FIRST AID FOR ALCOHOL POISONING

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First Aid for Alcohol Poisoning

Better safe than sorry is the rule for alcohol poisoning. If you think someone might be experiencing it, even if you have doubts, call 999 for an ambulance.

Every weekend, hundreds of people are taken into hospital with acute alcohol poisoning. Medical staff will monitor people who have less severe alcohol poisoning closely, until it’s safe for them to go home. If it’s more serious, they could:

  • Insert a tube into their windpipe to help them breathe.
  • Put them on a drip to top up their body’s water, blood sugar and vitamin levels.
  • Fit a catheter – a tube that allows them to empty their bladder straight into a bag.
  • Pump the stomach by flushing fluids through a tube inserted into the nose or mouth.

Facts about Alcohol Poisoning

Around 35,620 people were admitted to hospital because of the toxic effect of alcohol in England in 2013/14. (1)
360 people died from accidental alcohol poisoning in England in 2011. (2)
45,290 people under 24 were admitted to hospital in England as a result of drinking alcohol in 2013/14. (3)

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Five things to do if someone is showing signs of alcohol poisoning

  • Try to keep them awake and sitting up.
  • Give them some water, if they can drink it.
  • Lie them on their side in the recovery position if they’ve passed out, and check they’re breathing properly.
  • Keep them warm.
  • Stay with them and monitor their symptoms.

If they’re not getting any better, don’t delay, dial 999 for an ambulance.

FIRST AID FOR ALCOHOL POISONING

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