First Aid for Alcohol Poisoning - Health Education - DesiMD Healthcare - India

First Aid for Alcohol Poisoning

Authored by DesiMD Doctor on 18 Feb 2016 - 14:09


Alcohol is a toxin and if taken in excess amounts, in a short span, it can lead to alcohol poisoning. Alcohol poisoning in clinical terms means having high levels of alcohol in the blood that causes grave damage to major organs in the body, ultimately leading to death. Consuming too much alcohol can affect the brain and obstruct the nervous system. It affects the mental and physical body functions such as speech, sight, coordination and memory. Alcohol poisoning can lead a person into deep unconsciousness, slow down or shut down their respiration, reduce body temperature and possibly lead to coma or death. It can be life-threatening and therefore needs immediate medical attention.

The Fallout of Alcohol Poisoning 

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) reports that acute alcohol poisoning is associated with  unintentional injuries like burns, falls, drowning, auto crashes and also intentional injuries like firearm injuries, domestic violence, sexual assault. In India, in the last two decades, the number of individuals who have taken alcohol has alarmingly moved up from one, in 300 to one, in 20. According to the Lancet Journal, more than half of those who consume alcohol in India would fall into the category of hazardous drinking.  About 14 million people in India who are dependent on alcohol are in need of help.

Symptoms of Alcohol Poisoning

  • Slow breathing
  • Nausea
  • Severe dehydration from vomiting
  • Moist face
  • Pounding pulse
  • Unconsciousness
  • Confusion and slurred speech
  • Hypothermia
  • Paleness
  • Seizures
  • Altered breathing pattern
  • Drowsiness
  • Mood swings including depression and anxiety
  • Abdominal pain

First Aid for Alcohol Poisoning

If you are with someone who has been drinking a lot of alcohol and you observe any of the above signs or symptoms, you can help them in the following ways:

  • Firstly assure them and cover them with a blanket to keep them warm.
  • Check, if they have any injuries (particularly on the head) or any other medical conditions
  • If they are not fully conscious, place them into recovery position
  • Make sure that the intoxicated individual is sleeping on his/her side with a pillow and not on the back. This will prevent them from choking if they vomit.
  • Check and monitor their breathing, level of response and pulse
  • Never let an intoxicated individual swim, ride a bike or drive a car
  • Keep the person away from skateboards, machinery and other hazards
  • If the intoxicated person is vomiting continuously, showing irregular or slow breathing or is unconscious, it becomes an emergency situation and an ambulance should be called immediately for medical care.

If alcohol poisoning is left untreated, it can lead to serious health disorders, including potential permanent brain damage or even death.




Reference:Journal: Lancet Journal


*Disclaimer: This website serves as informational purpose only. The content on the DesiMD website, including text, graphics, images, etc., and other content on the DesiMD are for informational purpose only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on the DesiMD website. In case of a medical emergency, call your physician or the hospital immediately. DesiMD does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions or other information that may be mentioned on the site. Reliance on any information provided by DesiMD at the invitation of DesiMD, or other visitors to the site is solely at your own risk.