Alcohol use among trauma victims admitted to a level I trauma center in Israel

Dror Soffer*, Osnat Zmora, Joseph B. Klausner, Oded Szold, Adi Givon, Pinhas Halpern, Carl I. Schulman, Kobi Peleg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The contribution of drugs and alcohol to current trauma-related morbidity and mortality in Israel is not known. Identification of these factors in the fast-changing demographics of the Israeli population might lead to better care and, no less importantly, to targeted prevention measures. Objectives: To determine the incidence of alcohol-related trauma, and to specify the time of day, the cause of trauma, and the morbidity and mortality rates as compared to non-alcohol-associated trauma in the tertiary trauma unit of a large medical center in Tel Aviv. Methods: Data were obtained from the Israel National Trauma Registry, based on patient records in our institution (Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center) from January 2001 to December 2003. Results: Of the 5529 patients in the study, 170 had high alcohol blood levels (> 50 mg/dl). Patients intoxicated with alcohol had higher rates of road accident injuries (35% versus 24% non-intoxicated) and stab wounds (29% vs. 7%). The Injury Severity Score of the alcohol-intoxicated patients was higher (32% ≥ 16 vs. 12% > 16). The alcohol-intoxicated patients were more likely to be non-Jewish (34% vs. 9%), young (82% aged 15-44 years) and males (91 %). Most of the alcohol-related injuries occureed during the weekend (47%) and during evening-late night hours (from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m., 55%). Conclusions: Alcohol-associated trauma differs from non-alcohol-associated trauma in many ways. Since the population at risk can be identified, it is important that legislative, social, enforcement and educational measures be adopted to reduce the extent of alcohol abuse and thereby improve the level of public safety.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-102
Number of pages5
JournalIsrael Medical Association Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2006


  • Alcohol
  • Injury
  • Intoxication
  • Road accident
  • Trauma


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