Trauma & Acute Care Open Access

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Relationship between Blood Alcohol Content, Injury Severity Score and Mortality in Trauma Patients

Lin J, Fujii Q and McCague A

Background: Alcohol contributes to morbidity and mortality in trauma patients. Alcohol abuse is a leading risk factor for preventable death. This project aims to determine if a relationship exists between trauma outcomes and higher blood alcohol content (BAC) in patients.

Methods: This retrospective cohort study included adult patients seen at Natividad Medical Center via trauma activation between 2015 and 2017 who had BAC screening performed. Metrics included injury severity score (ISS), Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS), mortality, length of stay and blood transfusion requirements. The cohort was stratified by BAC and age. The groups were analyzed for differences outcomes. Data formatting was performed using Microsoft Excel. SPSS statistical software version 25 was used to perform ANOVA, followed by post-hoc analysis

Results and conclusion: 2,698 patients were included in the study. Patients with BAC>0.16 g/dL were found to have significantly longer hospital lengths of stay (3.69 days, p value 0.046) and significantly longer ICU lengths of stay (1.63 days, p value 0.047). An age-stratified analysis showed no significant difference in ISS, overall hospital LOS, blood requirements, mortality or major trauma. The one-way ANOVA showed that there were significant differences in the BAC groups for the following variables at the p<0.05 level: age (p=0.00), systolic blood pressure (p=0.00), hospital length of stay (p=0.00), heart rate (p=0.00) and GCS (p=0.00).Researchers have still not clearly elicited the role of alcohol and outcomes in trauma patients once they arrive to the hospital. More research is needed on the effects of alcohol on trauma patient outcomes.