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Arch Surg. 1993 Aug;128(8):907-12; discussion 912-3.

The magnitude of acute and chronic alcohol abuse in trauma patients.

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  • 1Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center, Harborview Medical Center, Seattle, Wash.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To assess the incidence of acute alcohol intoxication and the proportion of trauma patients with evidence of chronic alcohol abuse.

DESIGN:

Prospective cohort study.

SETTING:

Regional level I trauma center.

PARTICIPANTS:

Patients aged 18 years and older admitted with blunt or penetrating trauma.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Admission blood alcohol concentrations (BACs), the Short Michigan Alcohol Screening Test (SMAST), and biochemical markers for chronic alcohol abuse.

RESULTS:

Of the 2657 patients enrolled, 47.0% had a positive BAC and 35.8% were intoxicated (BAC > or = 100 mg/dL) on admission to the emergency department. Intoxicated patients were more likely to be 25 to 34 years old, male, and nonwhite; the highest proportion of intoxicated patients was among victims of stab wounds. Three fourths of acutely intoxicated patients had evidence of chronic alcoholism as indicated by a positive SMAST, and 25% to 35% of acutely intoxicated patients had biochemical evidence of chronic alcohol abuse.

CONCLUSIONS:

The high prevalence of both acute intoxication and chronic alcoholism in trauma patients indicates the need to diagnose and appropriately treat this pervasive problem in trauma victims.

PMID:
8102049
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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