Investigations

Patients presenting with AWS should be assessed using an A-E approach. It is important to ensure they do not have a serious underlying pathology which has precipitated them stopping or reducing their alcohol intake. Basic blood tests, ECG and appropriate imaging should be performed.

Pitfall

Alcohol intoxication is an independent risk factor for a positive CT result following minor head injury 17The more intoxicated the patient is the higher the likelihood of injury18 . Always consider occult head injury in patients presenting with confusion and agitation labelled as AWS. 

 

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