Measurement of blood alcohol level can be used for medical or legal purposes. The screening is performed on patients who have lost consciousness and for the diagnosis of alcohol poisoning. Blood alcohol is also measured in patients with coma of unknown etiology, as alcohol intoxication may resemble a diabetic coma, a brain trauma, and an overdose of certain medications.
Alcohol (ethanol or ethyl alcohol) is a suppressor of the central nervous system with anesthetic and diuretic effects and is usually taken orally in the form of drinks (beer, wine, whiskey, vodka, rum, ouzo, etc.). Ethanol is also used to treat methanol intoxication and can be used to prevent the onset of alcohol withdrawal symptoms. The symptoms depending on the concentration of alcohol in the blood are:
- 50 mg/dL Lack of muscle coordination
- 50-100 mg/dL Worsening of movement coordination
- 100-150 mg/dL Changes in mood and behavior
- 150-200 mg/dL Delayed reactions
- 200-300 mg/dL Ataxia, diplopia, nausea, vomiting
- 300-400 mg/dL Amnesia, dysarthria, hypothermia
- 400-700 mg/dL Respiratory failure, coma, death
Laboratory test results are the most important parameter for the diagnosis and monitoring of all pathological conditions. 70%-80% of diagnostic decisions are based on laboratory tests. Correct interpretation of laboratory results allows a doctor to distinguish "healthy" from "diseased".
Laboratory test results should not be interpreted from the numerical result of a single analysis. Test results should be interpreted in relation to each individual case and family history, clinical findings and the results of other laboratory tests and information. Your personal physician should explain the importance of your test results.
At Diagnostiki Athinon we answer any questions you may have about the test you perform in our laboratory and we contact your doctor to get the best possible medical care.