, Volume 171, Issue 9, pp 1397-1400
Date: 13 Jun 2012

Serum glucose and electrolyte levels in alcohol-intoxicated adolescents on admission to the emergency department: an unmatched case–control study

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Abstract

Aimed at examining serum glucose and electrolytes concentrations in adolescents with acute alcohol intoxication (AAI) on admission to the pediatric Emergency Department (ED), a retrospective unmatched, case–control study was conducted. Two cohorts of adolescents were compared, patients presenting with AAI and patients presenting with non-alcohol intoxication. The study group included ED patients aged 12–18 years with AAI. The control group included ED patients aged 12–18 years who had poisoning from a non-illicit drug. Demographic characteristics and glucose and electrolyte blood levels were extracted from the medical files. The records of patients who were admitted between January 2007 and December 2009 were analyzed. The study group and the control group included 106 subjects and 27 subjects, respectively. The study subjects had serum ethanol levels in the range of 55.6–297 mg/dL. No case of hypoglycemia was recorded. The study subjects had higher glucose levels and lower potassium levels compared to the controls (p < 0.005 and p < 0.0001, respectively). No such difference was found when the levels of sodium and bicarbonate were compared (p = 0.3 and p = 0.14, respectively). In conclusion, the findings of this study suggest that at presentation to the ED adolescents with AAI are at low risk for hypoglycemia.