Preferred Sample Type

Ethanol (Alchohol)

Suitable Specimen Types

  • Serum
  • Fluoride Oxalate
2 mL blood

Specimen Transport

Not applicable

Sample Processing in Laboratory

No special transport requirements if sample taken into fluoride oxalate tube

Sample Preparation

Serum is acceptable if separated within 1 hour

Turnaround Time

< 1 day

Sample Stability


Ethanol (Alchohol)

General Information

Ethanol is the most common toxic substance encountered clinically.

Ethanol levels should not be measured in the acute setting.  Toxicity can occur at extremely different levels depending on the pateints exposure history, age and weight and so can not be interpreted.  The only indication for measuring ethanol levels is to confirm whether a patient has or has not been taking alcohol.

Patient Preparation



None Given

Reference Range



  • EQA Scheme?: Yes
  • EQA Status:

    LGC Heath Control scheme

The laboratories at Heartlands Hospital, Good Hope Hospital and Solihull Hospital form part of the services provided by University Hospitals Birmingham and are UKAS (United Kingdom Accreditation Service) accredited to the ISO 15189:2012 standard. For a list of accredited tests and other information please visit the UKAS website using the following link:

  • Heartlands, Good Hope and Solihull Hospital pathology laboratories are a UKAS accredited medical laboratory No.8217
  • United Kingdom Health Security Agency laboratory is a UKAS accredited medical laboratory No.8213

Tests not appearing on the UKAS Schedule of Accreditation currently remain outside of our scope of accreditation. However, these tests have been validated to the same high standard as accredited tests and are performed by the same trained and competent staff.

For further test information, please visit the test database:

Protection of personal information - Laboratory Medicine comply with the Trust Data Protection policy and have procedures in place to allow the Directorate and its employees to comply with the Data Protection act  1998 and associated best practice and guidance.

For further information contact Louise Fallon, Quality Manager, 0121 424 1235