Evaluating The impact Of alcoHol on emergency department presentations

Miss Katie East1, Mrs Josea Polong Brown1, Dr Ping Zhang2, Associate Professor Joshua Byrnes2, Ms Jill Duncan3, Ms Leonie Jones4, Mr Nathan Brown3, Dr David Rosengren3, Associate Professor David Green1,2, Dr Jeremy Furyk4, Dr Sean Rothwell3, Professor Julia Crilly1,2
1Gold Coast Hospital and Health Service, Southport, Australia, 2Griffith University, Southport, Australia, 3Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, Herston, Australia, 4Townsville Hospital and Health Sevice, Townsville, Australia

Background: Excessive alcohol consumption is one of the largest preventable public health issues (ACEM, 2016).  The AIHW (2017) identifies 1 in 4 Australians are at risk of alcohol related harm. The true extent of the impact on emergency departments (EDs) is likely underestimated (Egerton-Warburton et al. 2017).
Aim: The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of alcohol related presentations made to emergency departments, establish a comprehensive profile of these presentations and assess the outcomes for this cohort.
Methods: A multi-site observational study was undertaken in four EDs in Queensland, Australia from April 1 2016 to August 31 2017.  Data about whether the treating clinicians thought that alcohol had contributed to the presentation was combined with administrative, clinical and costing data.
Results: A total of 438,426 presentations were made to the four EDs during the study period; 5% (n=21,307) were identified by clinicians as being affected by alcohol.  Further data analysis is currently underway with results available to present at the conference.
Conclusion: For this cohort of vulnerable patients, findings will provide evidence to further inform service development at a local, state wide, national and international level.

Katie is an experienced clinical nurse working at Gold Coast University Hospital Emergency Department and a sessional academic at Griffith University and Southern Cross University.  Katie is a qualified rural and isolated practice nurse that is passionate about quality healthcare access in rural areas. As part of her emergency position she also works with the Queensland Police Service ensuring healthcare access to individuals held in police custody.   Katie is also a research coordinator with a keen interest in harm minimisation for risky behaviors involving alcohol and drug intoxication. Katie received an Australia Day certificate of achievement in 2014 for her excellence in healthcare for duties during cyclone Yasi.  Katie also received several learning and teaching excellence awards in 2017 for her ongoing work with undergraduate students in nursing.