Affordable Access

Blood alcohol testing of motor vehicle crash admissions at a regional trauma unit.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery
0022-5282
Publisher
Ovid Technologies (Wolters Kluwer) - Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
Publication Date
Volume
30
Issue
4
Pages
418–421
Identifiers
PMID: 2325171
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Motor vehicle crashes remain a leading cause of death and injury in the industrialized world. Alcohol consumption is implicated as a major factor in fatal motor vehicle crashes (MVCs), but only poor estimates of blood alcohol concentrations among nonfatally injured crash victims are available. A 3-year study was undertaken at a Regional Trauma Unit to determine the demographics, injury severity, and alcohol positivity of motor vehicle crash victims. Between August 1, 1986 and July 31, 1989, 825 motor vehicle crash victims were available for study; 368 drivers were admitted to the unit within a period of 4 hours. Of 715 patients tested for alcohol, 31.0% were positive. A total of 333 drivers were tested for blood alcohol; 128 (38.4%) were positive. The mean blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at admission for the drivers was 145.6 mg/100 ml; the estimated mean BAC at crash was 180.9 mg/100 ml. The mean age of BAC positive drivers was 31.4 years, compared to a mean age in the BAC negative drivers of 35.2 years (p less than 0.02). Male patients represented 76.6% of the drivers, yet represented 83.6% of the BAC positive drivers (p less than 0.05). There was a marked seasonal variation in BAC positivity, with 46.1% of drivers positive during the summer months. Alcohol appears to be a significant factor in nonfatal MVCs.

Statistics

Seen <100 times