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posted by martyb on Friday June 06 2014, @11:22PM   Printer-friendly
from the one-for-the-road dept.

According to a study published in the June issue of the journal Alcohol, it appears that Alcohol may protect trauma patients from later complications.

From the article:

Injured patients who have alcohol in their blood have a reduced risk for developing cardiac and renal complications, according to a study from the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health. Among patients who did develop complications, those with alcohol in their blood were less likely to die.

"After an injury, if you are intoxicated there seems to be a substantial protective effect," says UIC injury epidemiologist Lee Friedman, author of the study. "But we don't fully understand why this occurs."

In patients who had alcohol in their blood, cardiac complications were reduced by 23.5 percent. Renal complications were reduced by 30 percent.

As alcohol impairs one's ability to avoid traumatic injury (like a car accident), not drinking sounds like the real win. But, if you are in an accident, the booze seemed to help with your chances to survive.

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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by cafebabe on Friday June 06 2014, @11:37PM

    by cafebabe (894) on Friday June 06 2014, @11:37PM (#52456) Journal

    In a car crash, alcohol makes you behave more like a crash dummy because you're too intoxicated to brace.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 07 2014, @12:14AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 07 2014, @12:14AM (#52462)

    Back in the late 70s a high school Biology teacher was still driving his graduation present, 1968 Pontiac GTO fully dressed with His-n-Hers shifter etc. Many of his students drooled over the thought of having that car. His girlfriend and future fiance/wife had other ideas though. Either it was gone or she was. He announced that he was going to sell it for just $800 come Saturday morning and we all rushed there to get it filling up his yard expecting things to become an auction, instead he took the $800 money that was stuck into his face when he opened his door and handed over the title much to the disappointment of the crowd but obviously not to the smiling face of his future bride. That very night the guy that purchased the car got drunk in celebration and totalled it when hot rodding it and rolling it multiple times. He crawled out of the spot where the back glass was virtually without a scratch or bruise.

    Heard that he didn't look near so well a few days later after numerous guys that were also in the yard that day heard about his "fantastic luck" while being a "drunken rag doll" during the wreck. So sometimes the dummies do better then the dummies and sometimes things catch up to them.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by opinionated_science on Saturday June 07 2014, @01:05AM

      by opinionated_science (4031) on Saturday June 07 2014, @01:05AM (#52474)

      and a friend of mine at college got really drunk and let a friend of HIS drive home. His friend died in the crash, and he lost an eye and an arm.

      Drink and driving is a statistically rigged game. It is hazardous enough driving cars when we are sober.....!

      On the article, I think the vasodiation is part of it, but a consequence of this is that tissues are more "plump" providing some cushioning.

      However, remember when you are intoxicated your liver is working overtime ,so you had better not have a medical condition that requires vigourous enzymatic production!!

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by carguy on Saturday June 07 2014, @02:11AM

    by carguy (568) Subscriber Badge on Saturday June 07 2014, @02:11AM (#52494)

    Matches folklore that I've heard -- the drunk causes the accident and gets off with minimal injuries...while the innocent and sober people in the other car are not so lucky.

    • (Score: 1) by Paradise Pete on Monday June 09 2014, @11:10AM

      by Paradise Pete (1806) on Monday June 09 2014, @11:10AM (#53182)

      Matches folklore that I've heard -- the drunk causes the accident and gets off with minimal injuries...while the innocent and sober people in the other car are not so lucky.

      I saw this first-hand about 30 years ago. I was driving through central Nebraska at night. The divided highway was unlit, and except for my headlights it was as dark as I've ever seen. Up ahead in the road something didn't seem quite right. I couldn't really see anything specific, but it just looked "wrong." So I slowed down. As I got closer I could see that something was in my lane. When I finally reached it I could see that an old cream-colored heavy station wagon was stopped dead, with no lights on. I had that old-style bench seating in the front, and that seat was thrown up against the steering wheel and dashboard, hiding the interior.

      Now in front of the car I could see that an old pick-up truck heading the other way had veered of the road, traveled all the way across the enormous median (at least 200 feet), and slammed head-on into the station wagon. The couple in the car were killed on impact. The driver of the pickup was just sitting in the seat with the door open, while a still-foaming half can of beer lay on the road near the door. He was about as drunk as a human can get, and seemed almost oblivious to what had happened.

  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 07 2014, @12:38PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 07 2014, @12:38PM (#52599)

    Yeah I've heard this too, that people who are drunk sorta 'go with the flow' so to speak and so they sustain less injury.

    In fact when I used to take martial arts as a child one of the things we were taught is how to fall properly and when you are propelled in a certain direction how to properly 'go with the flow' of your momentum so as to avoid injury. Or if you get hit, for instance, you can move in the direction of the hit to minimize injury from the hit. Little things like blocking correctly prevents you from getting your hand/arm hurt.

    A sober, trained, person moving with competence would probably sustain less injury than a drunk person (even if the drunk were trained). Just that most people aren't trained. Perhaps we should look into figuring out what's the best way people should react in the event of an accident so that it could be taught in drivers school and hopefully that would stick with some people so that they can instinctively react better (which is what martial arts sorta does, it optimizes your instinctive reactions to someone attacking you).

  • (Score: 2) by mcgrew on Saturday June 07 2014, @03:14PM

    by mcgrew (701) <> on Saturday June 07 2014, @03:14PM (#52634) Homepage Journal

    True, but not on topic. OTOH drunks are far less likely to be wearing their seat belts. If your head gets ripped off because you were ejected from the vehicle, the alcohol isn't going to protect you against bracing yourself OR later complications; you'll be dead already.

    I'm going to have to actually RTFA, the summary didn't say how much alcohol you had to have in your blood to prevent later complications. If you've had only two beers you'll brace for the crash, is that enough alcohol to help prevent later complications?

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