Head injury and intoxication: a diagnostic and therapeutic dilemma.
ABSTRACT One hundred patients admitted to a surgical clinic with a diagnosis of concussion of the brain were studied regarding the abuse of alcohol and narcotic drugs. 58% of the patients were assessed as intoxicated on admission. Psychiatric evaluation revealed a history of alcohol dependence in 43 of the patients and experience of narcotic drugs in 25. Forty-six of the patients reported recurrent defects of memory and nine suffered from epilepsy. Amnesia therefore seems to be a factor of limited diagnostic value in concussion of the brain. Because of diagnostic difficulties, in patients with alcohol intoxication a more liberal attitude towards cranial X-ray and CT-scanning will be justified. Blood ethanol determination, measurement of blood gamma glutamyl transpeptidase and the mean blood corpuscular volume are clinically important to elucidate the etiology in patients with head injury. Active rehabilitative measures should be initiated in collaboration between the surgeon, psychiatrist and social worker to prevent post-concussional syndromes.
SourceAvailable from: Peter Robert Martin01/2001; Marcel Dekker, Inc.
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ABSTRACT: The purpose of the study was to disentangle the relative contributions of day-of-injury alcohol intoxication and pre-injury alcohol misuse on outcome from TBI. Participants were 142 patients enrolled from a Level 1 Trauma Center (in Vancouver, Canada) following a traumatic brain injury (TBI; 43 uncomplicated mild TBI and 63 complicated mild-severe TBI) or orthopedic injury [36 trauma controls (TC)]. At 6-8 weeks post-injury, diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) of the whole brain was undertaken using a Phillips 3T scanner. Participants also completed neuropsychological testing, an evaluation of lifetime alcohol consumption (LAC), and had blood alcohol levels (BALs) taken at the time of injury. Participants in the uncomplicated mild TBI and complicated mild-severe TBI groups had higher scores on measures of depression and postconcussion symptoms (d = 0.45-0.83), but not anxiety, compared with the TC group. The complicated mild-severe TBI group had more areas of abnormal white matter on DTI measures (all p < .05; d = 0.54-0.61) than the TC group. There were no difference between groups on all neurocognitive measures. Using hierarchical regression analyses and generalized linear modeling, LAC and BAL did provide a unique contribution toward the prediction of attention and executive functioning abilities; however, the variance accounted for was small. LAC and BAL did not provide a unique and meaningful contribution toward the prediction of self-reported symptoms, DTI measures, or the majority of neurocognitive measures. In this study, BAL and LAC were not predictive of mental health symptoms, postconcussion symptoms, cognition, or white-matter changes at 6-8 weeks following TBI.Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology 06/2014; DOI:10.1093/arclin/acu027 · 1.92 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Background Many patients seeking emergency care are under the influence of alcohol, which in many cases implies a differential diagnostic problem. For this reason early objective alcohol screening is of importance not to falsely assign the medical condition to intake of alcohol and thus secure a correct medical assessmentObjective At two emergency departments, demonstrate the feasibility of accurate breath alcohol testing in emergency patients with different levels of cooperationMethod Assessment of the correlation and ratio between the venous blood alcohol concentration (BAC) and the breath alcohol concentration (BrAC) measured in adult emergency care patients. The BrAC was measured with a breathalyzer prototype based on infrared spectroscopy, which uses the partial pressure of carbon dioxide (pCO2) in the exhaled air as a quality indicatorResultEighty-eight patients enrolled (mean 45 years, 53 men, 35 women) performed 201 breath tests in total. For 51% of the patients intoxication from alcohol or tablets was considered to be the main reason for seeking medical care. Twenty-seven percent of the patients were found to have a BAC of <0.04 mg/g. With use of a common conversion factor of 2100:1 between BAC and BrAC an increased agreement with BAC was found when the level of pCO2 was used to estimate the end-expiratory BrAC (underestimation of 6%, r¿=¿0.94), as compared to the BrAC measured in the expired breath (underestimation of 26%, r¿=¿0.94). Performance of a forced or a non-forced expiration was not found to have a significant effect (p¿=¿0.09) on the bias between the BAC and the BrAC estimated with use of the level of CO2. A variation corresponding to a BAC of 0.3 mg/g was found between two sequential breath tests, which is not considered to be of clinical significanceConclusion With use of the expired pCO2 as a quality marker the BrAC can be reliably assessed in emergency care patients regardless of their cooperation, and type and length of the expiration.Scandinavian Journal of Trauma Resuscitation and Emergency Medicine 02/2015; 23(1):11. DOI:10.1186/s13049-014-0082-y · 1.93 Impact Factor