Alcohol Poisoning: What to Do When You Recognize It

Alcohol poisoning is a life-threatening condition that requires emergency care . It occurs when a person a person has so much alcohol in the bloodstream that the function of basic bodily systems is compromised. These include breathing, heart rate, and body temperature. If you suspect that someone may be suffering from alcohol poisoning, it’s essential to call 911 immediately. Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center responds swiftly to all types of medical emergencies, including alcohol poisoning.

Getting Emergency Care

It’s a common misconception that a person with alcohol poisoning can simply sleep off the effects without suffering serious consequences. In fact, alcohol poisoning can be deadly . Even after a person passes out from binge drinking, alcohol continues to be released into the bloodstream. Call 911 immediately if you observed any symptoms of alcohol poisoning, which may include loss of consciousness, confusion, stupor, seizures, slow or irregular breathing, or vomiting. Stay with the individual while awaiting emergency responders.

Performing the Bacchus Maneuver

Alcohol poisoning inhibits the gag reflex. This means that a person who passes out may be at risk of choking on his or her own vomit. The 911 dispatcher may instruct you to perform the Bacchus Maneuver if the individual is lying on his or her back. First, raise the person’s arm that is closest to you above that individual’s head. Carefully roll the individual toward you while protecting the head from injury. The head should rest in front of the raised arm, not on top of it. Tuck the hand of the other arm under the person’s lowest cheek to tilt the head up and keep the airway open.

Keeping the Person Calm and Comfortable

If the individual is cold, you can place a warm blanket over him or her. Even if the individual maintains consciousness, do not offer him or her any type of food, drink, or medication. Alcohol can cause some people to become hostile. Remain calm, and do not attempt to reason with, counsel, or threaten the person.

The emergency care team at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center is always available to initiate rapid assessments and medical interventions for critically ill patients. In addition to offering emergency care to Las Vegas residents, our community hospital is a proud provider of exceptional stroke care and heart health services. Please call 911 immediately if you or someone else requires emergency care; otherwise, you can call our hospital at (702) 233-5300.

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