Alcoholic drinks are dangerous. This will be confirmed by any expert in the field of medicine. Ethanol, which is the main component of the composition, provokes the malfunctioning of many organs. Sometimes they stop functioning, which is fatal. Death due to alcoholism occurs for various reasons, as ethanol can have a devastating effect on any organ system.
Changes in the body when using a lethal dose
Before talking about fatal processes, it is necessary to understand whether there are safe doses of alcohol, how to calculate them and what to do to avoid irreversible consequences.
Professionals explain that due to the variety of alcoholic beverages, differing in strength, it is difficult to determine the universal quantity allowed to consume. For example, vodka is allowed to consume much less than wine or beer.
In fact, the strength of the drink does not play a fundamental role. The concentration of ethanol in the blood is extremely important. It is this parameter that characterizes the degree of intoxication. For convenience of calculation, the term “ppm” was introduced.
This unit denotes a thousandth share or one tenth (0.1 per cent). This value can be determined by passing a laboratory diagnosis with blood and urine tests or by using a breathalyzer.
An individual is considered sober if his or her body is less than 0.16 ppm. Anything above this limit indicates different degrees of intoxication. Not all of them are dangerous. So, initially, people only experience light dizziness, pleasant warmth, relaxation and mood improvement.
The presence of ethanol causes harm to internal organs, but the liver successfully copes with a reasonable amount of it. To avoid any negative effects, its concentration should not exceed 0.59 ppm. If all of it is processed in time, the person will not be disturbed by the symptoms of a hangover the next day.
If it ranges between 0.6 and 0.9 ppm, medics are talking about the average degree of intoxication. During alcohol consumption, concentration worsens, speech is confused, and sometimes the connection with reality is lost. A person ceases to adequately assess what is happening, can not control himself. All these symptoms are associated with rapid oppression of CNS functions. Higher nervous activity is simply blocked after taking a shock dose of ethanol.
A high degree of intoxication is indicated if the ethanol concentration is increased to two ppm. It provokes a change in personality and behavior. It’s characteristic of these people:
- angry outbursts;
Remarkably, a drunk can’t control rage attacks. That means he becomes dangerous to himself and others. At this stage of intoxication, motor function is lost. A person first loses coordination in space, and later the ability to move independently. All of this indicates significant damage to the ethanol of the brain.
Then the liver, which normally processes all the poisons entering into it, reduces the intensity of this process due to a significant excess of the permissible load. As a result, all internal systems suffer from severe intoxication. Ethanol also poisons the nervous system, so the consciousness is partially turned off. Memory dysfunctions occur. That’s what happens when the percentage of alcohol is about three ppm.
An extremely dangerous dose, causing almost total CNS depression, is four ppm. The body can’t withstand that much poison and gradually shuts down. Internal structures are failing, kidneys, liver failure.
Later, the brain dies, the heart stops or the respiratory centre is blocked, which provokes imminent death. This happens with a single use of a lethal dose, which is 5 ppm.
Important! The indicator is considered to be averaged because the permissible volumes are influenced by different factors. Gender and weight, age, and general health play a role.
Cause of death by intoxication
Medics explain that deaths from alcoholism are not uncommon, but events always develop under different scenarios. It is necessary to understand what body organ will be most vulnerable. Usually it takes the main blow. Possible options:
- Brain. Mass death of neurons that form the cortex of large hemispheres is fatal. The brain is a key organ in the CNS. It controls all other organ systems, so if it’s damaged, the body can’t function properly.
- Heart. Overdose with alcohol makes the blood too thick and viscous. The reason for this is the formation of conglomerates from its form elements, as well as the outflow of fluid from the bed to the soft tissues. It is too difficult for the heart to pump dense blood. In addition, the risk of myocardial infarction increases many times. This occurs when the coronary artery is blocked by one of the detached clots. The patient may also die from heart failure. It’s common in alcoholics with experience. Their muscle tissue is replaced by fat.
- The liver. Due to the large amount of alcohol, this iron often fails. Her cells are forced to produce too many enzymes. Ethanol itself targets the organ tissues, destroying them. Even if we don’t die instantly, there’s a high probability of death in the future due to cirrhosis.
- The blood system. Ethanol can make the blood itself thicker than usual, but that’s not the only problem. Too much of the dangerous fluid causes the smooth muscles to tone up. It means that the vein and artery walls will narrow and the blood pressure will increase. It can cause increased vascular fragility, which will cause extensive internal bleeding. The latter cause the organs to lose oxygen and die.
The conclusion is simple. It’s really possible to die from intoxication. In some cases, sudden death from cardiac arrest or lung failure occurs. Another option is the gradual oppression of vital functions. This happens if a person regularly consumes high but not lethal doses of alcohol.
Stages of alcohol intoxication
Complete body poisoning does not occur suddenly. It’s a condition that takes time to develop. For extensive intoxication, ethanol must be mass distributed throughout the body, penetrating all tissues and structures, damaging their structure. Physicians call three consecutive stages of alcohol poisoning:
- The first one. It’s called a primary or a lung. Signs of intoxication are reduced to improved mood and partial changes in behavior. People become cheerful and sociable, laughing, talking, easy to get in touch. Outwardly, it is impossible to notice the poisoning. If you stop drinking at this stage, severe consequences can be avoided.
- The second stage is characterized as intoxication of medium gravity. It becomes visually clear that the body is exposed to the negative effects of alcohol. This is the case when people become overly aggressive, trying to find out about relationships with others. There’s already a lot of ethanol in the blood, so there’s no avoiding a hangover. The medics warn that this compound damages the body and it is not always able to recover.
