Alcohol and the Ragdoll Effect

If you have an accident or serious injury while drunk you are more likely to recover than if you are sober. In fact, there is a thing called the ragdoll effect, where if you fall while drunk or do not brace during a crash, you are more likely to survive.

ā€œI drink to make other people more interesting.ā€ – Ernest Hemingway

Researchers of the University of Chicago have spent 14 years examining the ragdoll effect, analysing the blood alcohol of 190,000 trauma patients. With the exception of burns death rates from all traumatic injury fell as blood alcohol levels rose. Amongst the extremely drunk mortality rates fell by nearly 50%. Gunshot and stab victims had the greatest benefit. Amongst drivers however, you are between two-to-four times more likely to die in a car crash.

Elaine: So what you are saying is that 90 to 95 percent of the population is undateable?
Jerry: Undateable!
Elaine: Then how are all these people getting together?
Jerry: Alcohol.
Seinfeld (1995) Season 7, Episode 4; “The Wink” [No. 114]

2 thoughts on “Alcohol and the Ragdoll Effect

  1. On the whole, alcohol has a greater effect on men, although in the long-run, women are more prone to alcohol related brain and liver damage. However, if you are British and drink between 21-30 units of alcohol a week, you belong to a group of people who have lowest mortality rate. You actually have to consume 63 units per week, or one bottle of wine a day, to have the same death risk as a teetotaller. By the way, recent research shows that alcohol does not kill your brain cells.

  2. Well, that certainly goes a long way toward explaining how I’ve walked away from a number of accidents unscathed.

    I don’t really drink because I LIKE the stuff, I just drink to steady my nerves – sometimes my nerves get so steady I can’t move.

    Now when you say “units,” would that mean bottles?

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