Alcohol poisoning poses real danger
As people are getting into the festive mood and attending more parties, St John would like to take the opportunity to remind friends and family of what to do if they are concerned about a person who is very intoxicated.
Life-threatening alcohol poisoning occurs most commonly in young people who drink undiluted spirits very quickly.
In this setting it is possible for a person to drink a potentially fatal dose of alcohol before they start to show signs of intoxication – and then become rapidly unconscious.
Under these circumstances 300ml of undiluted spirits is enough to kill a young person.
A person who is unconscious from alcohol poisoning who reaches hospital alive has a high chance of survival. A person who is unconscious from alcohol poisoning who is left alone has a high chance of dying.
Shake their shoulder and shout at them – if they wake they are not unconscious. They need someone to stay with them and look after them.
If they do not respond to a shake and shout they are unconscious. Lay them on their side, call an ambulance, stay with them and keep them on their side. Remove vomit blocks the front of the mouth.
On another note as people are starting to spend more time outside in their gardens and/or venturing further into the great outdoors, St John has some timely reminder first aid tips for bee stings.
Remove the sting quickly – within seconds if possible. The speed of removal is more important than the method of removal.
Call 111 for an ambulance immediately if the patient is known to have a life- threatening allergy to bee stings. Assist them to take any prescribed medication.
Apply an ice pack to the sting area for 10 to 20 minutes if pain is severe. This may be repeated if pain persists.
Call 111 for an ambulance if the patient shows any of the following: difficulty breathing; fainting; a red rash all over their body; or swelling of the face or mouth.
St John wishes everyone a safe and happy break over the holidays.
For more first aid tips and to enrol in a first aid course go to stjohn. org.nz.