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Assessment of the breath alcohol concentration in emergency care patients with different level of consciousness.

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 assessment.

OBJECTIVE

At two emergency departments, demonstrate the feasibility of accurate breath alcohol testing in emergency patients with different levels of cooperation.

METHOD

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 indicator.

RESULT

Eighty-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 significance.

CONCLUSION

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.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Hök Instrument AB, Västerås, Sweden. annika.kaisdotter.andersson@hokinstrument.se.Karolinska Institutet, Department of Clinical Research and Education, Södersjukhuset, Stockholm, Sweden. josefine.kron@capio.se. Section of Emergency Medicine, Södersjukhuset, Stockholm, Sweden. josefine.kron@capio.se.Karolinska Institutet, Department of Clinical Research and Education, Södersjukhuset, Stockholm, Sweden. maaret.castren@sodersjukhuset.se. Section of Emergency Medicine, Södersjukhuset, Stockholm, Sweden. maaret.castren@sodersjukhuset.se.Department of Medical Sciences, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden. asa.muntlinathlin@adelaide.edu.au. School of Nursing, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia. asa.muntlinathlin@adelaide.edu.au. Department of Emergency Care, Uppsala University Hospital, Uppsala, Sweden. asa.muntlinathlin@adelaide.edu.au. Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden. asa.muntlinathlin@adelaide.edu.au.Hök Instrument AB, Västerås, Sweden. bertil.hok@hokinstrument.se.Department of Surgical Science, Anesthesiology and Intensive Care, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden. lars@wiklundab.se.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Multicenter Study

Language

eng

PubMed ID

25652597

Citation

Kaisdotter Andersson, Annika, et al. "Assessment of the Breath Alcohol Concentration in Emergency Care Patients With Different Level of Consciousness." Scandinavian Journal of Trauma, Resuscitation and Emergency Medicine, vol. 23, 2015, p. 11.
Kaisdotter Andersson A, Kron J, Castren M, et al. Assessment of the breath alcohol concentration in emergency care patients with different level of consciousness. Scand J Trauma Resusc Emerg Med. 2015;23:11.
Kaisdotter Andersson, A., Kron, J., Castren, M., Muntlin Athlin, A., Hok, B., & Wiklund, L. (2015). Assessment of the breath alcohol concentration in emergency care patients with different level of consciousness. Scandinavian Journal of Trauma, Resuscitation and Emergency Medicine, 23, p. 11. doi:10.1186/s13049-014-0082-y.
Kaisdotter Andersson A, et al. Assessment of the Breath Alcohol Concentration in Emergency Care Patients With Different Level of Consciousness. Scand J Trauma Resusc Emerg Med. 2015 Feb 6;23:11. PubMed PMID: 25652597.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Assessment of the breath alcohol concentration in emergency care patients with different level of consciousness. AU - Kaisdotter Andersson,Annika, AU - Kron,Josefine, AU - Castren,Maaret, AU - Muntlin Athlin,Asa, AU - Hok,Bertil, AU - Wiklund,Lars, Y1 - 2015/02/06/ PY - 2014/10/15/received PY - 2014/12/21/accepted PY - 2015/2/6/entrez PY - 2015/2/6/pubmed PY - 2016/1/30/medline SP - 11 EP - 11 JF - Scandinavian journal of trauma, resuscitation and emergency medicine JO - Scand J Trauma Resusc Emerg Med VL - 23 N2 - 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 assessment. OBJECTIVE: At two emergency departments, demonstrate the feasibility of accurate breath alcohol testing in emergency patients with different levels of cooperation. METHOD: 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 indicator. RESULT: Eighty-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 significance. CONCLUSION: 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. SN - 1757-7241 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/25652597/Assessment_of_the_breath_alcohol_concentration_in_emergency_care_patients_with_different_level_of_consciousness_ L2 - https://sjtrem.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13049-014-0082-y DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -