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January 1973

The Alcoholic Patient in Surgery.

Arch Surg. 1973;106(1):118. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1973.01350130112029

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This book is designed to help general surgeons in the overall care of alcoholic patients. Since alcoholism can affect almost every system of the body, complicates management of almost any illness, and affects approximately 5 million Americans, or one in every 15 who drinks alcoholic beverages, the surgeon must have a thorough understanding of the patho-physiology of the disease, including recognition, diagnosis, and management.

The book begins with a brief well-rounded discussion of the diagnosis and salient clinical aspects of the alcoholic problem, emphasizing recognition of a number of injuries that befall the alcoholic, such as burns, frostbite, fractures, and lacerations.

A chapter dealing with the metabolism and pharmacology of alcohol follows. The important point emphasized is that alcohol is metabolized as a linear, rather than an exponential, function of time. A schematic diagram is shown of alcohol metabolism, with an exposition of the site and mechanisms of action

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