We studied the effects of intravenous alcohol infusions on 22 alcoholic burn patients admitted to our burn center. The relationship of infusion rates to blood alcohol levels was studied over a 3 to 8 day period of administration, and daily blood test results in liver function were followed. No patients had signs of withdrawal either during the infusion period or after the discontinuation of alcohol therapy. Our data suggest that the intravenous infusion of ethanol at rates of 0.02 to 0.06 g/kg per hour provides low but measurable blood alcohol levels (2 to 8 mg/100 ml), avoids sedation and toxic effects, and prevents the appearance of withdrawal symptoms in severely alcoholic burn patients.
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