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Blood alcohol concentration measurement using a salivary reagent stick: a reliable tool for emergency departments?
  1. I C Phair,
  2. S Mardel,
  3. G G Bodiwala
  1. Accident and Emergency Department, Leicester Royal Infirmary.


    Measurements of blood alcohol concentration (BAC) were made on patients who presented to an accident and emergency department with acute alcohol intoxication. A correlation of r = 0.418 was noted to exist between BAC as measured by sampling saliva and blood. Blood alcohol concentrations as measured by salivary reagent strip (ALCO-SCREEN, Chem Elec.) were significantly lower (p less than 0.0001) than those determined by gas chromatography of serum. Although such reagent strips offer a rapid measurement of BAC, it is concluded that they are unreliable for the quantitative measurement of BAC in accident and emergency departments.

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