Ethanol is acidified in the liver to very toxic aldehydes, which in turn decompose to carboxylic acids and, after several intermediate reactions, carbon dioxide and water are formed. Ethanal (acetaldehyde), which appears as an intermediate, is extremely toxic, which, when reacting, forms alkaloids. The latter is similar to strong narcotic substances.
How does alcohol poisoning occur?
There is no specific amount of alcohol, the excess of which leads to alcohol poisoning. In addition to the amount of alcohol consumed, its onset depends on the age, sex, weight, state of human health, on how fast alcohol was drunk and how much was eaten before.
The usual symptoms of alcohol poisoning are vomiting and convulsions, confusion and inability to communicate, slow breathing (less than 8 breaths per minute), irregular breathing (break between breaths for 10 seconds or more), low body temperature, and pallor and blue skin. In addition, there is a loss of coordination and consciousness.
What to do if you suspect alcohol poisoning?
- You need to know the danger signals and not wait until they all appear. An unconscious person may die. If you suspect alcohol poisoning, call emergency number 911.
- Try to keep the person awake, in a sitting position.
- Offer him water if he can drink.
- If a person loses consciousness due to alcohol poisoning, there is a danger of vomit getting into the respiratory tract, and the person will choke. To avoid this, gently turn the victim onto his side, facing you. Incline his head so that the person lying can breathe freely.
- Keep him warm.
- Stay close and watch his condition.
- When he stops breathing, you must immediately begin making artificial respiration and continue primary resuscitation until the ambulance arrives, or until the person starts breathing again and blood circulation restores.
Mistakes in alcohol poisoning
- If someone from the company has symptoms of alcohol poisoning, do not leave him alone, so to speak, to wake up. The alcohol content in a person’s blood can continue to increase even after the loss of consciousness since the absorption of alcohol from the stomach and intestines into the circulatory system takes longer than the time of drinking.
- Do not give a person coffee. Alcohol removes fluid from the body, and coffee acts in a similar way. In this case, a serious, harmful to the brain lack of fluid can form in the body.
- Do not induce intentional vomiting. The gag reflex of a person with alcohol poisoning does not work properly, and he may choke.
- Do not send a person under a cold shower. Alcohol lowers body temperature, so that a cold shower may further contribute to hypothermia.
- Do not let him continue to drink!