Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Emergency Medical Minute


Mar 25, 2019

Author: Dylan Luyten, MD

Educational Pearls:

  • A “banana bag” is a bag of IV fluid that contains various vitamins and minerals including folate and thiamine
  • IV fluids do not alter intoxicated patients recovery in the emergency department
  • Folate deficiency is rare in the intoxicated patient
  • Some intoxicated patients may be thiamine deficient, and those that would benefit the most need significantly more daily thiamine supplementation than provided in a banana bag


Perez SR, Keijzers G, Steele M, Byrnes J, Scuffham PA. Intravenous 0.9% sodium chloride therapy does not reduce length of stay of alcohol-intoxicated patients in the emergency department: a randomised controlled trial. Emerg Med Australas. 2013 Dec;25(6):527-34. doi: 10.1111/1742-6723.12151. Epub 2013 Nov 8. PubMed PMID: 24308613; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4253317.

Li SF, Jacob J, Feng J, Kulkarni M. Vitamin deficiencies in acutely intoxicated patients in the ED. Am J Emerg Med. 2008 Sep;26(7):792-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ajem.2007.10.003. PubMed PMID: 18774045.

ay E, Bentham PW, Callaghan R, Kuruvilla T, George S. Thiamine for prevention and treatment of Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome in people who abuse alcohol. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013 Jul 1;(7):CD004033. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD004033.pub3. Review. PubMed PMID: 23818100.

Summarized by Will Dewsipelaere, MS3 | Edited by Erik Verzemnieks, MD