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Romero-Ortuno, R and O'Riordan, D and Silke, B (2012) Profiling the medical admissions of the homeless. Acute Medicine , 11 , (4) , pp. 197-204.


AIM: to describe the characteristics and outcomes of homeless people admitted to our Internal Medicine service in St. James's Hospital, Dublin (Ireland), between 2002 and 2011.

METHODS: we interrogated an anonymized in-patient database.

RESULTS: there were 1,460 homeless admissions (623 unique patients; 39% admitted more than once). Most patients were young, male, and had low comorbidity levels. Thirty-seven percent of the admissions were alcohol-related and 27% substance abuse-related. Thirteen percent had an active psychiatric illness. Their in-patient mortality rate was 5%. Seventy-two percent were discharged without the residential arrangement being explicitly documented, 15% self-discharged or absconded, and 8% were discharged to a residential facility.

CONCLUSION: results are novel in our context and will be relevant for local policy and practice.

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