Consumer Health: When is a hangover an emergency?

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A hangover is a group of unpleasant signs and symptoms that can develop after drinking too much alcohol. However unpleasant, most hangovers go away on their own. In the meantime, there are some measures you can take to ease the discomfort.

Severe signs and symptoms that accompany heavy drinking may indicate alcohol poisoning, though, which is a life-threatening emergency. These signs and symptoms may include confusion, vomiting, seizures, low body temperature, and slow or irregular breathing. A person who is unconscious or can’t be awakened is at risk of dying.

If you suspect that someone has alcohol poisoning — even if you don’t see the classic signs and symptoms — seek immediate medical care. Here’s what you need to know.

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