Is ethanol poisoning serious?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

Ethanol poisoning can be very serious. Alcohol impairs the nervous system and reflexes, including the gag reflex. A person with ethanol poisoning may easily suffocate if they vomit and block their own airways. In addition, blood sugar levels and body temperature frequently drop to dangerous lows, and excessive vomiting may leave a person dehydrated. A severely intoxicated person may suffer permanent brain damage or may die. If the person is unconscious due to ethanol poisoning, contact 911 or the National Poison Center (1-800-222-1222) immediately.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.