The Reasons for Blood Ethanol Concentration Analyses in Patients Admitted to Emergency Department

ÜNAL K., Turhan T., Atikeler G., Calci E., Sonmez M., YILMAZ F. M.

JOURNAL OF CLINICAL AND ANALYTICAL MEDICINE, vol.8, no.3, pp.248-251, 2017 (ESCI) identifier identifier


Aim: The aim of this study was to obtain reliable data about alcohol consumption in Turkey, to evaluate the reasons for blood ethanol concentration (BEC) analyses in patients admitted to emergency departments, and to evaluate the relationship of BEC with age and time of sampling. Material and Method: A total of 801 patients who were admitted for analyses of BEC was included in the study. The results were classified into three groups according to BEC (<10 mg/dl, 10-50 mg/dl, and >50 mg/dl). BEC levels exceeding 10 mg/dl were accepted as ethanol positive (EthPos). The patients were categorized as three groups according to age (<18, 18-40, and >40). The cases were classified according to diagnoses: assault, motor vehicle crashes (MVC), injury, suicide, or occupational accident. In addition the patients were grouped according to their time of sampling, daytime or nighttime. Results: MVC was the most common reason for emergency admissions, while assault was the most common cause in EthPos cases. BEC was <10 mg/dL in 72% of emergency admissions. Although BEC levels were in most cases <10 mg/dL at nighttime and daytime, levels >100 mg/dL were seen more frequently at night. Assault was the most common cause at night while MVC was most common during the day. EthPos cases were most often found in ages between 18-40. Discussion: MVC constitutes the largest portion of all BEC tests among emergency admissions because individuals involved in any traffic accident are required to be tested for BEC. But assaults are the main causes in EthPos emergency admissions, as it is known that ethanol consumption increases tendencies toward offensive behaviors.