News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


If drinking puts you in Emergency you’re a 'Bloody Idiot'

MEDIA RELEASE

New Zealand, 18 December 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

If your drinking puts you in an Emergency Department you’re a ‘Bloody Idiot’

Up to one in five attendances to Emergency Departments are alcohol related

A snapshot survey of 14 Emergency Departments (EDs) in New Zealand has demonstrated that almost one in five people are there as a result of the harmful use of alcohol.

The snapshot captured a moment in time at 2am on Saturday 14 December. It showed that an average of 18% of ED presentations in New Zealand were alcohol related. “Until now, we’ve had anecdotal evidence that the rates of alcohol presentations are high, but little data to go on”, says Dr Diana Egerton-Warburton, chair of the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine (ACEM) Public Health Committee and a principal investigator for the study.

Researchers from the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine (ACEM) conducted the survey concurrently in New Zealand and Australia. The survey provides the first national glimpse at the amount of alcohol presentations being treated in our EDs, especially over the festive season.

“The survey response rate from the EDs was a remarkable 80%, which demonstrates how keen emergency physicians and staff are to highlight the substantial number of patients they are treating in EDs due to excessive alcohol consumption,” said Dr Egerton-Warburton.

“Emergency physicians are sick and tired of dealing with the ‘bloody idiots’ who drink alcohol to excess and end up in the ED. If you work in an ED with 1 in 5 patients affected by alcohol, it’s more like a pub than a hospital. This is intolerable for staff and unfair on other patients.”

“Imagine attending an ED with a sick child or elderly relative and having your care disrupted or delayed by a person affected by alcohol,” suggests Dr Egerton-Warburton. “This happens on a regular basis in our EDs”. Future research will aim to validate these results over longer sample periods and quantify the disruptive effect on other patients attending the ED.

ACEM would like to be part of a coordinated effort to urgently address this massive public health issue. All public health interventions need to be considered including supply and pricing. “There is international research which shows a clear relationship between hours of sale and alcohol-related harm. There’s only three hours in the day when alcohol isn’t available for purchase,” says Scott Boyes, ACEM New Zealand councillor. Currently on-licenses can operate from 8am to 4am, and off-licenses from 7am to 11pm.

Dr Anthony Cross, president of ACEM, is keen to see even more discussions around the damage of excessive alcohol consumption, and the effects not only on the individual, their family and the community, but the dedicated and already overworked emergency department staff who are dealing with this on a daily basis.

“We all know excessive consumption of alcohol can cause major harm but it’s becoming clearer just how big the problem is,” comments Dr Cross. “Drinking to the point that you end up in an Emergency Department happens regularly but it shouldn’t be seen as a social norm; it is not just being a bit of a larrikin, it’s stupidity.”

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Scoop Review Of Books: No Longer An Island

Simon Nathan reviews 'Zealandia: Our Continent Revealed': The idea that New Zealand is part of a large submerged continent is not new... There was renewed interest in the extent of offshore New Zealand from the 1970s onwards with the start of offshore drilling for oil and gas, and this was given impetus by a UN agreement which allowed countries to claim an Extended Continental Shelf (ECS). More>>

Art: Simon Denny Recreates Kim Dotcom’s Personal Effects

Who owns what? How has the internet changed our relation to the world? These are two of the many questions Simon Denny raises in the latest exhibition at the Adam Art Gallery, opening on Saturday 4 October. More>>

Theatre: The F Word: Sex Without The 'ism'

Sex without the 'ism' Okay, so the sexes are equal in the eyes of the law. What the F happens now? More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Don’t Eat The Fish

On 'The Catch' by Michael Field What the ecologically edible lists don’t appear to take into account – and they should – is slavery... It’s not an easy read, but it’s definitely near the top of my listicle of “5 Political Books You Must Read This Year”. More>>

ALSO:

Caracals: Small Cats With Big Ears Arrive At Wellington Zoo

Visitors to Wellington Zoo will be able to see New Zealand’s first Caracals in the Zoo’s new Grassland Cats habitat, with a special visitor opening day on Saturday 27 September. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: Classics - Tales From Moominvalley
Can’t speak for the reading end of it but the Moomins ( or maybe the story about Margaret Wise Brown) were the most enjoyable subject to think about and write about during these whole first 50 issues of Werewolf. For that reason – and because the Moomins always reward re-reading – I’ve decided to reprint it. The only added element is a link to an interesting hour long documentary about Tove Jansson. More>>

ALSO:

Repping In The Pacific: All Blacks And Manu Samoa To Play Historic Apia Test

The All Blacks will play Manu Samoa in Apia on Wednesday 8 July next year as part of both teams’ preparations for Rugby World Cup 2015. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news