Alcohol Poisoning: A Medical Emergency
aod logo

Went to the hospital.

Sleeping It Off?
It is important to understand that even though a person may be semi-conscious, alcohol already in the stomach may contiue to enter the bloodstream and circulate throughout the body. Do not leave them alone. Do not let them "sleep it off". Call for help!

Signs and Symptoms
  • Unconsciousness or semiconsciousness.
  • Slow breaths of 8 or less per minute, or lapses between respirations of more than 8 seconds.
  • Cold, clammy, pale, or bluish skin.
  • These signs and symptoms will most likely be accompanied by a strong odor of alcohol.
  • This list is not all inclusive; use your common sense.

Appropriate Action
  • If you encounter a person who exhibits these signs and symptoms, do what you would do in any medical emergency: call 911 immediately.
  • While waiting for 911 emergency transport, gently turn the intoxicated person on his/her side and maintain that position by placing a pillow in the small of the person's back. This is important to prevent aspiration (choking) should the person vomit. Stay with the person until help arrives.
aod footer
Top of page April 08, 2014