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Addiction and Substance Abuse

Blood alcohol question

08/13/2007

Question:

My father who is 58 was involved in a motor vechicle accident. He left for the store and had a four beers over four or more hour period. He does not remeber much aout the accident but he was transferred to a trauma center via helicopter at the second hospital his ethonal serum was 150. Can anything else cause this. Here is a brief med history he is a recently dx diabetic, COPD, and sleep anpea,GERD, he weighs about 25o pds. his medications include citalopram hydrobromide 40 mg, singular 10mg, lisinopril 5 mg, nexium 40 mg vytorin 10/40 advair 500/50, albuterol, metforim 500mg, also at the ER he was given Haldol 5 mg, lorazapam 2mg, I realize that you can not give a exact answer to what medications can a test to be elvated but if you can tell me where i can look or if there is any reason to look.

Answer:

Hi,

I would suggest letting his attorney handle this.  The only reason it would not stand up in court would be if collection procedures for collecting a valid BAL were not followed - such as if his arm was swabbed with rubbing alcohol before the draw.  Attorneys know the collection procedures, and you could check it out by searching for blood alcohol level testing on your search engine.

Good luck.  Your father being a diabetic means he is not supposed to be drinking and certainly not 4 beers so chances are he may have a drinking problem and should be assessed for it.

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Response by:

Edna M Jones, MD, MRO Edna M Jones, MD, MRO
Emeritus Clinical Assistant Professor of Family Medicine
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University