Effects of Elevated Blood Alcohol Levels on Burn Patient Outcomes

Salomon Puyana, MD, MS; Samuel Ruiz, MD; Francisco Amador, MD; Elizabeth Young, MSN; Shaikh Hai, MD; Mark McKenney, MD, MBA; Rizal Lim, MD; Haaris Mir, MD


ePlasty. 2021;21(e8) 

In This Article


A total of 11,286 burn patients met the inclusion criteria. There were 1,544 patients (13.6% of total) with a blood alcohol level equal to or above the legal limit of 0.08 mg/dl (group 1) and 9,742 patients (86.3 % of total) with blood alcohol levels below the legal limit of 0.08 mg/dl (group 2). (Table 1)

Group 1 had an average age of 37.7 years while the average age in group 2 was 34.5 years. The percentage of TBSA burn was statistically similar in both groups, with an average of 2.08% in group 1 and 2.32% in group 2 (P = 0.293, t-test).

There was a significantly higher ICU LOS at 5.91 days for patients in group 1 compared to 3.66 days for patients in group 2 (P = 0.0001, t-test). There was no statistically significant difference in the hospital LOS between the 2 groups with 11.09 days in group 1 compared to 10.94 days in group 2 (P = 0.783, t-test). Days on a ventilator were significantly higher in the alcohol positive group at 5.67 days vs 3.06 days in the alcohol negative group (P = 0.01, t-test). In-hospital mortality was significantly higher in group 1 at 4.86% compared to group 2 at 3.91% (P = 0.0001, χ2).