Alcohol Might Help In Brain Injury Recovery
A new study conducts alcohol may help people survive trauma to the head, and should perhaps be considered as a treatment method for patients with brain injuries in the future.
The study, published in the Archives of Surgery, compared the outcome of patients who had been drinking prior to injury with sober patients. The team of doctors found that, although alcohol does contribute to many car accidents, drivers who are drunk have a higher chance of surviving. Out of 38,000 people admitted to hospital with brain trauma during the time of the study, 38 percent had alcohol in their system. The ones who had been drinking had less severe injuries, were younger, and spent less time on ventilators and in intensive care. 7.7 percent of the patients that had been drinking died, compared to 9.7 percent of the sober patients.
However, the lower death rate among the drinkers was "tempered" by an apparent increase in complications for patients who had been drinking before the accident, the investigators note.
The researchers suggest the ethanol may have a positive effect on the body's ability to recover. But as British Alcohol Concern chief executive Don Shenker points out to BBC News, alcohol also increases the risk of getting into an accident in the first place.
Professor Michael Oddy, of the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Trust, said: "Despite the intriguing findings the message must be the same - if you wish to avoid a brain injury, use alcohol with care and moderation."