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Article
October 5, 1957

TERMINAL BLOOD ALCOHOL CONCENTRATIONS IN NINETY-FOUR FATAL CASES OF ACUTE ALCOHOLISM

JAMA. 1957;165(5):451-452. doi:10.1001/jama.1957.72980230001006
Abstract

The observations reported herein were made for the purpose of obtaining additional data on (a) the terminal blood alcohol levels of persons dying from uncomplicated acute alcoholic poisoning and (b) the interval of time between discovery of the patient in a comatose state (or time of last known alcohol ingestion) and death. From these combined data, an estimate, based on the rate of alcohol elimination, can then be made as to the probable magnitude of the antemortem blood alcohol concentrations. Such knowledge may influence the prognosis in cases of alcoholic intoxication and, from the medicolegal point of view, assist in more accurately establishing death as being due to acute alcoholic intoxication. Pertinent information and discussion on these matters is limited largely to publications of Jetter1 and Jetter and McLean.2

During the period 1948-1955, we have had opportunity to study 94 cases in which the histories, medical examiners' reports,

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