Support for blood alcohol screening in pediatric trauma

Eric J. Ley, Matthew B. Singer, Scott S. Short, Douglas Liou, Marko Bukur, Darren J. Malinoski, Daniel R. Margulies, Ali Salim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)939-943
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican journal of surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Alcohol
  • Children
  • Intoxication
  • Pediatric
  • Trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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