From 2003 to 2008 I posted often on teen deaths from alcohol poisoning, including a year-end roundup.
The subject didn't fade from importance -- but my available time diminished.
For [April 2, 2009] Thursday night's series finale of ER, producer John Wells based one storyline on the alcohol poisoning death of his 17-year-old niece Shelby Lynn Allen. "Having this inspired by Shelby's story is going to teach a lot of young people and parents the dangers," said her mother Debbie. "The reality is if you're 5'6" and 107 pounds and you go past 7 or 8 shots, you're in the death zone."
In 2007, at least thirty-one young people died of alcohol toxicity (alcohol poisoning, alcohol overdose).
"There's no place that's actually keeping data on alcohol deaths"--Thomas Kunstman MD.
In an article called Magnitude of alcohol-related mortality and morbidity among U.S. college students ages 18–24: changes from 1998 to 2001, by Hingson R, Heeren T, Winter M, Wechsler H. in Annual Review of Public Health. 2005, 26:259-279, the authors used statistical methods:
Estimated number of nontraffic injury deaths of all youth that are alcohol related:
Estimated number of nontraffic injury deaths of college students that are alcohol related:
In all cases, my deepest condolences to family and friends.
A young man in Minnesota:
After he watched an ambulance crew carry away a girl he knew earlier this year, he said, he wished he'd had another message dunned into him. If someone you know is breathing irregularly or passes out -- whether the reason appears to be too much drinking, or anything else -- call 911. Don't delay. Don't worry about getting him or her -- or yourself -- into trouble. Don't assume that "sleeping it off" is all that the situation requires.
Signs of Alcohol Poisoning
Alcohol depresses nerves that control involuntary actions such as breathing, the heartbeat and the gag reflex that prevents choking. A fatal dose of alcohol will eventually stop these functions. After the victim stops drinking, the heart keeps beating, and the alcohol in the stomach continues to enter the bloodstream and circulate through the system. The victim may experience the following:
- Mental confusion, stupor, coma, unable to rouse the person
- No response to pinching the skin
- Vomiting while sleeping or unresponsive
- Slowed breathing (fewer than 8 breaths per minute)
- Irregular breathing (10 seconds or more between breaths)
- Hypothermia (low body temperature), bluish skin color, paleness
Alcohol Poisoning Requires Immediate Medical Attention
Alcohol Poisoning Cannot Be Reversed By:
- Drinking black coffee
- Taking a cold bath or shower
- Walking it off
The victim must have immediate medical attention.
Call 911, stay with the victim to prevent him choking on vomit, and tell emergency personnel how much alcohol the victim drank.
These Children Died of Alcohol Overdose, So Their Parents Started Foundations:
Taylor Webster's memorial foundation. Taylor died of alcohol poisoning at age 19-- Now his family and friends are working to get the message out, telling their stories and providing information on alcohol poisoning and the signs and symtoms of alcohol poisoning in hopes that lives will be saved.
Bradley McCue's memorial foundation. On November 5, 1998 Bradley turned 21. . He celebrated his birthday in a way that has become increasingly popular, drinking "his age in shots". That amount of alcohol was lethal and he died that night of alcohol poisoning.
Samantha Spady's memorial foundation. A 19-year old student at Colorado State University, Spady died of alcohol poisoning on September 5, 2004, "an unintentional tragedy." The Spadys say the SAM [Student Alcohol Management] Spady Foundation will develop peer-to-peer counseling and other services meant to reduce the risk of alcohol abuse.
Gordie Bailey's memorial foundation. The mission of the Gordie Foundation is to provide today’s youth with the skills to navigate the dangers of alcohol, and through education and promotion of self worth prevent alcohol poisoning, binge drinking and hazing.