Know the Signs of Alcohol Poisoning

Alcohol poisoning is a possible consequence of binge drinking. Individuals who have alcohol poisoning require immediate medical attention at a community hospital, since this condition can be life-threatening. Drinking too much alcohol in a short period of time affects many of the body’s vital functions, including breathing, heart rate, and body temperature. The Emergency Department at Riverside Community Hospital is always available to provide life-saving interventions to critical patients.

Physical Appearance

One way to determine if someone could be suffering from alcohol poisoning is to evaluate his or her physical appearance. He or she may develop unusually pale skin or skin that appears to have a bluish hue. These visible signs of alcohol poisoning can indicate hypothermia.

Mental State

A person with alcohol poisoning may display signs of confusion or stupor. It is also common for alcohol poisoning to cause the loss of consciousness. If the individual passes out, you may not be to awaken him or her. It’s important not to mistake the loss of consciousness for being normal, harmless sleep. Even when a person with alcohol poisoning loses consciousness, alcohol will continue to be released into the bloodstream. In other words, it is not safe to assume that a person can “sleep off” alcohol poisoning. He or she will need to be seen at the local hospital right away.

Respiratory Function

Another way to identify alcohol poisoning is to assess the individual’s breathing. The person may display abnormally slow breathing, which may be defined as fewer than eight breaths per minute. Irregular breathing can occur, which is generally indicated by a gap of greater than 10 seconds between breaths. Additionally, the person may begin gasping for breath.

If you feel that someone may be suffering from alcohol poisoning or another medical emergency, please call 911 right away. Residents of the Riverside area can direct non-emergent questions to the Consult-A-Nurse line for Riverside Community Hospital at (951) 788-3463. Along with emergency care, our hospital is a proud provider of specialized medical services such as bariatric weight loss, robotic surgery, organ transplant, and heart care.