Breath testing plays a key role in several areas of medicine; for both patient welfare and research into the prevalence of alcohol usage and abuse in today’s society:
Accident and Emergency
- Differential diagnosis of coma
- Monitoring recovery from coma in head injury cases
- Accident cause investigation
- Avoidance of potentially dangerous drug-alcohol interactions
- Early detection of a patient’s alcohol problem
Regular breath testing of alcohol-problem patients undertaking withdrawal treatment programs provides an effective assurance of compliance: it also easily and objectively detects any deviation from it.
Some General Practitioners now breath test patients whom they suspect may be developing an alcohol problem. Any detectable level of alcohol in a person’s body in the morning may suggest heavy the consumption the night before; while a high level at any other time is always significant – especially if either or both these situations occur on a regular basis. It is of course accepted that the sooner a person’s alcohol problem can be detected, the more chance there is of successful, subsequent treatment.