Past Issues

The Relationship between Alcohol and Injury at Emergent Department in Northern Taiwan

Chang-Chih Huang, Yi-Chyan Chen

Objective: Growing evidence shows the relationship between alcohol drinking and injuries. We intended to do an emergency department (ED) study with a case-crossover design, to evaluate the proportion of alcohol-related injuries, the relative risk (RR) to sustain an injury during alcohol exposure, and the ability of alcohol detection by medical staffs in northern Taiwan, Methods: The injury subjects were recruited consecutively at ED over a 10-week period and divided into case (ALC) or normal control (NC) group based on whether the presence of alcohol drinking existed within six hours before injury. We collected data of breath test for blood alcohol concentration (BAC), self-report (Y90 code), and clinical assessment (Y91 code) for intoxication level. Results: Among the recruited 535 subjects, 31 subjects (5.8%) were classifi ed as ALC group. The demographic and clinical data of ALC group showed signifi cantly more male predominant (p < 0.01), signifi cantly poorer in education level (p < 0.05), and signifi cantly higher rate of intentional injuries (p < 0.01) than those of NC group. The estimated RR of alcohol-related injuries using the usual frequency analyses was 2.54 (95% confi - dence interval = 1.84 - 3.51). For 21 subjects with positive BAC, the concordance rate between BAC and Y91 code was moderate (Kendall’s Tau-B 0.437 and Spearman ρ = 0.546). But self-report using Y90 code tended to be underestimated the intoxication level compared to Y91 code. Conclusion: The study showed that alcohol drinking increased risk to sustain acute injury, especially for intentional injury. The implementation of Y91 codes and breath test at ED are suitable to detect the alcohol-related injuries in northern Taiwan.
Key Word alcohol, injury, relative risk, emergency department
Editorial Committe, Taiwanese Journal of Psychiatry
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