Wednesday, December 30, 2009


News from Sturgis that a woman was seen at a hospital there with a BAC of 708. Checks with local and state labs where blood-alcohol levels are tested suggest Engle’s reading may be the highest ever recorded in South Dakota.

LD 50 is the level at which 50% of people will die. LD50 for EtOH (alcohol) is 400.

My personal record is transporting a patient with a BAC of 568. He walked to the stretcher. Some of the homeless in my area habitually have a BAC near 300, and will begin to have withdrawals of they drop below 150 or so.

In 2008, 60 percent of all fatal car crashes were caused by intoxicated drivers- 26,000 of them. 85,000 people die each year due to alcohol, whether that be DUI crashes, or health problems caused by extreme intoxication.

Tomorrow is New Year's Eve. I will be at work, and it is one of the busiest days of the year for EMS workers. Please get a designated driver. It is a rare New Year's eve when I don't work a fatal crash. I don't want to have to tell anyone that there was nothing else I could do to save their loved one.

I would also point out that either guns (excluding suicide) or marijuana kill far fewer people than alcohol.

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