Venom and Alcohol Poisoning: St. Patrick’s Day Emergencies
March 16, 2018
March 16, 2018
St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated nationwide, and worldwide, but some of the original legends has been lost. Of course, we’re celebrating the day that Saint Patrick drove the snakes from Ireland, allowing it to be inhabited. However, it can sometimes seem that we’re celebrating the continued success of Guinness, or day drinking being temporarily socially acceptable. In fact, the behavior on St. Patrick’s Day in the United States is probably dangerous. Across the United States, the day after St. Patrick’s Day sees a rise in dental emergencies in all but one state (Vermont), while at least 10 states have an average increase of more than 100%. In many states, this rise is limited to the men, but some (like Texas) see this rise in both genders.
Indeed, St. Patrick’s Day is a great day to be in the medical industry, but we don’t want it to be. In the case of many St. Patrick’s Day emergencies, the people entering the dentist’s office, hospital, or urgent care center, are there because they have made dangerous decisions. You can still have fun, but these are things you should know before you begin celebrating Saint Patrick.
Want to hear something alarming? On St. Patrick’s Day, alcohol poisoning will claim a life every 46 minutes. Like clockwork, someone will consume much more alcohol than they can reasonably handle, and will soon be escorted out of the bar by a team of medical professionals. There are many of reasons for this, the most prevalent one seems obvious: people going on long, huge drinking binges on St. Patrick’s Day, and responsibility goes out the window.
The biggest sign of alcohol poisoning is declining brain function. The first thing to go is speech, which will become slurred, and incomprehensible. After this, you will begin to feel off balance, and lose coordination. If you are a friend are often falling down, having difficulty holding on to things, or generally becoming “clumsy,” this might be a sign of alcohol poisoning. A person going through alcohol poisoning will also, inevitably, vomit. In most cases, this will be the end of the night. Continued drinking after vomiting is never safe, even if the vomiting may have been caused by some other factor. You are also not safe to vomit and go to sleep.
Even though you are sleeping, your body is still drunk and may have lost muscle function. One of the most common reasons alcohol poisoning leads to death is because an individual has lost control of the muscles in their throat, vomits in their sleep, and chokes on the puke. It’s not the most dignified way to go out. Alcohol can also affect blood sugar levels and your heartbeat. In some cases, too much alcohol will cause your heart to begin beating irregularly or stop altogether. This will, of course, cause you to pass out, or suffer a heart attack. The steep drop in blood sugar can cause seizures. Other outside factors can cause problems as well, with hypothermia and brain damaging dehydration being common.
If you or someone around you appear to be suffering from alcohol poisoning, you should immediately call 911. Each case is different, but most can be treated with a stomach pump and an overnight stay at the hospital. Of course, the best way to treat alcohol poisoning is to prevent it. The average adult male can handle five drinks in two hours, and women can handle 3 in the same time span. You may have a better idea of your limits, but this is a good guideline to stick by. Alcohol does lead to less rational decision making, though, so a sober second opinion is recommended.
Other Alcohol Problems
Drunk driving also sees a steep increase on St. Patrick’s Day. In the interest of brevity, I’ll recommend you read this article if you’d like to know more about car crashes.
The increase in dental emergencies is also caused by a drinking-related problem: bar fights. Bar fights can lead to broken bones, concussion, and broken teeth. Fighting is never recommended medically, though few people leave the house with the goal of getting in a scrap. If you or someone around you do, you should seek medical attention. Even if they don’t seem hurt, alcohol can mask serious injury.
Back In Time
While alcohol is the major cause of problems on St. Patrick’s Day now, I’d be remiss if we didn’t discuss the original issue at all. While they may have been driven out of Ireland, snakes are still slithering their way through America. If you are bitten by a snake of any kind, you should seek medical attention. Non-venomous snake bites can be easily stitched, while venomous snake bites will be treated through several different methods. In areas where snake bites are prevalent, hospitals and urgent care centers will be equipped with antivenoms that will attach to the venom, and safely evacuate it from your body.