Blood Alcohol Concentration

(BAC)

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Rationale

-  Used to assess the amount of EtOH in a pts blood as an estimation of the level of intoxication

-  In accidents involving vehicles BAC (blood) are taken of drivers, passengers, pedestrians & kept in locked boxed of the ED

 

Features

-  Measured in 1/100 (%) g/ml in Australia

-  Legal driving BAC limit 0.05 (full licence)

-  Influenced by sex, body weight, tolerance, race

 

Procedure

-  Can be tested on breath, urine or blood

 

Results

-  Unless high levels of EtOH tolerance

-  BAC 0.20 = serious intoxication

-  BAC 0.35-0.40 = usually fatal EtOH poisoning

-  BAC 0.40 is the LD50 (lethal dose for 50% pts)

 

Police BAC

 

Features

-  Blood test for BAC & drug levels used for evidence by police

-  Legal requirement for admissible evidence (court)

-  No consent required

 

Equipment

-  Police drug & EtOH Test Kit

-  Vacutainer + needle

-  Path tubes x3 (grey tops)

-  Non alcohol site prep

-  Bags x3 (for tubes & docs)

-  Pt info card

-  Documentation (specific pad w carbon paper)

-  Tourniquet

-  Gloves

 

Procedure

-  Venepuncture w non-acoholic prep x3 tubes

-  Documentation

-  Copies 1-3 w police tube  --> bag 1

-  Copy 4 w pt tube --> bag 2

-  Copy 5 w screening tube --> bag 3

-  Copy 6 stays in pad

-  Stick tubes to documents, place in bag & seal

-  Police sample into police safe

-  Pt sample + pt info card to pt

-  Pt to sign back of 6th page in pad to acklowledge receipt of sample

-  Screening sample mailed to lab in special tube