Alcoholic coma: what it is, symptoms and what to do

 Alcoholic coma: what it is, symptoms and what to do

Lena Fisher

When the ingestion of alcoholic beverages is excessive, the consumer may suffer an alcoholic coma. And those who think that only alcoholics are subject to this condition, also called acute ethanol intoxication, are mistaken.consequence is the dreaded episode. Below, learn more about it.

What is alcoholic coma?

The alcoholic coma happens when there is a state of severe alteration in the level of consciousness of a person due to the excessive consumption of alcohol. But, it is not news to anyone that the ingestion of alcohol brings about a series of effects in the body, and it is up to the liver to metabolize this substance. However, if there is exaggeration, the organ has difficulties in this process, which can lead to intoxicationof the brain and other organs of the body.

In fact, it is not a rule that drinking a certain type of drink, making a specific mixture, or that certain physical biotypes define who will or will not suffer from an onset of alcoholic coma.framework.

What is important, however, is to pay attention to the symptoms of the episode, which appear when there is a quantity of alcohol above three grams per liter of blood. This leads to a decrease in the level of consciousness, mental confusion, and, in more serious cases, reduced breathing capacity and heartbeat, which can even be life-threatening.

Here are some more symptoms that may indicate the onset of an alcoholic coma:


  • Excessive sleepiness (when the person does not even respond to calls or stimuli);
  • fainting or loss of consciousness;
  • difficulty in articulating words or sentences;
  • inability to concentrate;
  • loss of sensitivity and reflexes;
  • difficulty in walking or standing;
  • convulsion;
  • irregular and slow breathing;
  • low temperature (hypothermia).

However, the clinical presentation varies depending on a number of factors, such as the patient's history (if there is a history of alcohol abuse), the presence of comorbidities, and even genetic susceptibility.

What to do in case of alcoholic coma?

Refer the individual to a pre-hospital care service, such as SAMU. This should be done as soon as possible to prevent the situation from worsening, because if help is delayed, the patient may suffer severe neurological consequences or even die.

In the emergency room, standard procedures include measuring blood glucose and correcting it with a 50% glucose solution, vigorous hydration is also included in the treatment, and even more severe cases require laboratory tests.

No excesses

Although alcoholic coma only happens in cases of exaggerated consumption of alcoholic beverages, more and more science reveals that there are no safe amounts of alcohol for health. Studies show, for example, that brain can be damaged and even cancer risk increases But you don't have to feel like it: how about resorting to a refreshing mocktail in the next happy hour ? believe me, it will be a toast to health!

Source: David Paliari Zuin (CRM-SP 129.495) is a postgraduate in endocrinology, nutrology, and health management. He works at the clinical medicine department at Hospital São Francisco de Mogi Guaçu (SP) and is the medical coordinator of SAMU Regional Baixa Mogiana.

Lena Fisher

Lena Fisher is a wellness enthusiast, certified nutritionist, and author of the popular health and well-being blog. With over a decade of experience in the field of nutrition and health coaching, Lena has dedicated her career to helping people achieve their optimal health and live their best life possible. Her passion for wellness has led her to explore various approaches to achieving overall health, including diet, exercise, and mindfulness practices. Lena's blog is a culmination of her years of research, experience, and personal journey towards finding balance and well-being. Her mission is to inspire and empower others to make positive changes in their lives and embrace a healthy lifestyle. When she's not writing or coaching clients, you can find Lena practicing yoga, hiking the trails, or experimenting with new healthy recipes in the kitchen.