Poisoning from ingestion and overdose of ethanol (alcohol). It is rapidly absorbed from the stomach and small intestine. It is distributed uniformly to all organ systems, including the placenta if present. Most alcohol is metabolized in the liver.
As the blood level rises, the patient’s level of consciousness declines, that eventually ends in coma. Death is caused by aspiration or respiratory depression.
Physiologic Effects and Blood Alcohol Levels include:
- Blood Alcohol Concentration (mg/dL) Effects
- 20–50 Diminished fine motor control
- 50–100 Impaired judgment; impaired coordination
- 100–150 Difficulty with gait and balance
- 150–250 Lethargy; difficulty sitting upright without assistance
- 300 Coma in the novice drinker
- 400 Respiratory depression