Medical And Legal Reasons For Ethanol Blood Test And Understanding The Results

Submitted on March 27, 2012

The ethanol blood level test is done for legal and medical purposes.

Medical & Legal Reasons for Conducting a Ethanol Blood Test

The medical reason behind the ethanol blood test is to find the level of alcohol in a patient's blood and treat him according to the test results. These tests find out the level and concentration of alcohol in the blood and sometimes more than one test needs to be conducted, especially when a patient is taken to the Emergency Room with symptoms of ethanol toxicity. Some of the signs of this include unconsciousness, lethargy, vomiting, staggering and confusion. Some of the other tests done in conjunction with the blood alcohol ethanol test include complete blood count, electrolytes, and glucose. Drug testing is also done to find out the level of toxic alcohol in the blood.

Legal entities often need to know if someone has been indulging in drunk driving, and the ethanol in blood can act as a proof for incriminating the person. These tests are ordered to find out if some driver has a high level of alcohol in his blood or if an underage person has been drinking. In some cases it can be used to find out if alcohol consumption has led to an accident, or if a person on parole has been drinking. Ethanol tests can also be carried out while doing a post-mortem.

If this test is being done for legal purposes, then the test is done on saliva, urine, breath and blood. Breath testing is often done on drivers.

Why Are They Ordered?

An ethanol tests is ordered when a person shows the symptoms of ethanol toxicity. As mentioned above, it is also done for legal reasons, when the police suspects a person to have indulged in drunken driving, or if an accident has happened and the law enforcement agency feel that the person died due to the consumption of alcohol, or that excess drinking could have led to an accident. Employment alcohol testing can also be done to check employees, if the employer suspects that a particular person has been drinking at work. The test can be done on people applying for an insurance policy.

Test Results

Ethanol test results, when positive, mean that a person has been drinking, and the concentration of ethanol in blood shows the severity of the problem. People often resort to drinking plenty of water in order to reduce the levels of ethanol present in their blood. However, it does take a substantial amount of time till your blood comes back to a normal concentration.