The Royal College of Physicians report on alcohol: guidelines for managing Wernicke's encephalopathy in the accident and Emergency Department.Alcohol Alcohol 2002 Nov-Dec; 37(6):513-21AA
The Royal College of Physicians (London) recently published its latest report on alcohol misuse entitled 'Alcohol - Can the NHS Afford It?'. Part of this document, encompassing our views, has made specific recommendations for the management of patients in the Accident and Emergency (A&E) Department who may possibly have, or are at risk of developing, Wernicke's encephalopathy. Patients showing evidence of chronic alcohol misuse and suspected of having a poor diet should be treated at the outset with B vitamins intravenously or intramuscularly, especially when the clinical signs are initially masked by drunkenness at presentation to the A&E Department. This commentary offers a review of the scientific foundations on which these recommendations have been made.