Ted Koppel’s Son’s Death Highlights Hazards of Alcohol Poisoning

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Andrew Koppel, 40, was the son of TV anchor Ted Koppel. His death which occurred after a marathon day of drinking highlights the hazards of alcohol poisoning.

Andrew was Ted Koppel’s only son. He worked as an attorney for the New York City Housing Authority. He is reported to have resided in Rockaway Park, Queens with his girlfriend and their “baby daughter.”

Koppel is reported by the New York Post to have been declared dead at around 1:30 a.m. Monday morning, May 31, 2010, by paramedics who had been called.

The Post reports Koppel spent the evening drinking with Russell Wimberly who recalled meeting Koppel earlier in the day: "He had a straw hat on, and I had one on, and he said, 'Nice hat, man.' We got to talking, and he started buying me drinks. There was a lot of alcohol. He didn't take anything else [drugs] around me, and neither of us ate all day. We talked about our kids ... He said he had a kid and loved [her] a lot."

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The evening of drinking led to a cab ride to Brenda Caball’s apartment where Koppel was later pronounced dead by the paramedics who were called because as Caball is reported to have said, “His complexion wasn't right. It was pale. I said to call the police. When the ambulance came, they said he was dead."

Alcohol poisoning is a dangerous condition which can lead to death. It often occurs after binge drinking (defined as rapidly downing five drinks or more in a row). The excess alcohol in the body can lead to changes in breathing, heart rate and gag reflex and potentially lead to coma and death.

The signs and symptoms of alcohol poisoning include confusion or stupor, vomiting, seizures, slow (less than eight breaths a minute) or irregular breathing, blue-tinged or pale skin, low body temperature (hypothermia), and unconsciousness ("passing out"). Not all symptoms need to be present for the person to need medical attention. Any person who is unconscious or can't be roused is at risk of dying.

A person with alcohol poisoning needs immediate medical attention. If you suspect someone has alcohol poisoning, call 911. Treatment will usually consists of providing breathing support and intravenous fluids and vitamins until the alcohol is completely eliminated from the body.

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