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Have bipolar disorder. Stopped breathing after drinking alcohol, foaming at mouth. Was the foam a sign of death?

My son is 32 years old and Bi-polar. He went on a drinking binge tand some how he made it home. I looked one more time out window and he was in car. I had to shake him to get him to breath. I called 911 and ambulance came quickly. The person on the phone was helpful and I had to tell her when he would take another breath. I would shake him to make him breath. He had foam all over his mouth and beard. He smelled like death. Until you have smelt it, it hard to describe. He started to rattle. His alcohol was 430. Was the foam a sign of death? I have delt with this since he was around puberty . The doctor has changed his medicine and with some difficult issues he began drinking. I am the only one who will let him live with me. I had his father go with him. No one understands he can t live alone. I didn t go to hospital and discussed with the doctor in ICU abd his doctor about being there. They thought I should not go there, after they stabilized in, and thought his Dad should see the realty of his illness . He is starting to communicate with his son more. With his condition, he has few friends. Was the foam a sign of death. I moved quickly and thank God he survived. Than you for your advice.
Asked On : Fri, 9 Nov 2012
Answers:  1 Views:  173
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Emergency Medicine Specialist 's  Response
Hello and welcome to Healthcare Magic. Thanks for your query.

I understand that you must have gone through a very difficult time during your son's major health set back and it's quite natural to try to make sense of what had happened.

Considering the facts that he had taken excessive alcohol, was in an altered state of consciousness, had 'rattling' of the body and was foaming in the mouth, it appears that he could have had a seizure (fit). Seizures are associated with alcohol withdrawal as well as in acute toxicity. So the foaming could have been a sign of a preceding seizure, rather a 'sign of death'. However, it could have lead to fatal consequences, if immediate medical attention had not been given.

Since a major probable cause of your son's problem was his alcohol consumption, I would suggest that you encourage him to seek help for his drinking problem. There are effective ways to help him overcome this, by means of counselling (psychotherapy) or medication.

Best wishes,
Dr. Sheeba Stephen
Answered: Sat, 10 Nov 2012
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