Alcohol poisoning


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Within the moderate alcohol consumption, a person gets elated, has a slight feeling of euphoria, and looseness. All troubles seem insignificant and lose their importance. That is why many people take alcohol.
But this pleasant state does not last long, if a person is increasing the dose of alcohol. With the increase of its concentration in the blood the adequacy of perception of the environment is lost, and the self-control practically disappears. Here to stay, but the threshold of normal perception of reality has been overcome, and the alcohol entering the body becomes poison for the man. There appear the signs of alcohol poisoning.

Some people may get severe poisoning even with a small dose of alcohol. This happens when one is hypersensitive to alcohol.
Therefore, if there is a suspicion of such poisoning, call the emergency ambulance.
The initial signs of alcohol poisoning are: sweating, hectical look, unhealthy shining eyes, and rapid pulse. Within a strong alcohol intoxication a person begins to speak loudly, his concentration markedly reduces, and self-esteem becomes excessive.

All personal features that were hushed up in a state of sobriety become visible.

If at this stage of intoxication the alcohol intake is stopped, the next day the poisoning of an organism will be felt as a hangover. For many centuries of drinking alcohol people have gained experience in bringing themselves up in the morning after a stormy held feast. The easiest way to get rid of a mild hangover is a hot cup of coffee or tea, better with lemon. These drinks relieve fatigue and headache. If time and health permit, it’s good to visit steam bath in the morning, because sweating allows the body to be cleaned of harmful decomposition products of alcohol.

Alcohol poisoning

The next stage of alcohol poisoning occurs when the alcohol intake continues. This stage is more severe. Alcohol poisoning at this stage has the following symptoms. People often have vomiting which serves a protective reaction to the intoxication, the patient has poor spatial awareness, and his condition is gradually worsening, because his breathing and movements get hampered. This state is dangerous because it can lead to respiratory paralysis and fatal outcome.

Alcohol poisoning. The first aid

What to do if there occurred a heavy alcohol poisoning? One should immediately call the emergency ambulance, and while awaiting of the doctors, try to help the patient. Even in the severe stage of poisoning you can save a person, if you act quickly and skillfully. The first aid within the alcohol poisoning is the same as in any other case of poisoning.

First of all, cover the patient with warm blanket, because the alcohol is dilating the blood vessels and the person loses heat very quickly. After that you need to free the patient’s stomach from the residues of alcohol to avoid further intoxication. This can be done via inducing vomiting. The popularly known way is to give the patient to drink a cold soda solution and pressing with your finger on the root of his tongue to induce vomiting. It is important to take care that the vomit doesn’t get into the respiratory tract, otherwise the patient may suffocate. It is better to turn the patient on side. After he vomits, you can give the patient an activated charcoal — 20 tablets at once. But better is to call emergency ambulance as quickly as possible.

If a man is in a very bad condition and does not control his actions, the gastric lavage should not be done, because the liquid can be inhaled and cause suffocation. When the patient is unconscious before the arrival of doctors one must take care to avoid impaction of the patient’s tongue, as well as a sudden spluttering of vomiting.

In case of violation of breathing helps the subcutaneous injection of caffeine or cordiamin. If breathing has stopped, you need to clean the patient’s mouth and make an artificial respiration to the patient. Alcohol poisoning requires further treatment, as intoxication of the organism does not go unnoticed.

The terrible sign of acute alcohol poisoning is a comatose condition of the patient. It can be recognized by the following features: the patient’s face gets of bluish color, the skin becomes cold and clammy, the breathing becomes intermittent, and the pulse gets filiform. This condition requires immediate help of intensivist.

Probability of alcoholic coma is especially big if a person with average weight and who’s rarely drinking alcohol takes in a short time 150-180 grams of alcohol in terms of pure spirit (or 450 grams of vodka). The concentration of alcohol in his blood will be 0.3% or more.

Poisoning with alcohol substitutes

The patient has a particularly bad condition, if he had been poisoned with alcohol substitutes. They contain abundant substances which cause the poisonous influence on the liver and brain. The consequences of such poisoning can be very serious for the human organism.

What is meant by alcohol substitutes? The alcoholic substitutes are the liquids that are not intended for use as a beverage. These include: household chemicals, cosmetics (colognes, perfumes, lotions), automotive fluids (glass washer, brake fluid), drugs (tincture of motherwort, hawthorn), and others.

Among surrogates there are those that contain ethyl alcohol and are dangerous only due to admixtures and additives, and there are others — which contain the methyl alcohol. The latter decompose in the body and release toxins that lead to severe poisoning, blindness and death. The lethal dose after ingestion is 100 ml (without preliminary intake of ethanol).

To avoid becoming a victim of alcohol surrogates, it is better not to drink alcohol at all, because it is not possible to distinguish the methyl spirit from ethyl neither by the taste or odor, nor by the color.

A separate category of alcoholic substitutes is counterfeit alcoholic beverages. Vodka, cognac, wine, liqueur, made with violation of the technology, can be hazardous to human health. This drink not only will not give pleasure after being used, but can cause severe poisoning.

Alcohol poisoning 2

Are there any signs specific to poisoning by alcohol surrogates?

The first signs of this poisoning are similar to those that occur in cases of poisoning with a large number of quality alcohol: nausea, dizziness, ataxia, faltering tongue. If the patient is seeing spots and there’s throbbing in his temples, occur aching stomach and persistent vomiting, there is a suspicion of poisoning with methyl alcohol. A medical emergency is needed, as the patient’s condition can rapidly deteriorate. The consequences of such poisoning are very dangerous. These are damage and even complete loss of hearing and vision, convulsions, loss of consciousness, coma and even death.

Prior to the arrival of doctors in cases of poisoning with alcohol substitutes the patient must given the first aid, the same as in the case of an ordinary food poisoning — causing a gag reflex so that toxins did not continue to poison the organism.

If there are difficulties with the arrival of the emergency ambulance, then you need to act: every 2 hours give the patient 50 ml of 30% ethanol (4-5 times a day). If the patient will continue to stay at home, he should do gastric lavage for three days, since methanol is released from the body through the lining of the stomach.

But the self-treatment of methanol poisoning can only be held in mild cases. If the patient is unconscious, it means that his condition is serious. You need to check his pulse on the carotid arteries, and if it’s missing, turn the patient on his back, make him the chest thrust and call the resuscitation service immediately.

If you know exactly that the poisoning is caused by alcohol substitutes, let the patient drink a little vodka of a good quality. Once ingested, ethanol inhibits the decomposition of methanol and the condition of the poisoned will be milder. It is necessary to put the patient on his stomach, turn his head to one side, to unbutton his shirt and unclasp the belt to facilitate breathing. In the room you need to open the window, because in this condition the patient needs a lot of oxygen.

If the poisoned is unconscious, he should be given a sniff of sal ammoniac or vinegar. Also you should rub his temples with sal ammoniac and wait for the arrival of emergency ambulance.


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