Blood alcohol measurements in the emergency department: who needs them?
We surveyed North Carolina emergency physicians to determine current medical practices regarding the use of blood alcohol concentrations using a hypothetical scenario. Most physicians (88 per cent) would not have obtained blood alcohol concentrations in a patient who had alcohol on his breath but was coherent and cooperative. For marginally impaired patients, more liberal use of blood alcohol concentrations and explicit instructions to avoid driving while impaired might improve patient care and promote highway safety.
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