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QJM. 2000 May;93(5):291-5.

The burden of alcohol misuse on an inner-city general hospital.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, University of Liverpool, UK. munirp@liv.ac.uk

Abstract

Alcohol consumption in the UK has been increasing steadily. We prospectively studied the burden on hospital services caused by overt alcohol misuse, in an inner-city hospital in north-west England. All Accident & Emergency (A&E) patients were assessed to determine whether their hospital attendance was alcohol-related, and whether this resulted in admission and/or generated new out-patient appointments. Over 2 months, 1915 patients attended A&E with alcohol-related problems, accounting for 12% of attendances; 50% were aged 18-39 years, and acute alcohol intoxication was the commonest presenting complaint. Overall, 6.2% of all hospital admissions were due to alcohol-related problems. Over 2800 new out-patient visits were likely to have been generated over an 18-month period from initial attendance with an alcohol-related problem, mostly for orthopaedic clinics. The burden placed by overt alcohol-related problems on hospitals is enormous, both in terms of the emergency and out-patient services. The implementation of education, screening and intervention strategies in A&E departments, and employment of key trained personnel, should be considered, to optimize the clinical management of these patients.

PMID:
10825405
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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