The single most important laboratory test in a patient who appears intoxicated with ethanol is a serum glucose level. Hypoxia, head injury, seizures, and other metabolic disturbances must be excluded by either history or physical examination or sought with the appropriate tests. The routine use of a serum blood alcohol level is controversial, largely because it is unlikely to affect management in a patient who is awake and alert. Many clinicians consider the patient safe for discharge once that person is clinically (not numerically) no longer intoxicated.
For more on the workup of suspected alcohol poisoning, read here.
Medscape © 2014
Cite this: Michael D. Levine. Fast Five Quiz: Do You Know the Signs of and Best Treatment for Alcohol Poisoning? - Medscape - Dec 19, 2014.