Toxicological and Forensic Evaluation of Injury Pattern and Mortality in Marijuana Smoking Drivers and Non-Drugged Drivers: a Comparative Study

Document Type : Original Article


Department of Forensic Medicine and Clinical Toxicology, Faculty of Medicine, Tanta University, Tanta, Egypt


Cannabis is the most widely consumed illicit substance worldwide. Acute cannabis intoxication can produce impairment of driving skills. Driving under the influence of cannabis is a growing global public health concern. The present study aimed to compare injury pattern and subsequent clinical outcome that occur in both marijuana smoking drivers and non-drugged drivers among motor car accident victims admitted to Tanta University Emergency Hospital.
This study was carried out on 38 drivers of both sexes admitted to emergency department, Tanta University Emergency Hospital for recent road traffic injury. They were divided into two groups; 22 non-drugged drivers (group I) and 16 marijuana smoking drivers (group II).A complete clinical assessment of each patient was done. Urine sample was obtained from each patient and was subjected to rapid qualitative screening. Samples that revealed positive marijuana were subjected to Axsym® Abbott Cannabinoids assay to detect cannabinoids level.
The results of the current study revealed significant statistical difference between non-drugged drivers and marijuana smoking drivers in mortality, Injury Severity Score (ISS) and Revised Trauma Score (RTS). On the other hand, injury pattern did not register any significant statistical difference between non-drugged drivers and marijuana smoking drivers. Furthermore, There was no significant correlation between urine cannabis level and both RTS and ISS. Additionally, there was no significance difference in urine cannabis level between died and alive patients.
Future comparable researches on larger scale are required with detection of accurate cannabis blood level. Such data will help both prevention and better management of marijuana smoking drivers, with subsequent decrease in morbidity and mortality.