What to Do When Someone Has Alcohol Poisoning

Alcohol poisoning is a very serious condition that can arise quickly, especially in young adults who are unfamiliar with the effects of heavy drinking. If you suspect that someone has alcohol poisoning, you should recognize that this is a medical emergency that should be handled immediately. Common signs of alcohol poisoning include mental confusion, gasping for air, unconsciousness or unresponsiveness, vomiting, paleness, and hypothermia. If you notice any of these signs in another individual, follow these steps to ensure that the right care is received to avoid fatal consequences.

Call 911 or poison control

When a person with suspected alcohol poisoning is unconscious, having trouble breathing, or vomiting uncontrollably, you should call 911 right away. Alcohol will continue to be released into the bloodstream even after a person has stopped drinking, so you should not wait to see if the condition improves. If the individual is conscious and responsive, you may call a poison control center by dialing 1-800-222-1222. With the help of a poison control specialist, you can determine whether a trip to the hospital is necessary.

Do not leave the person unattended

You should never leave a person with alcohol poisoning alone whether he or she is awake or unconscious. Individuals who are vomiting are at risk for choking, and those who are unconscious will not simply sleep off alcohol poisoning. Blood alcohol levels can continue to climb to dangerous levels, which is why immediate medical attention is so important.

In the face of any medical emergency, you can count on Good Samaritan Hospital in San Jose to provide exceptional care at all hours of the day. If you are not sure whether you are dealing with an emergency, you can speak directly to one of our nurses anytime, 24/7 at (888) 724-2362. When you visit our ER, you can expect low wait times with consistently high-quality care.

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