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Hospital Procedures for Alcohol Poisoning

author image Eliza Martinez
Eliza Martinez has written for print and online publications. She covers a variety of topics, including parenting, nutrition, mental health, gardening, food and crafts. Martinez holds a master's degree in psychology.
Hospital Procedures for Alcohol Poisoning
A medical team is helping patients in the Emergency Room. Photo Credit: monkeybusinessimages/iStock/Getty Images

According to, alcohol poisoning is a very serious condition that can result in death. It occurs when a large amount of alcohol is consumed is a short time period. A person who is suspected of having alcohol poisoning needs to get medical treatment immediately. Symptoms of the condition include confusion, vomiting, seizures, changes in breathing, blue skin and unconsciousness. Getting to the emergency room for treatment at a hospital is vital and could save a person's life.

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A person with suspected alcohol poisoning will be carefully watched as he metabolizes the alcohol and his body gets rid of it, according to Ohio Health Online. Hospital personnel will likely monitor vital signs and breathing and administer treatment as necessary. Alcohol poisoning can result in brain damage so being monitored is very important to successfully coming through it.

Airway Protection

Protecting the airway of a person suffering from alcohol poisoning is important. It helps prevent choking or problems with breathing, according to Someone who is unconscious due to alcohol poisoning may vomit and could choke on it if she isn't being watched. Poisoning due to excessive alcohol consumption can also cause irregular and slowed breathing. Medical personnel will be able to treat these issues should they arise as a person recovers.

Oxygen Therapy

Oxygen therapy assists a person who is having trouble breathing due to alcohol poisoning. According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, oxygen therapy is administered several ways. For some the oxygen in pumped through a tube in the nose, for others it is given through a face mask and for still others it flows through a tracheotomy tube in the victim's throat. Oxygen therapy ensures that a person with alcohol poisoning does not stop breathing while his blood alcohol levels return to normal.

IV Fluids

To prevent dehydration, intravenous fluids are given to an alcohol poisoning patient. Dehydration occurs due to vomiting. According to, untreated dehydration can result in seizures, brain damage and even death. This can only be done in a hospital, so immediate attention given to a person suspected of having alcohol poisoning may just save their life.

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