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Alcohol Intoxication Impact on Outcome from Traumatic Injury

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Annual rept. 3 Apr 2006-2 Apr 2007

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The incidence of traumatic injury in alcohol-intoxicated individuals has continued to escalate during recent years. Traumatic injury is responsible for the greatest number of years of potential life lost before age 65 higher than that attributed to cancer, heart disease and HIV. Approximately 25 of injuries treated in emergency departments are alcohol related. Alcohol-intoxicated injured victims are likelier to present with more severe injury. Although improved resuscitation of trauma patients has dramatically reduced immediate death from hemorrhagic shock, the outcome of these patients continues to be complicated with infections and secondary loss of organ function during the recovery period. Frequently patients have to go through surgical procedures to stabilize them or save their lives. These additional invasive procedures add to the risk of complications in the victims of traumatic injury. We have obtained data from our studies showing that alcohol-intoxication interferes with the bodys response to loss of blood and in addition, interferes with the restoration of blood pressure with intravenous fluid resuscitation. In addition, we have also observed that the mortality following traumatic injury in the intoxicated host leads to greater mortality from infection. One of the possible aspects that may be affected by alcohol is the brains ability to adequately activate all of the responses that are necessary to control blood pressure and to ensure that blood flow and oxygen reach all the tissues. Our studies investigate the pathways that alcohol affects leading to inability to restore blood pressure. The studies use an animal model to investigate what are the brain responses that alcohol affects and to see whether restoring these responses will aid in recovery from hemorrhagic shock.

Subject Categories:

  • Psychology
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Medicine and Medical Research

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