True Stories: Death by Drinking Alcohol and Choking to Death
Asphyxiation from Alcohol Poisoning
He walked home drunk, not feeling well, and almost made it home. Almost but not quite.
2 houses away from his home he was found dead on the pavement the next morning: Dead from asphyxiation - he choked on his vomit and died right there on the ground
The young man was named Kyle, and he was one of my sons good friends. Kyle was in his 30's, smart, funny and reliable - but he also had a problem: Kyle liked to drink.
I never saw Kyle drink anything but beer, but even beer, when drank in excess, can cause alcohol poisoning and lead to death. Such a sad and tragic way for this young mans life to end. Kyle died just 3 days ago on Sept. 23, 2011. He was only 32 years old.
The effects of alcohol on the body
Critical Signs and Symptoms of Alcohol Poisoning
If you are reading this because you drink, or have a friend or family member that drinks, please read on. Perhaps something in this article may help you think twice about taking those next 2 drinks. Or 3 - or 4. I always try to help people, and by writing about Kyle perhaps someone elses life may be helped - and another death averted.
If you are with someone that has drank too much, never ever leave them alone. Don't agree with them that they are "OK". People that are drunk may say anything to convince you they are "OK". Take car keys away from them and don't let them go off driving into the street putting themselves and other peoples lives into danger. So what if they get mad at you. You may save their lives or someone elses in the process.
If you see the following symptoms in a persons that has been drinking, they may have alcohol poisoning and need medical attention:
- Mental confusion, stupor, coma, or person cannot be roused.
- Slow breathing (fewer than eight breaths per minute).
- Irregular breathing (10 seconds or more between breaths).
- Hypothermia (low body temperature), bluish skin color, paleness.
What Can Happen to Someone With Alcohol Poisoning That Goes Untreated?
In Kyle's case, he made it appear that he was "well enough" to walk home. But he had told people before he left that he was not feeling well. Kyle's friends probably thought he as OK, and that he would "walk" off his drunkenness. Bad mistake, because even though Kyle was able to walk, he ended up falling down, throwing up and choked on his own vomit. Since he was alone, there was no one to help him, no one to pick him up or call an ambulance for him.
If a drunk person is not treated for alcohol poisoning the following things can occur:
- The person can choke on his or her own vomit.
- The persons breathing can become slow, irregular, or stop.
- The heart starts beating irregularly or stops.
- The person can get Hypothermia (or low body temperature).
- Hypoglycemia (too little blood sugar) can lead to seizures.
- If untreated severe dehydration from vomiting can cause seizures, permanent brain damage, or death.
My Personal Experience with Alcohol Poisoning
I have personally been with and picked up someone that had alcohol poisoning. I refused to leave their side and did not leave until someone else was there to watch that person.They were vomiting a lot, and I was worried that they would choke or pass out. Even though that person was saying it was OK to leave, I didn't. And now after Kyle's death, I am glad I didn't.
I will miss Kyle and I know my son will too. He spent many days at my house and I will miss that my son is missing his friend. I am devastated for Kyles family, and the trauma they must have felt at finding him like that the next morning. I hope that by sharing this that it saves someone else's life. Please don't ever leave a drunk person alone. Even if they insist they are OK. Alcohol can poison your system just like any other poison, and can lead to death. If you are unsure how sick your friend or family member is call 911. So what if they are embarrassed the next day. Better to be embarrassed than wind up dead on the sidewalk, sick and alone.
RIP Kyle. This hub is dedicated to you.
(Dorsi Diaz is a freelance writer and publisher on the internet. She writes about human interest stories, health, finance, frugal living and life)
How to Handle Alcohol Poisoning
What Is Alcohol Poisoning? (College Health Guru)
A really good site to read more about alcohol poisoning
- Alcohol Overdose Deaths on Campus - I Speak of Dreams
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