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Demographic and clinical properties of patients presenting with traffic accidents and its association with blood alcohol concentration

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Author(s): Erkan GÖKSU | Yıldıray ÇETE | Hüseyin KANALICI | İsa KILIÇASLAN

Journal: Turkish Journal of Emergency Medicine
ISSN 1304-7361

Volume: 8;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 26;
Date: 2008;

Keywords: Alcohol consumption | emergency | traffic accident.

ABSTRACT
Objectives: The aim of this study is to determine the features of presentations because of traffic accidents and the relation of them to the alcohol. Materials and Methods: Patients older than 18 years presented to the emergency department (ED) because of traffic accidents in 2002 were retrospectively evaluated from the patients charts. Gender, age, mechanism of trauma, triage category, blood alcohol concentration, length of emergency department stay, morbidity, and mortality were recorded. Patients with a blood alcohol level of greater than 50 mg/dl are accepted as over normal limits. Results: A total of 997 patients presented to the ED because of traffic accidents during the study period. Of the 997 patients, 353 patients whose alcohol levels were analyzed composed the study population. The mean age of the study patients was 36±13.1 and 75.6% (n=267) of them were male. 22.1% (n=78) of the study patients were found to have alcohol levels of over normal limits. There was statistically significant difference between the ages of the patients with and without alcohol over normal limits (33±9.5 vs 37±14, respectively; p≤0.05). There was no significant difference between the length of mean ED stays of patients with and without alcohol (189±97 vs 198±141, respectively; p≥0.05). The ED presentations of traffic accidents were mostly between May and October. The frequent admission times of traffic accidents were between 09:00 and 21:00 and they also had a second pick at midnight. The mortality rates and admissions to the hospital did not significantly differ between patients with and without high alcohol levels (p≥0.05). Conclusion: Length of ED stay, hospitalization and mortality were not affected by blood alcohol levels.
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