Background: Alcohol intoxication in pediatric trauma is underappreciated. The aim of this study was to characterize alcohol screening rates in pediatric trauma. Methods: The Los Angeles County Trauma System Database was queried for all patients aged ≤ 18 years who required admission between 2003 and 2008. Patients were compared by age and gender. Results: A total of 18,598 patients met the inclusion criteria; 4,899 (26.3%) underwent blood alcohol screening, and 2,797 (57.1%) of those screened positive. Screening increased with age (3.3% for 0-9 years, 15.1% for 10-14 years, and 45.4% for 15-18 years; P <.01), as did alcohol intoxication (1.9% for 0-9 years, 5.8% 10-14 years, and 27.3% for 15-18 years; P <.01). Male gender predicted higher mortality in those aged 15 to 18 years (adjusted odds ratio, 1.7; P <.01), while alcohol intoxication did not (adjusted odds ratio,.97; P =.84). Conclusions: Alcohol intoxication is common in adolescent trauma patients. Screening is encouraged for pediatric trauma patients aged <10 years who require admission.
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