The case of 2 university students dying and 6 people in critical condition suspected of alcohol poisoning in HCMC is shocking many people.

Recently, there have been many tragic deaths due to methanol poisoning, alcohol with methanol is extremely toxic. So how to distinguish ethanol and methanol in alcohol? And is mixing soft drinks, sodas, etc. into alcohol and beer harmful to health?

By taste and smell, humans cannot recognize alcohol that contains toxic methanol. The only way to tell the difference is to do a lab test.

Industrial alcohol is very cheap and often contains methanol. Many people have used industrial alcohol to make alcohol and then sell it to consumers without distilling to remove methanol because it is more profitable and costs less time and effort.

Mixing alcohol with carbonated water is very harmful to health:

  • When mixed with alcohol, the content of stimulants increases, the poison penetrates deep into the blood to the nervous system, causing the poisoning to come earlier than normal drinks.
  • Alcohol mixed with beer, carbonated soft drinks or soda contains a lot of CO2, causing alcohol to be quickly absorbed into the blood under the influence of flavorings and additives, causing headaches, dizziness, brain damage, mental impairment, memory loss, less flexibility, reduced intelligence, even loss of consciousness when people drink too much.
  • Sugar in the alcohol mixed with soft drinks makes the alcohol disperse quickly throughout the drinker’s body, especially the nervous system, thus making it easier for the drinker to get drunk more and faster.
  • The combination of alcohol and soft drinks also dilates blood vessels in the skin, but causes vasoconstriction in other deep organs, leading to sudden high blood pressure, which can be fatal.

About 1-2 days after drinking, the patient will have blurred vision, lethargy, rapid and deep breathing like dyspnea due to metabolic acidosis (because of too much formic acid being converted from methanol), convulsions, coma. When the patients arrived at the hospital, most of these cases had brain damage, blindness, low blood pressure and were in critical condition.

Through the above incident, SSVN hopes that you will be careful in drinking alcohol from unknown origin. If you see any abnormal body symptoms, immediately notify your loved ones so that they can take you to a medical facility promptly.

While waiting for help, do not attempt to induce vomiting as this may cause airway choking. If the person has to lie down, be sure to turn the head to one side – this helps prevent suffocation. Try to keep the person awake to avoid losing consciousness. Observe the patient closely, if breathing is weak, stop breathing or cyan, give him artificial respiration.

Find out more:

First aid for children choking on foreign bodies