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Alcohol and drugs misuse represents an important social problem. There is no agreement about influence of ethanol and drugs on trauma severity and clinical course. The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of alcohol and drugs abuse on road related trauma managed to our Level I Trauma Center. Data of 1067 car or motorcycle drivers consecutively admitted in a 5 years period were retrospectively analyzed. The sample was divided into two groups: patients with alcohol and/or drugs misuse and patients without detectable plasmatic levels or not screened because no clinical suspicion of these substance. Demographic data, mechanism of trauma, severity of injury, daily and season time of trauma distribution, alcohol and drugs levels and outcomes were retrieved. Alcohol or drugs misuse were detected in 242 patients. Heavy alcohols levels were the 62.3%. Among drugs cannabis was the most detected substance. These patients were significantly younger than the overall study population (p = 0.011), with a higher ISS (p = 0.012) a lower RTS (p = 0.047), a lower GCS (p = 0.005) and an higher head injuries severity (p = 0.030). Regarding time distribution, Saturday was the day with the highest percentage of trauma associated with substance misuse (21%). Alcohol/drugs misuse plays a very important role in the epidemiology of road related trauma. Despite the higher severity of trauma scores and the higher incidence of severe head injuries in patients with alcohol or drugs consumption, there were no effects of this substances on mortality of injured patients involved in road crashes. © 2021. The Author(s).


Federica Renzi, Elisa Reitano, Davanzo Franca, Osvaldo Chiara, Stefania Cimbanassi. Trauma, alcohol and drugs misuse in car and motorcycle drivers: a prevalence study in a level one trauma center. Updates in surgery. 2022 Jun;74(3):1129-1136

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PMID: 34515980

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