Navigation Links
Alcohol and Trauma: Blood Test Gets to the Truth

Taking samples from accident patients may offer a medical heads-up, study says,,

FRIDAY, July 24 (HealthDay News) -- Testing the blood-alcohol level of trauma patients could help medical personnel identify those at risk for further complications from drinking issues, a new study says.

People who abuse alcohol often deny doing so, leaving medical personnel in the dark about potentially serious health needs. But even if people withhold this information, a blood test might indicate if they are likely to suffer withdrawal or other health problems during hospitalization, the researchers said. Their work appears online and in the October print issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.

"Alcohol use is associated with higher rates of motor vehicle accidents, falls, injuries inflicted by weapons and workplace injuries than in persons not using alcohol," the study's corresponding author, Dr. Michael F. Fleming, a professor of family medicine at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, said in a university news release. "In addition, patients processed through emergency may not be aware of their injury severity until the alcohol is out of their system, and in persons suffering from head trauma, it is difficult to assess changes in mental status."

The study of 213 people admitted to a university hospital with trauma injuries found that about 22 percent had positive blood-alcohol levels and 12 percent later developed alcohol withdrawal. More than half of all the patients suffered additional health events during their hospital stay. The tests also identified 16 people, or 7.4 percent, as high-risk even though, when questioned at admission time, they said they had not been drinking.

"Elevated BAL [blood-alcohol level] at the time of admission is associated with higher rates of complications," Fleming said, "and strongly predict the development of delirium treatments."

Other alcohol biomarkers, such as carbohydrate deficient transferin, may be helpful in evaluating trauma patients, but more testing is needed to confirm their clinical use, he said.

"Alcohol is the single most robust risk factor for physical trauma," Jean-Bernard Daeppen, a professor of medicine at Lausanne University Hospital in Switzerland, said in the news release. "An elevated BAL is not just having a glass before trauma. Most patients admitted with positive BALs after trauma have an alcohol-use disorder, often severe."

Fleming dismissed some concerns that insurance companies might refuse payment if a person tests positive for alcohol. "This is like saying they are not going to pay for treatment of a heart attack or asthma or a stroke in someone who admits to smoking," he said.

"Just because someone is drinking does not mean alcohol caused the accident," Daeppen said. "All we really know is that theirs is a greater risk."

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about alcohol use.

-- Kevin McKeever

SOURCE: Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, news release, July 23, 2009

Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. High alcohol consumption increases stroke risk among Chinese men
2. High alcohol consumption increases stroke risk, Tulane study says
3. Alcoholics With Cirrhosis Have More Brain Damage
4. Middle School Marks Most Critical Time to Start Ongoing Conversations About Drug and Alcohol Use With Kids
5. Recovery Resources Collaborates with Two Nonprofit Agencies for Children of Alcoholics Outreach Program
6. Frequent alcohol consumption increases cancer risk in older women
7. Family history of alcoholism affects response to drug used to treat heavy drinking
8. Alcohol and cancer: is drinking the new smoking?
9. Kaiser Permanente study: Alcohol amount, not type -- wine, beer, liquor -- triggers breast cancer
10. Kaiser Permanente Study Shows Alcohol Consumption - No Matter Beverage Type - Linked to Breast Cancer Risk
11. Hands2GO(R) Hand Sanitizer Offers Alcohol-Free Alternative to Stopping the Spread of Flu at School and Work
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Alcohol and Trauma: Blood Test Gets to the Truth
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Experts from the ... AcademyHealth’s Annual Research Meeting June 26-28, 2016, at the Hynes Convention Center in ... topics including advance care planning, healthcare costs and patient and family engagement. , ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 2016 , ... As a lifelong Southern Californian, Dr. Omkar Marathe earned his ... David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He trained in Internal Medicine at Scripps ... in hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai program where he had the opportunity to ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Michigan (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Those ... deal with these feelings, many turn to unhealthy avenues, such as drug or alcohol ... of Marne, Michigan, has released tools for healthy coping following a traumatic event. , ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Dr. Amanda Cheng, an ... Cheng has extensive experience with all areas of orthodontics, including robotic Suresmile technology, ... , Micro-osteoperforation is a revolutionary adjunct to orthodontic treatment. It can be ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... York, NY (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 ... ... publication Haute Living, is proud to recognize Dr. Barry M. Weintraub as a ... that “the most beautiful women in the world, and the most handsome men, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 , ... Thursday, July 7, 2016 , , , , LOCATION: , ... , , , , EXPERT PANELISTS:  , , , Frost ... Industry Analyst, Christi Bird; Senior Industry Analyst, Divyaa Ravishankar and Unmesh ... The global pharmaceutical industry is witnessing an exceptional era. Several ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Revolutionary technology includes multi-speaker listening to conquer ... in advanced audiology and hearing aid technology, has today ... world,s first internet connected hearing aid that opens up ...      (Photo: ) , ... , TwinLink™ - the first dual communication ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 Research and ... Procedure Volumes: Global Analysis (United States, China, Japan, Brazil, ... report to their offering. ... for healthcare business planners, provides surgical procedure volume data ... trends with an in-depth analysis of growth drivers and ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: