Table of Contents
Advances in Emergency Medicine
Volume 2015, Article ID 410827, 5 pages
Research Article

The Blood Alcohol Concentration Testing Emergency Room Investigation Analysis Study: A 1-Year Review of Blood Alcohol Concentration Testing in an Emergency Department

1Department of Emergency Medicine, Beaumont Hospital, Dublin, Ireland
2Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Dublin, Ireland

Received 16 August 2015; Accepted 21 October 2015

Academic Editor: Angelo P. Giardino

Copyright © 2015 Ayman Elgammal et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Aim. To describe the actual use of blood alcohol concentration (BAC) testing in an emergency department. Method. This study was performed to examine in what circumstances emergency medicine doctors and nurses request blood alcohol concentrations and the outcome of patients so tested. A retrospective study was performed. A database of all the patients who presented to the emergency department and who were tested for BAC in 2012 was created. Descriptive statistics are used to present the findings. Results. During 2012, there were 1191 patients on whom BAC testing was performed. 37 patients had a BAC greater than the allegedly lethal concentration of 400 mg/100 mL. Using a multifactorial analysis model, a higher blood alcohol concentration was associated with a lower Glasgow Coma Score. Conclusion. BAC testing is most often performed in the context of alleged overdose. BAC was performed in other clinical scenarios albeit in less than 2% of all ED attendances.