Author(s): Howland J, Hingson R
Abstract Share this page
Abstract We identified 36 English language studies (1950-1985) on alcohol and drownings. The majority of these were descriptive, reporting on the percent of drowning victims positive for alcohol upon autopsy. Most studies fell into one of three categories: Type A--complete ascertainment, duration of submergence specified; Type B--complete ascertainment, duration of submergence unspecified; Type C--partial ascertainment. Among Type A studies, percent of positives for alcohol ranged from 29\% to 47\%. Among Type B studies, percents ranged from 15\% to 69\%. Among Type C studies, percents ranged from 18\% to 86\%. We conclude that (1) between 25\% and 50\% of adult drowning victims have been exposed to alcohol and that (2) without data on the frequency of alcohol consumption among non-victims engaged in aquatic activities, the causal role of alcohol in drownings is uncertain. Suggestions for further research are offered.
This article was published in Accid Anal Prev
and referenced in Journal of Forensic Research