Margaret A.WinkerMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthor
To the Editor.—The report of Dr Hemmelgarn
and colleagues1on benzodiazepine use among
elderly Canadian drivers prompted an examination of such use by patients admitted
to the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center, Baltimore, Md, the primary regional
adult trauma center for Maryland.
As part of the patient management protocol, a toxicology screen is obtained
routinely for patients admitted directly from the injury scene. Elements of
the screen include blood alcohol concentration (BAC) and the Syva EMIT (Syva
Co, San Jose, Calif) qualitative serum test (an enzyme-mediated immunoassay
technique) for all commonly prescribed benzodiazepines (including alprazolam
and clonazepam). Toxicology information is stored in a confidential computerized
clinical database.2Data were abstracted
for the fiscal years 1984 through 1996.
Soderstrom CA, Dischinger PC, Kerns TJ. Benzodiazepine Use and Crash Risk in Older Patients. JAMA. 1998;279(2):113-115. doi:10.1001/jama.279.2.113