Interpretation of bLOOD aLCOHOL coNCENTRATION

The effects of alcohol on human behaviour commence at the lowest measurable blood alcohol concentrations and increase in a roughly dose-related manner. Usually, the blood alcohol concentration is measured sometime after the event and understanding the blood alcohol concentration at the time of an incident can be important to determining the outcome or insurance disputes and criminal prosecutions. The metabolism of alcohol is well understood. This means that it is possible to estimate the blood alcohol concentration at an earlier time from a known blood alcohol concentration. Reporting such calculations requires an understanding of the factors affecting the estimate.

Effects of alcohol and drugs on driving skill

Alcohol is the drug most commonly associated with impairment of driving. There is a vast literature on alcohol and its effects on driving. The effects of alcohol on skilled performance commence at the lowest measurable blood alcohol concentrations: whatever the blood alcohol concentration, at least some skills can be demonstrated to be significantly impaired. Forensic Medical Consultants has 30 years’ experience in interpreting the significance of blood alcohol concentration in matter involving vehicle safety.

Alcohol and risk of injury

Alcohol not only reduces performance and affects behaviour, but the use of alcoholic beverages predisposes to more severe and extensive injury than would be experienced by non-drinkers given impact of the same severity. People experiencing trauma have altered hormonal responses when alcohol is present that may influence outcome and alcohol affected trauma victims are likely to have sustained more injuries.

Medical Review Officer

We assist companies and government agencies interpret the results of random drug and alcohol tests to ensure the pursuit of natural justice and evidence based decisions so that outcome of an inquiry process is fair and equitable. Establishing a trusted relationship with the agency ensures that the client can rely on a well-considered opinion free of interference and potential bias. The client knows that Forensic Medical Consultants can be relied upon to give expert evidence in a tribunal or court if the need arises.

File Review

Forensic Medical Consultants has a long history of assisting agencies caring for the disabled in the interpretation of unexplained injury. Whilst the maltreatment of vulnerable people in institution care is a serious offence, wrongfully accusing diligent, hardworking staff through misinterpretation of signs is equally serious. We assist agencies make the best interpretation of the evidence in conjunction with their inquiry processes.

Interpretation of non-accidental injury

Non-accidental injuries can be easily missed unless health care professionals are attuned to subtle clues in both the history and physical exam. Non-accidental injuries should be suspected when an injury is unexplained, the severity of the injury is incompatible with the history, the history keeps changing, or the injury is inconsistent with the capacity or mobility of the subject. Suspected abuse needs to be thoroughly investigated with the assistance of a professional investigator or the police.

Corporate Presentations

Forensic Medical Consultants has delivered in service training to government agencies, insurance companies and professional associations. We have a commitment to professional education. We will develop a presentation to meet your needs.

Professor Ogden has delivered over 50 papers at professional meetings in Australia and overseas.

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