Short Tilte:EMS providers do not accurately note motor-vehicle crash patients with positive serum alcohol concentrations
Journal:Prehospital and Disaster Medicine
Year, Volume, Issue, Page(s):95, 10, 2,
Retrospective cohort study examines the accuracy of prehospital emergency care providers (PHECPs) in identifying motor vehicle crash victims who had positive serum alcohol concentrations. Data gathered included ambulance report forms and hospital records. Variables that were abstracted included the Revised Trauma Score (RTS), the PHECPs' impression of alcohol use, and serum alcohol concentrations. Sensitivity, specificity, predictive values (positive and negative) and 0.95 confidence intervals were calculated for the PHECPs' ability to identify patients with a serum alcohol concentration above 0. The relationship between the impressions of alcohol use and the RTS was analyzed with chi-square testing: a p-value of more than 0.05 was considered statistically significant. The study suggests that PHECPs cannot accurately identify crash victims with positive serum alcohol concentrations. Signficant study limitations include selection bias and retrospective design. Suggestions for future studies are discussed. This document is included in NCDDR's Guide to Substance Abuse and Disability Resources produced by NIDRR Grantees, number D.21, and 2nd Ed, number D.26.