Blood Alcohol Analysis Using an Automated Static Headspace Method
App Note 1/2010
Forensic laboratories face the need to analyze many samples of human blood and body fluids for alcohol content. The large number of samples that require quantification of ethanol in these facilities creates a challenge for the methodology employed. Factors that need to be considered are sample throughput, resolution, and carryover. A successful method for these analyses should be fast, precise, and accurate. Current methods use a gas chromatograph coupled to a static headspace sampler and flame ionization detector (FID). The x, y, z robotic autosampler used in this study has a capacity of up to 128 headspace samples, which is a distinct advantage when compared to other commercially available samplers. Results obtained with the instrument and methodology described in this report meet the specifications set by the California Department of Justice Blood Alcohol Operating Procedures (Title 17). A dual-column, dual-FID blood alcohol analysis system that can be used for confirmation of ethanol peaks was also tested and produced results with good precision (below 5 % RSD).