Home > Alcohol found to be an issue in ED walkouts.

[Irish Medical Times] , Connors, Aoife Alcohol found to be an issue in ED walkouts. (15 Nov 2011)

External website: http://www.imt.ie/news/latest-news/2011/11/alcohol...

A new study has found that single, unemployed men between 18 and 30 years old are the largest group of patients to walk out of emergency departments (EDs) prior to receiving treatment.

The study, entitled ‘Patients who walk out from our emergency departments: Is alcohol an issue?’, found that more than half of this group of ‘walkout patients’ had alcohol-related presentations, such as chronic abuse and/or intoxication.

Of the 2.34 per cent walkout rate, 53 per cent had alcohol-related presentations, some 29 per cent involved violence or an altercation and 52 per cent had a documented history of psychiatric illness.

During the four-week study carried out by researchers based at the National University of Ireland, Galway, the charts of patients who did not wait (DNW) and left against medical advice (LAMA) were observed over a one-month period at the ED in Letterkenny General Hospital.

DNW and LAMA patients represented an at-risk group in the patient population, therefore the authors followed up with each patient by telephone to obtain the reasons why they left and to inquire about any residual medical complaints. On follow-up, no patient was noted to have come to subsequent harm.


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