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June 1985

Effects of Alcohol and Other Drugs on Traumatized Patients

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Surgery (Dr Thal) and Internal Medicine (Dr Anderson), University of Texas Health Science Center at Dallas, and the Southwestern Institute of Forensic Science, Dallas (Dr Bost).

Arch Surg. 1985;120(6):708-712. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1985.01390300058010

• During a six-month period, blood was drawn from 615 traumatized patients for alcohol determination and general toxicology screen. The patients were divided into four groups: alcohol only, other drugs only, alcohol and other drugs, and no alcohol or other drugs. Each group was analyzed for severity of injury, length of hospitalization, complications, and mortality. In 362 patients (58.9%) we found alcohol in the blood; 74% had alcohol levels greater than 100 mg/dL. Twenty patients (3.3%) had other drugs, while 34 patients (5.5%) had both alcohol and other drugs. There were no differences between the groups except that the patients with drugs only had a significantly higher incidence of shock, severity of injury, and mortality.

(Arch Surg 1985;120:708-712)