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Authors

  1. Willis, Reda E. MS, RN, CCRN, CNS-BC, MDiv
  2. Krichten, Amy E. BSN, RN, CEN
  3. Clancy, Keith D. MD, FACS

Abstract

Alcohol consumption is responsible for approximately one-half of all trauma deaths and nonfatal injuries in the United States. Obtaining a blood alcohol level (BAL) is one way to determine at-risk patients. Relying only on the BAL excludes many patients from screening who may be at-risk drinkers. Consequently, our trauma center adopted the philosophy to screen all of our trauma patients for at-risk drinking, regardless of their BAL. We have identified that approximately 25% of our patients with a BAL less than the legal limit are at-risk drinkers and required an intervention and education on safe drinking limits.