Drinking at Oktoberfest: When to seek medical attention

Drinking during Oktoberfest is, of course, part of the tradition. But it’s important to know when someone may have taken it too far.

According to Mayo Clinic Health System, drinking too much, too quickly, can affect your breathing, heart rate, body temperature and gag reflex and potentially lead to a coma or death.

Paramedics say if you see signs or symptoms of Alcohol poisoning, it’s important to get help right away.

“The biggest thing is noticing a change in behavior, especially responsiveness,” says Tri-State Ambulance Operations Manager, Kent Stein. “We all know what it’s like to see people that might be intoxicated, but significant changes in behavior, significant changes in mentation, not being aware of their surroundings, not being able to respond, changes in breathing, changes in pulse, inability to stay awake — that kind of thing — that could mean that you might need to call an ambulance or 911.”

If you’re unsure if someone is in danger from alcohol poisoning, the best thing to do is head to the Oktoberfest first aid station, which is located in downtown La Crosse on the corner of 3rd and Pearl street.

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