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Drunk patients have higher survival rates in ERs, study finds

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While drinking alcohol ultimately increases your risk of going to the hospital, being intoxicated is actually better for your survival rate.

A new study from the University of Illinois at Chicago’s school of public health found that patients who were admitted to trauma centers had a better chance of survival if their blood alcohol content (BAC) was higher, the Atlantic reported.  

The research analyzed more than 190,000 patients admitted to trauma centers in Illinois and who had their BAC tested between 1995 and 2005.  For those with the highest intoxication rates, the fatality rate was reduced by 50 percent, controlling for other factors.  The correlation was strongest for people who had suffered from penetrating injuries, following with traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, internal torso injuries and blunt injuries.

According to the Atlantic, people without alcohol in their blood were more likely to suffer from cardiac complications – such as heart attacks – in the emergency room.

Lee Friedman, the study’s lead researcher, noted that the relationship only occurs for those who make it to the hospital.

“Blood alcohol concentration is strongly associated with lower in-hospital mortality among those that survive long enough to receive treatment in specialized trauma units,” Friedman said.  “The more alcohol in your system, the more the proven effect.”

Click for more from the Atlantic.

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