Signs of Alcohol Poisoning

Alcohol depresses nerves that control involuntary actions such as breathing, the heartbeat and the gag reflex that prevents choking. A fatal dose of alcohol will eventually stop these functions. After the victim stops drinking, the heart keeps beating, and the alcohol in the stomach continues to enter the bloodstream and circulate through the system. The victim may experience the following:

  •  Mental confusion, stupor, coma, unable to rouse the person

  •  No response to pinching the skin

  •  Vomiting while sleeping or unresponsive

  •  Seizures

  •  Slowed breathing  (fewer than 8 breaths per minute)

  •  Irregular breathing (10 seconds or more between breaths)

  •  Hypothermia (low body temperature), bluish skin color, paleness

Alcohol Poisoning Requires Immediate Medical Attention
Drinking black coffee, taking a cold bath or shower, or sleeping or walking it off cannot reverse alcohol poisoning. The victim must have immediate medical attention. Call 911, stay with the victim to prevent him choking on vomit, and tell emergency personnel how much alcohol the victim drank.

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