Should EMS providers always transport alcohol intoxicated patients to the hospital?

February 8, 2013

How accurate can an EMS provider’s assessment diagnose the “just drunk” patient. 

This study from a Rhode Island group looked at how well EMT - Intermediates were able to diagnose alcohol intoxication in the prehospital setting.  What is your local protocol for assessing an intoxicated patient? Does your assessment include more than the standard a blood glucose analysis? What does your local sobering center “detox” consist of? Is it more than a bed, do the patients receive monitoring?


Article: Cornwall, A., N. Zaller, and O. Warren. "A Pilot Study of Emergency Medical Technicians' Field Assessment of Intoxicated Patients' Need for ED Care." The Journal of Emergency Medicine 30.7 (2012): 1224-228. Elsevier Inc. Web.

Speakers: David Page, MS, NREMT-P, Joshua G. Salzman, MA, EMT-B, Keith Wesley, MD, FACEP.