Friday, January 28, 2011

Fun-a-day 28: Alcohol and toxicology

Week-end nights, like tonight, were often a time that we'd get alcohol and drug screens in the lab.  I frequently worked week-end evenings.  In fact I almost always worked Friday or Saturday evening.  I got off around midnight, and dreaded the drive home, knowing and seeing that there were drunk drivers out there.  Blood alcohol levels is a test ER would order on certain patients.  Frequently a urine drug screen also came with it.  Our ER staff was pretty good at predicting the blood alcohol levels of these patients, and usually could also predict what drugs were "on board".  Marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine were among the tests we did.  We ran tests for many therapeutic drug levels too (prescribed medication).

As you might guess, there are some legal issues involved in drug and alcohol testing.  We often had the sad task of testing newborn babies for illegal drugs.  Thankfully the vast majority were negative.  Drunk driving kills far too many people each year.  Unfortunately we were sometimes asked to draw blood for police to send to their crime lab for legal DUI testing.

I put the chemical symbol for alcohol on my quilt bock, and a few other items to add color.  I hope you enjoy your week-end, responsibly, I might add.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Such a sad truth. =(

I hope you have a nice weekend too!