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Clinical Trial
. 2004 Aug;11(8):885-7.
doi: 10.1111/j.1553-2712.2004.tb00775.x.

The Saliva Strip Test Is an Accurate Method to Determine Blood Alcohol Concentration in Trauma Patients

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Clinical Trial

The Saliva Strip Test Is an Accurate Method to Determine Blood Alcohol Concentration in Trauma Patients

Linda C Degutis et al. Acad Emerg Med. .
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Abstract

Objectives: To determine the accuracy of alcohol saliva testing (AST) in trauma patients.

Methods: Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was measured by using both AST (QED A350; STC Technologies, Bethlehem, PA) and blood serum levels in 100 trauma patients admitted to the emergency department of an urban Level 1 trauma center.

Results: All 41 patients who tested positive for BAC on AST (mean [+/-SD]: 167.9 +/- 16.16; range: 20-350 mg/dL) also tested positive on serum determination (mean: 197.6 +/- 13.79; range: 22-446 mg/dL). Correlation between the two positive tests was significant (0.879, p < 0.001). Of the remaining 61 patients, 59 tested negative on both tests, while two patients with BACs of <30 mg/dL tested negative on the AST. For 18 patients with blood in the oropharynx, there was a correlation of 0.976 (p < 0.001, two-tailed) between serum and AST tests.

Conclusions: The AST method of measuring BAC in trauma patients is accurate. Blood in the oral cavity did not appear to affect the accuracy of the test.

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