The dangers of alcoholic coma

Definition: what is an alcoholic coma?

Alcoholic coma corresponds to acute intoxication with the alcoholwhose absorbed dose exceeds the body’s tolerance level and prevents the proper functioning of the central nervous system. causes a loss of consciousness so deep that the victim stops responding to any stimulus and therefore puts himself in mortal danger.

The most affected age groups are adolescents and young adults, who drink less regularly than their elders, but who have episodes of drunkenness more frequently, with significant occasional alcoholism (IPA).

Dr. Nicolás Gonzales, Emergency Physician: This is the result of drunkenness, a fashionable phenomenon among young people that consists of drinking as much alcohol as possible in a short period of time.

And in the era of challenges in social networks, this drunkenness is at the origin of another alarming phenomenon: the neknominationwhose concept is to film yourself while drinking several glasses of alcohol and launch the same challenge to several friends.

Like many dangerous behaviors that are likely to lead to aalcohol poisoning more or less acute, with the consequent risks.

Blood Alcohol Level: How Much Alcohol to Make an Alcoholic Coma?

If it takes on average 2 to 4 grams d’alcoholin the blood to cause an alcoholic coma, the numbers vary widely from person to person.

Many factors come into play:

Corpulence : the more a person weighs, the slower he will metabolize alcohol and the less he will be an alcoholic,

sex : women get “drunk” more easily than men,

Ethnic origin : Certain populations metabolize alcohol more quickly and therefore feel its ill effects more quickly. This is particularly the case in people from East Asia, who present, after ingestion of alcohol, high concentrations of acetaldehyde in the blood that cause a sensation of heat in the skin, palpitations and muscle weakness.

Solid food intake : the digestion of nutrients (proteins, lipids and carbohydrates), slows down the metabolism of alcohol, which limits the rate of alcoholization. That is why it is totally inadvisable to drink on an empty stomach,

Daily alcohol consumption : Regular drinkers get drunk less quickly than occasional drinkers. “An alcoholic can thus be fully conscious with 2 grams of alcohol in his blood, while another who is not used to drinking will fall into a deep coma with the same level of alcohol in his blood,” explains Dr. Gonzales.

However, be careful, it should be noted that people who retain alcohol well and can drink more than others without feeling drunk, are absolutely it is not spared from the long-term effects of excessive alcohol consumption.

Recognizing an alcoholic coma: what are the signs and symptoms?

It is manifested by a profound loss of consciousness which makes the victim not respond to any stimulus, whether verbal or painful. “Before reaching the coma, several stages occur that can be identified if an entourage is present,” indicates the emergency doctor.

The final phase is when no stimulus provokes a reaction from the victim, the coma sets in and the medical emergency is immediate.

This loss of consciousness may be accompanied by fall of the blood pressure, one’s irregular breathingof a muscle hypotonia and one drop in body temperature with cold and clammy skin.

Depending on the stage of the coma, urinary incontinence is possible,

Eat for alcohol or sleep: how to know the difference?

Ethylic coma must be differentiated from drowsiness, linked to the state of drowsiness often caused by the ingestion, even moderate, of alcohol.

Dr. Gonzales: The difference between a sleeping person and a seriously intoxicated person with alcohol is that the latter is unable to wake up.

Therefore, the victim of an alcoholic coma is unconscious and does not respond to painful stimulationas opposed to a moderately drunk and sleepy person.

What are the dangers of an alcoholic coma?

The main danger of alcoholic coma is fake route, in case of vomiting. “A person in an alcoholic coma lose their ability to protect their airways, therefore, it is a vital emergency”, insists Dr. Gonzales.

As vomiting is a common reaction to alcohol – the intoxicated organism seeks to evacuate the noxious substance as much as possible – patients in an alcoholic coma are at risk ofthey inhale the vomit into their lungs and drown.

The other risks of alcoholic coma can be hypothermia, accidents or head injuries in the event of a fall, or even muscle injuries from lying on the ground for several hours.

Can you die from an alcoholic coma?

Alcohol is responsible for one in four deaths between the ages of 15 and 34. If it is difficult to know precisely what the proportion of deaths related to alcoholic coma is, the truth is that every year many people succumb to it, most of the time due to asphyxia or hypothermia.

“The problem with alcoholic coma is that it often occurs in the context of a festive and very alcoholic evening, and that a large part of the people around them are in a state of intoxication and, therefore, are not attentive to what they are saying. happens around you. them,” laments the emergency doctor.

In the presence of an alcoholic person who does not respond to painful stimuli, it is therefore It is essential to immediately call 15 or 18.

“While waiting for help, the victim should be placed in side safety position – that is, lying on the side – to avoid the wrong way in case of vomiting, “explains the emergency doctor. And in case of respiratory arrest, cardiac massage should be performed and the emergency services should be alerted.

What treatment in the hospital for alcohol poisoning?

When the 15th is alerted and the emergency medical regulator has identified an immediate vital risk, it sends a medical team (SMUR) assisted by first responders to the scene. “The SMUR medical team attends to the victim and if the coma is verified, they are subjected to respiratory support to protect the respiratory tract from a possible inhalation of vomit, then transfer her to an intensive care unit where she will be cared for until she comes out of a coma, ”explains the doctor.

In rare cases, if the blood alcohol level is very high, a renal purification can be performed.

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