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Gaceta Sanitaria

Print version ISSN 0213-9111


MARTINEZ, Xavier et al. Characteristics of road accident victims with positive blood alcohol levels. Gac Sanit [online]. 2004, vol.18, n.5, pp.387-390. ISSN 0213-9111.

Objective: To identify the differential features of positive blood alcohol level (BAL) in people injured in road crashes who were attended an acute care service. Methods: Cross-sectional study of persons aged 18 years old or older injured in motor vehicle crashes who were attended in the Traumatology Emergency Department of Vall d'Hebron Hospital (Spain) between July 2001 and February 2002. Results: The study sample included 431 patients. A positive alcohol test was found in 13.7% of the sample. A statistically significant and independent association was found between positive BAL and male sex (odds ratio [OR] = 2.5 [95% CI, 1.3-5.4]), hospital admission (OR = 2.7 [95% CI, 1.3-5.4]), being attended on a weekend (OR = 3.7 [95% CI, 2.0-6.9]) and being attended during the night and early morning (OR = 4.6 [95% CI, 2.0-10.3]) or in the morning (OR = 3.6 [95% CI, 1.5-8.4]). Conclusions: The present study identifies a subgroup of people injured in motor vehicle crashes with a greater likelihood of positive BAL, in whom more active screening and secondary prevention activities should be implemented within traumatology and acute care setting. 

Keywords : Screening; Alcohol; Road traffic accidents.

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