Alcohol: First Aid for Intoxication
First Aid for Intoxicated People
If a person is drunk and belligerent, it is best not to be verbally confrontational or aggressive in any way. Joking, kidding, bargaining, and enlisting the help of friends are the best way to deal with a belligerent person. It is important to speak clearly and calmly and to try to coax the person to a quiet place where he/she can calm down. If repeated attempts to calm the person down are unsuccessful, it is best to enlist outside intervention
REMEMBER: An intoxicated person is not rational. The alcohol has affected judgment, and you cannot reason with him/her. The person may become violent and uncooperative and you may need to prevent harm to yourself or others. If the person is being destructive and uncontrollable, call for assistance, up to and including the police. If a person is very intoxicated and staggering, vomiting or passing/passed out, he/she may need emergency care. Try to get the individual in bed and follow the guidelines listed below.
Guidelines for Immediate Care
- BAC can continue to rise after one stops drinking. Never leave a person alone to sleep it off.
- Protect the person from injury.
- Keep the person still and comfortable.
- Stay with a drunk person who is vomiting.
- If the person is in bed, make sure the person is on his/her side—not back. Make sure the airway remain open in case of vomiting. If possible, prop something behind the person to ensure he/she doesn’t roll over. See the Bacchus Maneuver (following page).
- Speak in a clear, firm, soothing voice. Comfort and reassure the person.
- If the person is unresponsive, get emergency medical care immediately. CALL SPSU POLICE X5555
Guidelines for Emergency Care
Changes in four basic physical signs indicate an emergency situation. Normal function should fall within the range listed below. If one of these signs is out of normal range, immediate medical attention is needed. If vital signs are slowing, do not wait – get emergency help!
- Respiration: Should be at least 9 breaths per minute
- Pulse: Should be between 50 and 140 beats per minute
- Pupil Dilation: Should be evenly responsive to light.
- Pain Response: Should respond to shoulder pinch.
Guidelines for Obtaining Medical Assistance
- Call SPSU POLICE at x 5555 and identify yourself to the operator.
- State your problem and what you feel you need.
- Give the specific location of the incident and the phone number.
- Stay there until help arrives.
DO NOT administer anything orally (food, coffee, liquids). It can induce vomiting.
DO NOT give the person a cold shower. The shock could cause the person to pass out and result in injuries.
DO NOT try to exercise the person. The person could fall and cause injury.
DO NOT try to restrain the person without (sober) assistance.