Journal of Emergencies, Trauma, and Shock
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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 42-47

Correlation between alcohol use disorders, blood alcohol content, and length of stay in trauma patients

1 Department of Emergency Medicine, University of California Irvine, California, USA
2 Center for Trauma and Injury Prevention Research, University of California Irvine, California, USA
3 Department of Surgery, University of California Irvine, California, USA

Correspondence Address:
Wirachin Hoonpongsimanont
333 The City Blvd. W. Suite 640, Orange, California 92868
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/JETS.JETS_10_20

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Background: Patients with an alcohol use disorder (AUD) have an increased risk of developing complications during their hospital stays; however, how AUD impacts the length of stay (LOS) and the utilization of hospital resources remains inconclusive. Aim: This study aimed to identify the associations between AUD, defined by self-reported alcohol consumption, blood alcohol content (BAC), and hospital LOS (HLOS) including intensive care unit (ICU) LOS in the trauma patient population. Study Design: We conducted a retrospective study analyzing data obtained from 2010 to 2018 at a university-based, level-one trauma emergency department. We identified 1689 adult trauma patients who completed the AUDs identification test (AUDIT) and were admitted to the hospital. We retrieved BAC, age, gender, LOS, and injury severity score (ISS) from the patient charts. The independent samples' median test was used to assess the association of HLOS and ICULOS with ISS, BAC levels, or AUDIT scores. Results: ISS was directly associated with higher HLOS (P < 0.001) and ICULOS (P < 0.001); however there was no statistically significant association between AUDIT scores and ICULOS (P = 0.21) or HLOS (P = 0.86). There was also no statistically significant association between BAC and HLOS (P = 0.09) or ICULOS (P = 0.07). Conclusions: Our study found no associations between AUDIT, BAC, and both hospital and ICU LOS in trauma patients even though the literature supported an increased risk of medical complications in the AUD patients.

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