A&E Departments on Alert as Number of Alcohol Poisoning Cases Doubles

December 22nd, 2015
A&E Departments on Alert as Number of Alcohol Poisoning Cases Doubles

Accident and Emergency departments across the UK are braced for the festive period, as statistics reveal that the number of people visiting A and E with alcohol poisoning has doubled in just six years.

New figures from the Nuffield Trust show that figures are particularly alarming for young women. Women aged between 15 and 19 years old were 1.4 times more likely to be admitted for hospital care die to alcohol consumption than young men in the same age group. The most worrying figures were related to deprived areas where drink-related admissions were up to 5 times more common than in wealthier areas.

Statistics also revealed that the number of people requiring urgent attention for alcohol-related health problems such as liver disease had also increased by more than 50% in the last nine years, with more than 250,000 people needing urgent treatment.

Half of Accident and Emergency visits related to alcohol consumption involved admissions on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with the period between midnight and 2 o’clock in the morning confirmed as the worst.

The Nuffield Trust suggested that although the figures are alarming, the situation is actually even more severe, as the statistics do not include injuries related to drinking caused by accidents, physical violence and fighting. The figures are also not related to patients who turn up at A&E who are subsequently discharged without treatment.

Three quarters of people required emergency transport, which highlights the impact of drinking on resources that are already strained.

Claire Currie, joint author of the report, said that it’s wise to consider the impact of drinking on the NHS and other emergency services at this time of year, when Christmas parties are in full swing. The report clearly highlights the human and financial cost of excessive alcohol consumption and the advice from experts this Christmas is to drink in moderation.

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