National Poison Prevention Week

March 17-23, 2013 is National Poison Prevention Week. The observance is sponsored by the National Poison Prevention Week Council, a group of public and private partners committed to reducing unintentional poisonings, promoting poison prevention, and coordinating annual activities to promote National Poison Prevention Week.

Alcohol Poisoning

As defined by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) binge drinking is characterized by drinking large amounts of alcohol within a two hour period that blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels reach .08g/dL.  Alcohol poisoning is a serious and sometimes fatal consequence of binge drinking, or consuming household products that contain alcohol.

Alcohol poisoning symptoms include:

  • Confusion, stupor
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Slow breathing (less than eight breaths a minute)
  • Irregular breathing (a gap of more than 10 seconds between breaths)
  • Blue-tinged skin or pale skin
  • Low body temperature (hypothermia)
  • Unconsciousness (“passing out”), and can’t be roused

Left untreated alcohol poisoning can lead to lowered blood sugar, severe dehydration, brain damage or death.  Medical assistance should be sought immediately.  Call 800-222-1222 if the person is conscious, if unconscious dial 911 immediately.

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