Ethanol - plasma or blood
Last updated: Tuesday, 06, April, 2004
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The venepuncture site must not be swabbed with alcohol.
5 mL blood in lithium heparin tube (for plasma) or oxalate (whole blood).
Medico-legal specimens require proof of identity and ethanol is measured in a whole blood specimen.
Gas liquid chromatography or spectrophotometry.
| Reference Interval|
Not detected in the absence of ethanol ingestion.
To establish recent ingestion. As the estimation of ethanol levels in breath samples is inaccurate a blood sample may be required (eg, in the assessment of possible drug overdose and impaired consciousness after trauma).
|Interpretation||Intoxicated: 22-33 mmol/L (0.10-0.15 g/100 mL) |
Poisoned: 44-66 mmol/L (0.20-0.30 g/100 mL)
Often fatal: >88 mmol/L (>0.40 g/100 mL).
Legal limits vary. For specific information contact local authorities.