By Norman Giesbrecht
First released in 1989. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa corporation.
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Extra resources for Drinking and Casualties: Accidents, Poisonings and Violence in an International Perspective
These results are not unexpected. Event types vary across studies and alcohol positive tests vary as a function of event type. Only 11 per cent of injuries resulting from motor vehicle trauma in the Scottish study show positive BAC’s compared to 50 per cent in the French study. This may be explained by proximity to casualty care as much as by cross-cultural differences in drinking-driving. Studies reviewed here show assaults and fights, without exception, to be the most alcohol-involved traumatic events.
Additionally, ‘anaesthesia management is complicated by the acute and/or chronic use of alcohol’ and the synergistic effect of alcohol and some drugs can complicate pharmacologic management. The 22 ALCOHOL AND TRAUMA authors note the negative effects of alcohol on resistance to infection and complications induced by withdrawal from alcohol. Vitek and Lans (1982) note that ‘after trauma, the metabolic clearance of alcohol is probably decreased’. The alcohol effect may be a factor, therefore, many hours after injury.
Papoz et al. (1986) suggest that a substantial proportion of casualty victims in France are chronic drinkers; indeed, it is asserted that ‘most of the intoxicated subjects were probably chronic drinkers’. 7: Distribution par nature d’accident [Distribution by the nature of the accident] N= Alc. pub Trajet Circ/tr Hommes Travail Domest. 0 N= Alc. 19 ALCOHOL AND TRAUMA 35 N= Alc. pub Trajet Circ/tr Hommes Travail Domest. 0 N= Alc. 0 V. S. study (Stephens Cherpitel 1989, see Chapter 16) offers a similar picture; 15 per cent of the sample had positive BACs, 23 per cent of those injured had positive BACs.