The contribution of alcohol to fatal traumatic head injuries in the forensic setting.
AffiliationDepartment of Neuropathology, Beaumont Hospital, Beaumont, Dublin 9. email@example.com
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CitationThe contribution of alcohol to fatal traumatic head injuries in the forensic setting., 103 (10):303-5 Ir Med J
JournalIrish medical journal
AbstractExcessive drinking increases the risk of dying unnaturally. In the Republic of Ireland such deaths are referred to the State Pathologist. Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is routinely measured. We created a database of cases presenting to the State Pathologist over a nine year period (2000-2008 inclusive) to evaluate the relationship between alcohol and fatal traumatic brain injuries (FTBI). Of a total of 1778 cases, 332 (275 Male [M]; 57 Female [F]) died of head injuries. Fatalities were highest in males aged 36-50 (N = 97) and 26-35 (N = 73). Assaults (N = 147), falls (N = 95), road traffic accidents (RTA) (N = 50) and suicide (N = 15) were the commonest modes of presentation. A positive blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was found in 36% of assaults, 41% of falls and 40% of suicides. In the RTA group BAC was positive in 59% of pedestrians, 33% of drivers and 14% of passengers. Alcohol clearly plays a significant role in FTBI in the forensic setting.
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