McDonald, Archibald H.; Duncan, Newton D.; Mitchell, Derek I. G
Author Affiliation, Ana.
Department of Surgery, Radiology, Anaesthesia and Intensive Care
Alcohol, cannabis and cocaine usage in patients with trauma injuries
West Indian Medical Journal
Date of Publication
Sera from 111 patients with trauma injuries, who presented to the Accident and Emergency Unit (A&E), University Hospital of the West Indies, during a 3-month period, were screened for blood alcohol. Urine specimens were analysed for metabolites of cannabis and cocaine. Sixty- two per cent (62%) of patients were positive for at least one substance and 20% for two or more. Positivity rates were as follows: cannabis (46%), alcohol (32%) with 71% of these having blood alcohol levels (BAC) greater than 80 mg per decilitre; cocaine (6%). Substance usage was most prevalent in the third decade of life. The patients who yielded a positive result were significantly younger than those who were negative. There was no significant difference in age or substance usage between the victims of interpersonal violence or road traffic accidents. In the group designated 'other accidents', patients were significantly older and had a lower incidence of substance usage than the other two groups. Cannabis was the most prevalent substance in all groups. Fifty per cent (50%) and fifty-five per cent (55%) of victims of road accidents and interpersonal violence, respectively, were positive for cannabis compared with 43% and 27% for alcohol, respectively. There was no significant difference in Hospital Stay or Injury Severity Score between substance users and non-users.....