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NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – People who suffer a traumatic brain injury from a car crash or other mishap are more apt to survive if they had been drinking at the time of the injury, according to a study published Monday.
The finding "raises the intriguing possibility" that giving alcohol to brain injured patients may improve outcome, the study team suggests in the Archives of Surgery.
Alcohol and driving "is and will always continue to be bad -- it contributes to over 40 percent of traffic-related fatalities," first author Dr. Ali Salim of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles emphasized in an email to Reuters Health.
"However, of those patients with moderate to severe traumatic brain injury who survive their initial insult, those with alcohol in their system seem to have a slight survival advantage compared to those without alcohol in their system," Salim noted.