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Emergency Medicine International
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 616323, 6 pages
Clinical Study

Is Blood Alcohol Level a Good Predictor for Injury Severity Outcomes in Motor Vehicle Crash Victims?

1Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary, 1403-29 Street NW, Calgary, AB, Canada T2N 2T9
2BC Injury Research and Prevention Unit, L408-4480 Oak Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada V6H 3V4
3Developemental Neurosciences and Child Health, Child and Family Research Institute, L408-4480 Oak Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada V6H 3V4
4Department of Social Medicine, National Research Institute for Child Health and Development, Tokyo 1578535, Japan

Received 27 April 2011; Accepted 25 May 2011

Academic Editor: Walter Mauritz

Copyright © 2011 Bikaramjit Mann 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.


Experimental studies in animals suggest that alcohol may influence pathophysiologic response to injury mechanisms. However, biological evidence for the alcohol-injury severity relationship provides conflicting results. The purpose of our retrospective cross-sectional study in 2,323 people was to assess whether blood alcohol level (BAC) adversely influences injury severity in victims of motor vehicle collisions (MVCs). We found no difference in mortality OR 1.09 (0.73–1.62), or length of hospital stay, and a trend for lower ISS score was found in the high-alcohol group ( ). Furthermore, the high-alcohol group demonstrated a lower adjusted rate of severe head injury OR 0.65 (0.48–0.87), chest injury OR 0.58 (0.42–0.80), and serious extremity injury OR 0.10 (0.01–0.76). The findings of our study do not demonstrate a dose-response relationship between alcohol consumption and injury severity in MVCs. This study implies that higher BAC may lead to less severe injuries, without impacting mortality or length of hospital stay, however, further research is required to elucidate the nature of this relationship.