Warning from Lake Charles emergency room to watch alcohol intake over the holiday weekend

Published: May. 26, 2023 at 10:09 PM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - Memorial Day is a day to remember our fallen troops. It’s often spent with family and kicks off vacation season, but it’s also considered one of the deadliest holidays because of a few factors, many stemming from alcohol.

“When there starts to be some impairment that is going to impair your ability to walk, talk or perform whatever function you may need to that day,” emergency medicine physician at Memorial Health System Dr. Gates Barry said. “At that point in time, you are crossing the threshold from just enjoying the alcohol to maybe becoming too intoxicated.”

The National Safety Council estimates that 469 people may die on U.S. roads this Memorial Day weekend, with alcohol being a major contributor. It’s also a catalyst for other accidents seen in the emergency room.

“Boating accidents, driving, fireworks, firearms,” Barry said. “Things that are secondary to the alcohol that people may do when they’re not in the best judgment.”

Being out in the sun can make you become dehydrated quicker with nausea, vomiting, and other side effects sitting in. Continued drinking can lead to alcohol poisoning.

Barry explained when you should seek medical attention.

“Anytime there is a mental status change or a concern for your friend or family member’s breathing, they vomit then suck that back up in the lungs,” Barry said. “We call that aspiration, and that can be dangerous. Anytime you are concerned, I’d say people should come on in and be evaluated.”