What is ethanol in lab test

    0  Views: 331 Answers: 1 Posted: 11 years ago

    1 Answer


    he ethanol/alcohol test is used for both medical and legal purposes. Samples and results for each use are usually collected and tested separately.Medical: The goal of medical testing is to identify the presence of alcohol in order to effectively treat the intoxicated person's symptoms. For medical purposes, blood, and sometimes urine, alcohol tests are used to detect the presence of ethanol and to evaluate its concentration. One or more of these tests may be ordered when a patient presents to the Emergency Room with symptoms suggesting ethanol toxicity. Other tests, such as a Complete Blood Count (CBC), glucose, and electrolytes are often ordered at the same time as there are a variety of other conditions that can cause similar symptoms. Additional drug testing and testing for the presence of other more toxic alcohols (such as methanol and isopropyl alcohol) may also be performed if the use of other substances is suspected.

    Legal (Forensic): The goal of legal testing is to identify the presence of alcohol and to evaluate its presence in the context of a variety of different laws. Legal testing must be done by specially trained people and must have a strict chain-of-custody. Testing may be ordered to determine whether an erratic driver has a blood alcohol concentration that is over the legal limit, to determine whether an under-age minor has been drinking, whether someone on parole has abstained from alcohol, and to determine whether alcohol consumption has contributed to an accident. Post-mortem ethanol testing may be done to determine whether alcohol contributed to a person's death. Legal ethanol testing may also be performed randomly or "with cause" as part of an employer's drug testing program to determine whether an employee has alcohol in their system. It may also be part of the testing that is done as part of an application for life insurance. These uses are considered legal alcohol tests because they require chain-of-custody documents.

    Samples tested for legal purposes may include blood, breath, urine, and/or saliva testing. Breath testing is the most common test performed on drivers. It uses the tail end sample of breath from deep in the lungs and uses a conversion factor to estimate the amount of alcohol in the blood. Blood alcohol testing may be ordered to confirm or refute findings and/or ordered as an alternative to breath testing. Urine testing may also be performed as an alternative. Usually, a patient collects and discards a urine sample and then collects a second sample 20 to 30 minutes later. The amount of alcohol in the first sample will be variable because it is unknown how long the urine has been in the bladder. The second sample will reflect a timed sample and a different conversion factor can then be used to estimate blood alcohol. A random urine sample is sometimes ordered to monitor people for the presence of alcohol. Saliva alcohol testing is not as widely used but may be used as an alternate screening test.

    Top contributors in Chemistry category

    Answers: 66 / Questions: 0
    Karma: 3315
    country bumpkin
    Answers: 43 / Questions: 0
    Karma: 2625
    Answers: 112 / Questions: 0
    Karma: 2220
    Answers: 2 / Questions: 0
    Karma: 1440
    > Top contributors chart

    Unanswered Questions