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TitleAlcohol and fatal injuries of the head and spine
AuthorsMcLean AJ, Antonio JD, North JB, Simpson DA, Woodward AJ
TypeJournal Article
AbstractInjuries to the head and spine, mostly from road accidents, accounted for 325 deaths in South Australia in 1977. Blood alcohol concentration (BAC), measured in 181 victims, was greater than zero in 47%, with a mean level of 0.16 gm/ 100 ml. Females were almost as likely to have been drinking as were males but their average BAC was about half that of the male victims. Almost one third of the drivers and motorcyclists who were killed had a BAC above .08. High blood alcohol levels were also observed among the suicide and homicide cases. Alcohol involvement did not vary markedly between urban and rural areas, neither was it associated in a meaningful way with survival time, the nature of the injury to the head or spine, or with the occurrence of a lucid interval between injury and death. Countermeasures directed at the role of alcohol as a causal factor in road crashes have the greatest potential to reduce the incidence of fatal head and spinal injuries. The development of such measures will be assisted by more complete reporting of blood alcohol concentrations.
Journal TitleCommunity Health Studies
Journal Volume (Issue)8(2)
Page Range159-166
Page Count8
NotesAvailable from CASR library on request

McLean AJ, Antonio JD, North JB, Simpson DA, Woodward AJ (1984). Alcohol and fatal injuries of the head and spine. Community Health Studies, 8(2), 159-166.