Poisoning ethyl alcohol

  • Determination of a state of alcoholic intoxication
  • Expertise in connection with suspected death from alcohol intoxication
  • Ethyl alcohol (ethanol, alcohol) is a member of various drinks, has a high toxicity and may result in abuse them to severe acute poisoning. Lethal dose for humans is considered 6-8 ml of ethyl alcohol per 1 kg of body weight of a person, which is approximately 200-300 ml of 95 % ethyl alcohol.
    The forensic investigation of alcoholic intoxication produced during the medical examination of suspects, victims, and also at research of corpses by violent and sudden death.
    20 % of new entrants into the body of alcohol just a few minutes later absorbed in the stomach, the rest in the gut. Concentrated alcoholic drinks are absorbed faster. Foods, especially fats and proteins, delay its absorption. At reception of ethanol on an empty stomach maximum content in the blood is installed after 40-90 minutes, while filling the stomach food is through 90-180 minutes the Main part of ethanol (about 90 %) undergo oxidation, the remainder is excreted in the urine and breath. In one hour is oxidized in the body for about 7-9 ml ethyl alcohol. Its absorption (phase resorption) lasts an average of 1 to 3 hours after About an hour after taking a concentration of 1 liter of blood and 1 kg of body weight compared, allowing for the ethanol content in the blood to judge the degree of intoxication. After a complete absorption in the stomach and intestines, the ethanol content in the blood begins to decline (phase elimination) and, thus, the amount of ethanol in the urine becomes higher than in blood. So, when the weight of the body 70-80 kg the concentration of ethanol in the blood is about 2 g/l or 2 per thousand (corresponding to receive 200-300 ml of vodka or 100 - 150 ml of 96 % ethyl alcohol) can cause expressed picture of acute intoxication. The presence of 3-4% in blood is a heavy poisoning, and the concentration of ethanol equal to 5-5,5%, and is considered fatal. These figures are quite average. Therefore, to judge the severity of poisoning only on the concentration of ethanol in the blood could not1.
    The severity of acute alcohol poisoning depends on the amount taken alcoholic drinks, individual reactions, age poisoned and a number of other reasons. Ethyl alcohol acts first on the processes of inhibition. Under the influence of high concentrations in the blood worsens and the excitation process. The final effect of ethanol, especially taken in high doses, there oppression of consciousness, respiratory and cardiovascular activities. In the peripheral nervous system toxic doses of ethanol inhibit the transmission of impulses. In severe poisoning may develop acute cardiovascular failure as due to Central-paralytic action of ethanol, and as a result of direct exposure to it on the heart muscle and blood vessels. Violation of consciousness, respiratory disorders, blood circulation and functions of the autonomic nervous system are thus the result of influence of ethanol on the cortex, subcortical structures of the brain and peripheral nervous system.
    In forensic practice have to install both the presence and degree of alcoholic intoxication (poisoning), and death from acute toxicity of ethyl alcohol. The severity of acute alcohol poisoning varies widely. In relation to forensic medical examination there are three degrees of intoxication: easy, medium and hard. A mild degree of alcoholic intoxication is characterized by excitation, swagger, motor excitation, reddening of the face, loss of coordination of movements in mild. With the average degree of intoxication is broken it, grow infringement of coordination of movements, there is an aspiration to rudeness, conflicts, further fall asleep. Severe alcohol intoxication is accompanied by a lowering of reflexes, decreased pain sensitivity, loss of consciousness, developing alcoholic coma with impaired respiratory function and development of the collapse. Often during this period comes vomiting, food mass can flow into the respiratory tract and cause mechanical asphyxia.

    1 In forensic practice concentration of ethanol to be installed using gas chromatography and expressed in parts per thousand (PPT).