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Bmj Usa

EtOH and the numbers

BMJ 2003; 327 doi: (Published 18 December 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;327:262
  1. Douglas Kamerow, editor

    I was taught in medical school to refer to ethanol as “EtOH,” both in writing and in conversations that patients might overhear (“Nurse, is there a possibility of EtOH here…?”). I guess the reason for this code was to conceal my diagnosis or concern from patients. Spare them embarrassment. Or spare me the embarrassment of talking about a touchy subject.

    Codes aside, we don't do a very good job of recognizing problem drinking in primary care. Alcohol dependence is only one end of the spectrum. More common is chronic …

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