The Doctors: College Students Alcohol Poisoning
A viewer, a 21-year-old college student, sent in a video to The Doctors explaining that she recently went to a daytime party and probably didn’t eat as much as she should have, and later she completely blacked out. She said when she woke up she was so scared and felt so sick, and wondered if she had alcohol poisoning.
Dr. Jim Sears said it could have been the alcohol, but he was more concerned that she was slipped something in her drink. Dr. Lisa Masterson said that many young people that drink for the first time do it away from home, and away from people who are responsible for them.
Philip Dhanens, a Theta Chi pledge at Fresno State, recently died after a night of heavy drinking. His girlfriend heard that he drank two bottles of rum. Dhanens was put into a room to sober up, and was later found unconscious.
The Doctors: Blood Alcohol Level Signs and Symptoms
Dr. Travis Stork said this is a real problems at colleges because all the effects of alcohol might not even hit you until you’re asleep, and your blood alcohol content (BAC) can continue to rise.
If your BAC gets too high, your body has involuntary reflexes that will stop working, and this is when people die. Your gag reflex will no longer work, and you can asphyxiate in your sleep and die.
Dr. Stork went through the different BAC level symptoms:
- .01 – .03 – Relaxation, intensification of mood
- .04 – .06 – Slight sedation, slow reaction time, fine motor skills decline
- .07 – .09 – Impaired motor skills, impaired speech, impaired ability to decide about future drinking. In many places, .08 is an illegal amount as far as DUI’s go.
- .1 – .2 – Significantly impaired judgement and reaction time, staggering
- .2 – .3 – Confusion, dizziness, severe risk of injury memory blackout
- .3 – .4 – Inability to stand and walk, bladder function, heart rate, loss of pain awareness, unconsciousness
- .4 + – Unconsciousness, death
Dr. Stork said that he’s seen alcoholics with .4 and above walking around the emergency room because they’re so used to having that much in their systems. Without a doubt, no college student could handle that much alcohol.
Alcohol Poisoning Emergency: Go to the Hospital
Dr. Sears said that people who said Dhanens thought he was just sleeping it off and left him alone, when in reality this is usually the wrong thing to do. Unfortunately, the people around Dhanens probably had impaired judgement too and didn’t think to take him to the hospital before he passed out.
Dr. Stork said that if you can’t get your friend to respond to you, they need to be in the emergency department so they can be monitored. The most likely need fluids and sometimes a breathing tube to get them through the night.
All of the doctors agreed that they would rather their child call them if they were in a bad situation with alcohol and they would never be mad at them. Dr. Sears said that one time his daughter’s friends called him when she had too much to drink and he was so grateful.