- Stage three. We’re already talking about a heavy or heavy intoxicated crane. Lack of consciousness indicates mass intoxication of all tissues. It’s a thin line that a person crosses and risks being disabled or dying from a failure of vital organs.
All stages of intoxication are successive. In healthy adults, death can occur only after the third stage, when the critical volume of dangerous fluid is taken. If some diseases have already been carried out before, death is also possible in the second stage.
Most dangerous symptoms
Any alcoholic beverage can be harmful to the body if you don’t know the permitted measure. Ethanol is a poison that poisons the insides, but even more dangerous is the primary product of its oxidation – acetaldehyde.
Alcohol splits quickly enough as it does not have to stay in the digestive tract to be digested. It turns out that with a prolonged feast inside the body of a person is present and both ethanol and acetaldehyde. This provokes a very strong intoxication, which may appear as the following symptoms:
- stomach pain;
- tremor of the limbs;
- increased sweating;
- shortness of breath;
The acute period of poisoning indicates that the body is negatively affected by toxins. Cells and tissues die off and whole organ systems stop functioning normally. It can’t go away without a trace. Even if it is possible to keep alive, in the future people will be worried about serious health problems.
Fatal outcome in cardiovascular diseases
The risk of death after taking large doses of alcohol is much higher if the person has previously suffered from any pathology. In the first place, as the statistics say, are diseases of the heart and blood vessels. People suffering from these diseases are strictly forbidden to drink alcohol.
A violation of this recommendation is followed by negative consequences. The heart of an alcoholic is different from that of a healthy person. It increases significantly in size and is surrounded by fatty tissue. The volume of muscles, on the contrary, decreases. At the same time, the muscular tissue loses its characteristic elasticity.
Normally, the heart is a kind of pump that pumps blood throughout the body, providing gas exchange in tissues and organs. In alcoholics these processes are different because the organ becomes too weak. There is a rhythm problem, shortness of breath, cardiac pain.
Many people wonder if death is possible because of heart problems. The organ is vital, so the probability of death is high. Most often it is due to a myocardial infarction by blocking the blood-bearing artery.
The blood vessels themselves also undergo pathological changes. In a healthy person, their walls are highly elastic, so that they can withstand even serious pressure fluctuations. Alcoholics can’t boast of strong blood vessels. They often break down, which provokes internal bleeding and subsequent hemorrhagic shock.
Death by illness due to alcohol abuse
Alcoholism is a serious problem. A person who is used to drinking all the time risks his own life every day, sometimes without realizing that it is alcohol that provokes deadly diseases. Physicians call several incurable diseases, as well as a number of pathologies that are difficult to treat.
Most often they talk about destructive changes in the liver, the main organ involved in neutralising poisons. Chronic drinking provokes a disease such as alcoholic hepatitis. It is similar to other forms of pathology, but has different causes.
Inflamed areas of the gland increase in size over time, some of them just die, which causes organ regeneration. Fibrosis then develops, which later turns into a completely irreversible and incurable state – liver cirrhosis.
Prolonged use of alcohol products can provoke another disease – pancreatitis. This disease has an inflammatory character and affects the pancreas. The body is not directly involved in the removal of alcohol, but close proximity to the liver causes trouble.
Dying due to stomach problems should not be excluded. This is due to ulcer disease and its complications, including bleeding into the abdominal cavity. Ethanol is not just toxic, it gradually destroys the gastrointestinal mucosa and reaches the muscle walls.
If relief measures are not taken in time, there is a high probability of forming through ulcers on the walls of the tract. Alcoholics most often ignore stomach pains and heartburn, which can signal changes that have begun, so precious time is wasted.
Providing first aid
Alcohol intoxication is a dangerous condition that can be fatal. You can avoid it, but you will need to act quickly and strictly according to instructions. Doctors are convinced that when a person who has taken a critical amount of alcohol is saved, the count goes on for minutes. Initially it is necessary to call an ambulance, and then to stop the intake of ethanol into the body. As a rule, the victim is already unconscious, so can not offer serious resistance.
We need to clear his stomach cavity of half-digested food mixed with alcohol. They do that, causing nausea. Patient should drink about a liter of clean water with sodium hydrogen carbonate. After that, he’s pressed on the root of his tongue and caused a vomiting reflex.
Important! Half-digested residue can enter the airway. A person is at risk of dying without waiting for medical attention. In order to avoid trouble, the victim should be placed sideways and his head held. He should not be left unattended.
All further activities will be carried out by physicians in a hospital setting. Doctors will try to restore the work of the liver and kidneys, as well as to clean the blood from toxins that have got into it, but even at this point the main stage of rehabilitation will not be completed. Sometimes the victim needs more serious measures, including connection to an artificial lung ventilation device in case of respiratory system failure.
Accidents among alcoholics
Sometimes the cause of death of a drunk person is not ethanol poisoning and products of its oxidation, but the banal negligence and lack of control over himself. For this reason, experts do not advise to leave the apartment in a state of intoxication.
The frequency of accidents with alcoholics is high. Cases of death can be caused by brain injuries caused by an accidental fall or impact. Drunkards often get into fights, but cannot calculate their own strength. They are controlled by anger, they can not control themselves.
Many dangers await the drunk on the streets of the city. These are vehicles moving along the carriageway, bridges, and any objects that are in the course of the alcoholic. The trauma department often receives patients intoxicated. Some of them can’t even remember how they got to the hospital.
Moderate doses of alcohol are quite acceptable. But if a person starts drinking too often, you should at least think about it. Alcohol is the most addictive, which is a long and difficult struggle. The risk of dangerous diseases and even death cannot be ruled out.