Sunday, August 23, 2009

Body Alcohol Content (BAC)

If a human body's blood alcohol content (BAC) exceeds 300mg/100 ml, it has reached a point where a person crossed over from harmless intoxication to alcohol poisoning.

No drinker knows when alcohol poisoning set in.

Downing more than 8 drinks in a row would cause your BAC levels to exceed 500mg/100ml, which is fatal.

At such levels, the alcohol affects the human brain's control over the person's consciousness, heartbeat and breathing. It also impairs the gag reflex, increasing the risk of victims choking on their own vomit and suffocating.

Constant vomiting will lead to dehydration, which causes irregular heartbeat, kidney failure and decreased blood supply to the brain, leading to coma.

Breathing will also become irregular and the person's blood pressure will fall dangerously low, depriving the brain of oxygen, which can cause come or severe brain damage.

In some hospitals, oxygen therapy, where pure oxygen is pumped into the lungs through a machine, is carried out to increase the supply of oxygen to the body. Any obstruction in the airways will also be cleared to ensure normal breathing.

Even if a person survives alcohol poisoning, he/she could suffer irreversible brain damage and memory loss.

It is not always easy to tell if a person has reached a dangerous level of intoxication. Drunk people often display the same symptoms such as unconsciousness, slurred speech and vomiting. All these are due to cellular chronic dehydration.

Some signs that set alarm bells off:-
mental confusion,
inability to wake from unconsciousness,
constant vomiting,
slow or irregular breathing,
low body temperature and
bluish skin color or paleness.

Women need to be more careful and aware of alcohol poisoning as they suffer more effects from alcohol than men and generally at a faster rate too.

Teenagers, who have a smaller body mass, are also more vulnerable to the effects of alcohol because they have not built up a tolerance for alcohol. They are also less able to judge their own levels of intoxication.

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