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How to Detect the Signs & Symptoms of Alcohol Poisoning

Alcohol poisoning affects breathing and gag reflex functions. Learn the signs that indicate when to call a doctor, and you could save a life.


  • Step 1: Notice vomiting Take note if the victim is vomiting. Although it could be an upset stomach, it could also indicate a more serious problem.
  • Step 2: Wake the victim Attempt to wake the victim if they pass out. If they cannot be roused, immediately seek help.
  • TIP: Watch an unconscious victim to make sure they don't choke on their vomit.
  • Step 3: Listen to breathing Listen for slow or irregular breathing. Eight breaths per minute or less is considered slow.
  • Step 4: Check for hypothermia Check to see if the victim has blue or pale skin or low body temperature, as these can be signs of hypothermia.
  • Step 5: Watch for seizures Watch for seizures, which are caused by either dehydration or hyperglycemia.
  • Step 6: Call for help Call the hospital or poison control if you suspect the victim has alcohol poisoning. Don't wait for all the symptoms to appear before calling for help.
  • FACT: Each year an estimated 1,700 college students ages die from alcohol-related injuries.

You Will Need

  • Knowledge of the symptoms
  • Prompt medical attention

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