Current practice in provision of alcohol assessment and support for patients following alcohol related facial fractures

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Abstract

Objectives.

The algorithm for maxillofacial trauma management is well defined; however, provision of alcohol assessment for patients after trauma is not widely practiced. This study aims to investigate the rate of alcohol assessment achieved within the demographic characteristics of patients with facial trauma and the circumstances where this intervention was implemented.

Study Design.

This study retrospectively examined the Victorian Admitted Episodes Data Set (VAED) from 2004 to 2013.

Results.

Of a total of 54,730 presentations with facial fractures to all Victorian hospitals, 0.9% in the non–alcohol-involved group and 4.3% in the alcohol-involved group received alcohol assessment during their inpatient stay (P < .001). Among patients with alcohol involvement, the likelihood of assessment was significantly different with regard to length of stay, age, trauma mechanism, and gender. Positive blood alcohol test did not relate to probability of assessment. Those with acute alcohol intoxication were less likely to be assessed (P < .001), whereas those with harmful alcohol use, alcohol dependence, or alcohol withdrawal state were much more likely to be assessed (P < .001).

Conclusions.

This study found no consistent practice of alcohol support to patients following alcohol-related facial fractures. Post-trauma alcohol support may optimize perioperative management of patients and education regarding alcohol harm and may reduce future trauma risk. Development and refinement of such practice is an area for further research.

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