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Moderate alcohol consumption may influence platelet aggregation, reduce fibrinogen concentration or increase clot dissolution. Since the binge-drinking pattern observed among some Northern people leads to exposure of traumatic brain injury and the immediate effects of alcohol on platelet function and whole blood coagulation are partly unknown, we performed an experiment aiming to characterize coagulation capacity during substantial intake of alcohol. A 49-year old volunteer man drank 1 bottle of sparkling wine within one hour: during the first 15 minutes-0.24 L, during the next 15 minutes-0.24 L more, and finally the rest of bottle (0.27 L) within 30 minutes. Rotational thromboelastometry and platelet function analysis have been performed. Platelet aggregation decreased at 30 minutes, but at 60 minutes the aggregation exceeded the 0 minutes values. Maximum clot firmness remained stable, but clot formation time was prolonged at 30 and 60 minutes. Fibrinolysis has been increased at 30 and 60 minutes. A momentary disturbance of platelet function followed by hyperaggregation, delayed initiation of coagulation and increase in fibrin clot lysis are seen during the early phase of alcohol intake. Since the effects of alcohol may be individual, a combination of detailed history of drinking and point of care evaluation of coagulation and platelet function may shed light on various treatment options in trauma patients on alcohol.
Keywords: Alcohol, coagulation, platelet function, thromboelstometry