The burden of alcohol misuse on the emergency department

Ir Med J. 2006 Apr;99(4):118-20.


This study had two objectives. To assess the impact of alcohol-related problems on the Emergency Department (ED) of Cork University Hospital (CUH). To assess the non-acute impact of alcohol-related problems on CUH. One hundred patient ED records were chosen at random from each of three study periods--December 23rd 2002 to January 2nd 2003, April 20th 2003 to April 30th 2003, and December 23rd 2003 to January 2nd 2004. Each patient record was examined individually to determine the rate of alcohol-related attendances at CUH ED. Overall, alcohol related attendances accounted for 14.66% of ED attendances. 22.73% of these patients were admitted and 27.27% received an out-patient department appointment. The results of this study were broadly in keeping with previous large-scale studies; it is clear that alcohol-related attendances, admissions and OPD appointments are putting a large strain on EDs and the whole hospital system.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Alcoholism / complications
  • Alcoholism / epidemiology*
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Hospitals, University / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Ireland / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Admission / statistics & numerical data