Detoxification of the body from alcohol
As is the case with most toxic substances, there are acute and chronic alcohol poisoning.
According to world statistics, most often acute ethanol poisoning (ethanol - the main component of alcoholic beverages) occurs in the countries of northern and middle latitudes. The population of these countries has historically consumed large amounts of strong alcoholic beverages.
Poison dose of alcohol
In different countries, the toxic dose varies. This is due to ethnic, climatic and other factors.
In our country, a lethal dose of ethanol is recognized as 12 g / kg body weight, that is, about 300 mg of pure alcohol (96–98%).
This rule is valid only if the person is not sick with chronic alcoholism, that is, the body is not accustomed (tolerant) to alcohol.
Mechanism of alcohol poisoning
It is customary to divide alcohol poisoning into two phases:
- suction (or resorption);
- excretion (elimination).
In the first phase of absorption, there is an accumulation of alcohol and its decay products in organs and tissues, therefore, the toxic effect is enhanced.
In the second phase of excretion, on the contrary, the systems for removing toxic substances are activated, and therefore the body is naturally detoxifying from alcohol.
It must be remembered that the so-called light alcoholic beverages (with a strength of up to 30%) are absorbed faster than strong (vodka, brandy, whiskey and others). Food that fills the stomach, especially fat, slows down the absorption of alcohol, but in patients with chronic inflammatory diseases of the gastrointestinal tract (eg, gastritis), absorption is faster due to damaged and inflamed, and therefore more permeable, gastric mucosa.
First aid for alcohol poisoning
First of all, you need to understand how severe the poisoning is. There are three degrees of alcohol intoxication:
In the latter case, there is a disorder of consciousness, from superficial to severe - the patient does not answer questions, the pupils react poorly to light, do not respond to pain, and breathing problems may occur. This is a coma, which is called alcoholic.
Detoxification in case of alcohol poisoning at the prehospital stage should take place in several directions:
- prevent further absorption of the poisonous substance;
- accelerate the elimination of ethanol from the body;
- normalize metabolic disorders.
In case of mild poisoning, the patient’s stomach should be washed. To do this, take 0.5–1 l of water (preferably boiled) or a weak solution of potassium permanganate (potassium permanganate). You can drink the entire volume at once, but you can in small portions. After this, it is necessary to induce vomiting. The procedure is repeated twice or three times - until such time as the vomit becomes transparent and is odorless ethanol.
When conducting gastric lavage should be especially careful to ensure that vomit did not get into the respiratory tract. To do this, the victim should be in a vertical position as far as possible.
After this procedure, you should take any adsorbing drug that "binds" the ethanol molecules and will not allow it to be absorbed into the bloodstream through the mucous membrane of the stomach and intestines. It can be activated carbon, Polyphepanum, Enterosgel, Smekta or any other adsorbent.
An hour after gastric lavage, rehydration should begin - the restoration of water-salt balance. Every half hour, the patient is given 0.2–0.3 l of water to be drunk with the addition of sodium chloride and sugar, or Regidron solution in the same dosage.
The next step is to accelerate the elimination of ethanol with the help of laxatives and diuretic drugs solely prescribed by a doctor.
Detoxification in a medical institution
How to remove toxins from the body after alcohol in case of massive poisoning can only be decided by a qualified medical professional. Usually, the patient is placed in the intensive care unit, where ventilation of the lungs, gastric and intestinal lavage, and intravenous drip medication are performed to normalize the balance of fluid and salt, which is especially important after heavy vomiting. If psychosis is noted when quitting an alcoholic coma, then psychotropic (sedative) drugs and muscle relaxant medications are added to the treatment regimen.
Features of detoxification in chronic alcoholism
There are two phases of alcoholism:
- chronic stage.
Detoxification therapy for alcoholism in the acute phase - that is, in the case of receiving a large amount of alcohol, does not differ from that in acute poisoning. However, it is necessary to bear in mind the susceptibility of such patients to the development of renal failure, the cause of which is the long-term toxic effect of ethanol and its derivatives - products of alcohol conversion, in the body. It is necessary to monitor the amount of urine excreted, and if it has drastically decreased or is absent within 4 hours - immediately contact a medical hospital.
During the chronic phase of the disease, treatment should be aimed primarily at maintaining the natural mechanisms of ethanol neutralization (improvement of the liver and kidneys), and the mechanical removal of ethanol and its products fades into the background.
Cases of alcohol substitutes poisoning
We considered cases of ethanol poisoning and the basic methods and principles of alcohol detoxification. But in clinical practice, there are still poisoning and its substitutes - ethanol-like substances:
- hydrolysis and sulfite alcohols (obtained from wood);
- denatured alcohol (technical alcohol);
- colognes and lotions;
- BF glue;
- wood stain;
- ethylene glycol;
The last two substances are most similar to alcohol in terms of the inhabitant and are deadly poisons. A distinctive feature of methanol poisoning is partial or complete visual impairment. If you suspect poisoning with these substances, you should immediately take the victim to the hospital, not trying to detoxify yourself.
In case of a mild alcohol poisoning, simple measures aimed at slowing down and preventing the absorption of ethanol in the gastrointestinal tract are sufficient. With a moderate degree of poisoning, the use of drugs that accelerate the elimination of alcohol from the body and often the prescription of drugs to normalize the functioning of certain organs, primarily the liver and the heart, is required. In case of severe poisoning, the patient needs multicomponent (complex) treatment, for which hospitalization is required in the intensive care unit.