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Alcohol and Trauma: Blood Test Gets to the Truth
Date:7/24/2009

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


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