Violence- and alcohol-related acute healthcare visits in Greenland

Scand J Public Health. 2013 Mar;41(2):113-8. doi: 10.1177/1403494812469852. Epub 2012 Dec 14.


Aims: The aim of this study was to describe emergency admissions in Greenland's healthcare system, and the extent to which admissions were associated with alcohol abuse or violence. Furthermore, we aimed to test whether data on emergencies in Greenland could be registered in a reliable way by simple means.

Methods: Registration of all emergencies presented in 15 out of 17 of Greenland's health districts in the period 21 May to 7 June 2010.

Results: In the 17-day registration period, 2403 emergencies were registered. In 10% of cases the patients were clinically alcohol intoxicated. When reason for presentation were mental or social problems, attempted suicide, accidents, or violence, 24, 50, 15, and 59% respectively were intoxicated. Alcohol intoxication was statistically significantly more often associated with advanced treatment (e.g. evacuation, hospitalisation, or follow up by doctor or nurse).

Conclusions: This study confirms that violence- and alcohol-related emergencies put a considerable strain on Greenland's healthcare system. Due to the short observation period, we have not been able to describe the actual extent of the problem in detail, nor was it possible to estimate whether this problem is more pronounced in Greenland than in other countries, for example Denmark.

MeSH terms

  • Alcohol-Related Disorders / therapy*
  • Alcoholic Intoxication / therapy
  • Emergency Medical Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Greenland
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Patient Admission / statistics & numerical data*
  • Registries
  • Violence / statistics & numerical data*