1611 patients were included in this investigation. 16.7% of the patients were involved in traffic accidents, 38.2% were injured by a sudden fall, 3.5% were involved in an act of violence, 22.8% were injured by a sports related accident and 18.9% were hurt within a work-related accident. 19.5% of the patients tested positive for alcohol, 5.2% tested positive for benzodiazepines and 1.4% tested positive for both substances. Blood samples were positive for alcohol in 27% males and 7.7% females and for benzodiazepines in 6.3% males and in 3.5% females. The mean blood alcohol concentration (BAC) as well as the mean benzodiazepine plasma level were higher in patients injured in violent accidents compared to the other injury groups. This study provides epidemiologic information about the relationship between specific kinds of accidents and alcohol and/or benzodiazepine use in a large probability sample of emergency room patients. We found a high number of patients using alcohol, and a lower but still relavant number of benzodiazepine users in this large and unselected traumatology ER sample. This study adds evidence to the existing literature about the co-occurance of alcohol and/or benzodiazepine consumption and accident-related injuries.
Copyright 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.