Baltimore, Md - Mar. 9, 2017 - It is common for men to fulfill the mitvah of "Ad D'lo Yada" through drinking alcohol on Purim. While not wanting to dampen the spirit, it is important to be aware that there can be a fine line between alcohol intoxication and alcohol poisoning. Alcohol poisoning is a medical emergency which requires urgent treatment and untreated alcohol poisoning can lead to brain injury death.

Alcohol poisoning is associated with binge drinking and drinking on an empty stomach. Individual tolerance to alcohol is affected by genetic factors, age, overall health, weight, concurrent use of prescription medication and drugs and other issues. It is important to consider alcohol poisoning even if just a few symptoms are present--never wait until most or all are seen, as it may be too late.

Symptoms of alcohol poisoning can include vomiting, confusion, difficulty maintaining consciousness. pale or blue skin, low body temperature and irregular or slow breathing. If there is suspicion that someone has gotten more then just drunk, considered it to be a medical emergency. If there is any doubt, Hatzalah (410.358.000) or 911 should be called and the responders should be given accurate detailed information including a full report of known alcohol intake, any relevant medical history, concurrent medication or drug use .

If someone who is not fully conscious vomits, there is a risk of life threatening complications from the stomach contents being inhaled. While awaiting help, it is critical to keep him either sitting up or on his side to avoid this. If poisoning is suspected, the person should not be allowed to sleep it off, as this could lead to coma.

Wishing everyone a Safe Freilechen Purim!!

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