Navigation Links
Heavy drinkers may die needlessly in house fires
Date:9/14/2011

PISCATAWAY, NJ People who drink heavily may increase their risk of dying in house fires that should otherwise have been escapable, a new study suggests.

The findings, reported in the September issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, highlight one of the less-recognized dangers of downing too much alcohol -- especially in combination with smoking.

Looking at coroners' records for 95 fire victims, Australian researchers found that 58% had positive results on blood alcohol tests, often with very high alcohol levels. And those intoxicated victims were less likely than sober ones to have had obstacles preventing their escape from the fire -- like barred windows or an exit route that was blocked by the fire.

The implication, the researchers say, is that at least some intoxicated victims might have survived had they been roused in time.

Most of the victims in the study were alone at the time of the fire, and many were asleep (including close to half of intoxicated victims). So it's possible that well-placed smoke detectors -- or having other, sober people in the house -- would have protected some, according to lead researcher Dorothy Bruck, Ph.D., of Victoria University in Melbourne.

But probably the biggest issue is the combination of heavy drinking and smoking. In this study, victims who had been drinking were about 4.5 times more likely to have died in fires that involved "smoking materials," like discarded cigarettes.

"A key message is that smoking and drinking together constitute a high-risk activity, even in your own home," Bruck says.

Aside from not combining drinking and smoking, people may be able to lessen their fire risks in other ways, according to Bruck.

One way would be to always have someone else in your home who stays sober, even if you're having a few drinks. Also, it's a good idea to have smoke detectors in bedrooms or living areas, rather than just hallways, Bruck says. In general, smoke alarms are less effective at rousing people who've been drinking heavily.

"Our research has also shown that certain changes to improve the sound that smoke alarms make, and better alarm locations, may arouse more sleeping intoxicated people in the case of a fire," Bruck says. But, she adds, experts don't know how loud smoke alarms, even with the improved signal, need to be to wake a person with very high blood alcohol levels.

Another potential way to prevent fire deaths is to use so-called fire-safe cigarettes, Bruck notes. The cigarettes self-extinguish if a smoker sets one down and forgets about it or falls asleep while smoking.

All of the fatalities in the current study were among adults who died in house fires in the Australian state of Victoria between 1998 and 2006. The high percentage of intoxicated victims (58%) is consistent with what's been seen in studies from the United States, Canada and Europe.

In recent U.S. studies, anywhere from 40% to 55% of people who died in fires were intoxicated, based on blood alcohol tests.


'/>"/>

Contact: Dorothy Bruck
Dorothy.Bruck@vu.edu.au
61-428-139-884
Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Launch of New Book, What to Do for Heavy Kids, Coincides with First Lady's Campaign to Fight Childhood Obesity
2. Heavy Daily Drinking Linked to Worse Health
3. Heavy Alcohol Use Linked to Cancer
4. Heavy alcohol use, binge drinking, might increase risk of pancreatic cancer, researcher reports
5. Study details autisms heavy toll beyond childhood on marriages
6. Heavy drug-use among bad boys curbed by parental monitoring and peers
7. Low-Carb Diets Heavy on Meat May Raise Health Risks
8. NASA captures very heavy rain in Typhoon Fanapi and 2 landfalls
9. Freshman weight gain: Women with heavy roommates gain less
10. UF study: Emotional effects of heavy combat can be lifelong for veterans
11. Heavy Smoking Linked to Alzheimers in Study
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/28/2017)... ... April 28, 2017 , ... Intellitec Solutions announced ... Foundation implement a Microsoft Dynamics GP solution that integrates to their PointClickCare EHR ... specializes in long-term care, Brooke Grove now has the capability to achieve its ...
(Date:4/28/2017)... ... April 28, 2017 , ... Semrock’s highly popular SearchLight Spectra ... modeling resource for fluorescence microscopists and optical system designers, enabling The Right Solution, ... spanning the globe, SearchLight has become a tremendously popular tool for the fluorescence ...
(Date:4/27/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... April 27, 2017 , ... Healthcare companies ... But they will rapidly reject an outdated healthcare executive resume. , “If you’re a ... at your executive resume and wondering if it’s as ready as you are for ...
(Date:4/27/2017)... Reston, VA (PRWEB) , ... April 27, 2017 ... ... mobile application containerization, today announced an exhibitor sponsorship at MobileIron Live! 2017 ... leaders, and new technologies for an immersive, educational approach to helping organizations maximize ...
(Date:4/27/2017)... ... April 27, 2017 , ... Plastic Surgery Associates is excited to announce ... present at the upcoming Aesthetic Meeting. Held in San Diego, at the San Diego ... Canales will lend their expertise to the Premier Global Hot Topics session, speaking on ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/19/2017)... April 19, 2017 The Mobile X-Ray product segment ... healthy CAGR during the forecast period Mobile X-Ray ... global digital mobile X-Ray devices market, which is estimated to ... expanding at a CAGR of 7% over the forecast period. ... of more than US$ 100 Mn in 2017 over 2016. ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... , April 19, 2017 Global ... This report on the prostate cancer therapeutics market ... global market. Increasing prevalence of prostate cancer, launch ... in the development of new drugs & therapeutic ... cancer drug due to lesser side effects are ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... April 19, 2017  Sorrento Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... biopharmaceutical company developing new treatments for cancer and ... of its previously announced underwritten public offering of ... public offering price of $2.00 per share, before ... expenses payable by Sorrento.  The net proceeds to ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: