Wednesday September 29, 2021: With the long-awaited new James Bond movie, No Time To Die on general release from midnight tonight, fans may be tempted to celebrate with a vodka martini or two – shaken not stirred, of course.
St John Ambulance has some helpful first aid advice for avoiding a hangover the size of a Bond villain’s lair, and a health warning for anyone thinking of trying to drink like 007.
“Nobody watches James Bond films for their gritty social realism, but – beyond the outlandish plots, opulent glamour and death-defying stunts – one of the least true-to-life aspects of James Bond’s lifestyle is the amount of booze he consumes whilst managing to remain conscious, let alone save the world,” says the charity’s Medical Director, Dr Lynn Thomas.
A study [https://www.mja.com.au/system/files/issues/209_11/10.5694mja18.00947.pdf] of the secret agent’s alcohol consumption across the first 24 Bond films, made between 1962 and 2015, found him drinking 109 times, including one instance where he consumed at least 24 units of alcohol (on a flight in Quantum of Solace), resulting in a blood alcohol level that could be fatal.
“My advice to anyone who thinks they can match 007 drink for drink is don’t even try,” adds Dr Lynn. “Tomorrow may never die, but you could; alcohol poisoning can kill.”
For anyone planning a celebratory or commemorative tipple to mark the opening of Daniel Craig’s fifth and final James Bond film, here are some hints:
- Don't drink on an empty stomach! Have a meal that includes carbohydrates (such as pasta or rice) or fats. These will help slow down the body’s absorption of alcohol.
- Dark-coloured drinks contain natural chemicals called congeners (impurities), which irritate blood vessels and tissue in the brain and can make a hangover worse. Some people are more sensitive to them than others, so watch out if this applies to you.
- Have a glass of water or a non-fizzy soft drink in between each alcoholic drink to keep you hydrated. Carbonated (fizzy) drinks speed up the absorption of alcohol into your system.
- Drink a pint or so of water before you go to sleep and keep a glass of water by the bed to sip if you wake up during the night.
- The best solution is of course, to drink sensibly.
And if you, or someone you know does overdo it, here’s some first aid advice:
- If you think someone has had too much to drink, reassure them and cover them with a coat or blanket to keep them warm
- Check the casualty for any injuries, especially head injuries, or signs of any other medical condition. Be aware that the smell of alcohol on an unresponsive casualty could disguise other conditions such as a head injury, stroke, heart attack and hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar) which need appropriate treatment. If you’re unsure about how serious their condition is, call 111 for advice, assessment and to be directed to the best treatment.
- Place the casualty in the recovery position so that they do not inhale and choke on any vomit. Do not try to make them sick
- Monitor their level of response until they recover or until a responsible adult can take over care. If they become unresponsive at any point, open their airway, check their breathing, and prepare to give CPR. Call 999 or 112 for emergency help.
Now pay attention 007!
James Bond will return, and if the next 007 needs any first aid advice before taking on the role, we have all the time in the world to offer training.
Meanwhile, our very own Q Branch has an extensive selection of health gadgets, supplies and first aid kits.
To find out more about St John Ambulance’s amazing volunteers and how you can support their work visit: www.sja.org.uk/AskMe