Alcohol Poisoning: A Medical Emergency
Signs and Symptoms
- Unconsciousness or semiconsciousness.
- Slow breaths of 8 or less per minute, or lapses between respirations
of more than 8 seconds.
- Cold, clammy, pale, or bluish skin.
- These signs and symptoms will most likely be accompanied by a strong
odor of alcohol.
- This list is not all inclusive; use your common sense.
- If you encounter a person who exhibits these signs and symptoms, do
what you would do in any medical emergency: call 911 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 help arrives.
Sleeping It Off?
It is important to understand that even though a person may be semi-conscious,
alcohol already in the stomach may contiue to enter the bloodstream and
circulate throughout the body. Do not leave them alone. Do not let them
"sleep it off". Call for help!