poisoning should be taken to a medical care facility at once or emergency medical care services should be notified.
  • You can also provide supportive care for person suffering from alcohol poisoning by ensuring that they are able to breathe properly without being encumbered in any way.
  • Because alcohol serves as irritant to the stomach, most people who have ingested too much alcohol may also be vomiting while being unconscious. Since the gag reflex is suspended in a state of unconsciousness, it is very possible that the person could choke on their vomit. This could cause serious harm to their lungs or could also prove fatal in a few cases.

Besides this there are also other points that need to be kept in mind when handling a person affected with alcohol poisoning.

  • Ensure that the person is sitting upright and is in no danger of choking.
  • You could also provide oxygen to help them breathe easier.
  • It may also be recommended that the person’s stomach be pumped to empty it of alcohol. Using this treatment for alcohol poisoning would depend on how long it has been since the person has ingested the alcohol. If a substantial period of time has elapsed, pumping the stomach would serve no purpose because the alcohol would have entered the blood and there would be no alcohol to expel from the stomach.
  • It is also important to prevent dehydration in the person. To ensure this, you can put the person on an IV and administer saline fluids. This will restore the water balance of the body and will also replace any lost electrolytes.
  • If the person had ingested methanol, it is recommended that dialysis be considered one of the options of get rid of the alcohol from the blood stream.
  • It is also important that you do not leave the person who is affected by the condition alone and be with them at every point.

It is very important that you pay careful attention in the event anyone is affected by alcohol poisoning. The best treatment in these cases is prevention. Getting carried away and drinking without setting limits will only put you in danger of suffering with the condition and causing harm to the body. It is therefore important that you know your limits and not go overboard when it comes to consumption of alcohol. If you are a first timer you need to be all the more cautious and careful as it is very easy to fall prey to such situations.