When someone consumes too much alcohol or drinks too much too fast, they may experience symptoms of a potentially deadly condition known as alcohol poisoning or alcohol overdose, which is a medical emergency. They need prompt medical care to prevent life-threatening complications and lasting impairments. If the doctors and other care providers at the hospital failed to diagnose and provide treatment quickly, it may be medical malpractice.
Alcohol Poisoning Causes Serious, Life-Threatening Complications
Alcohol is a depressant meaning it slows down many of the body’s vital functions. These vital functions include breathing and the ability to swallow or gag. When someone is suffering from alcohol poisoning, a quick diagnosis and proper treatment are the only way to prevent their condition from getting worse.
During an alcohol overdose, the doctors and hospital or clinic staff should recognize several symptoms that lead them to test the person, and get a quick diagnosis. These symptoms include:
- Mental confusion, loss of consciousness, or coma
- Slow or irregular breathing, often with as much as 10 seconds between breaths
- Hypothermia, often with bluish skin
Alcohol Poisoning Can Cause Death or Permanent Impairment in Several Ways
Alcohol poisoning is not only deadly because it slows breathing down. As it progresses and more alcohol reaches the bloodstream, many organs and body systems can be affected. Some of the most dangerous complications include:
- Vomiting and resulting choking because of unconsciousness or lack of gag reflex
- Brain damage because of slowed, irregular, or stopped breathing
- Irregular heart rhythm or stopped heartbeat
- Seizures related to low blood sugar
- Severe dehydration caused by vomiting
- Permanent brain damage
While untreated alcohol overdoses can be fatal, delays in treatment or failure to diagnose can also cause a permanent, irreversible brain injury. When this occurs, the victim may require ongoing care for the rest of their life. The best option is to get the victim prompt, adequate care. If a doctor fails to diagnose and treat alcohol poisoning, the victim’s family may be eligible to pursue a medical malpractice case.
Alcohol Detox Also Requires Adequate Monitoring
Alcohol withdrawal can also cause serious or deadly complications if not monitored by a medical professional. If a hospital or treatment facility fails to properly monitor someone going through alcohol detox and they suffer complications, this may also support a medical malpractice case.
Newsome | Melton Can Review Your Medical Malpractice Case for Free
If you or a member of your immediate family suffered complications related to alcohol poisoning despite being in an emergency department, hospital, clinic, or treatment facility, the team from Newsome | Melton will review your case at no cost to you.
We may be able to hold the doctors, hospital, and other health care professionals who treated you or your loved one responsible for their medical negligence. They have a duty to diagnose and treat your condition in a way that another provider with the same training and experience would.
Let us pursue compensation for your family and hold the negligent doctor liable. Call 888-526-8947 to get started.
Alcohol Poisoning - Frequently Asked Questions
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