Home > Alcohol-related acute medical reviews in an acute hospital before and immediately after the introduction of minimum unit pricing.

McKenna-Barry, Matthew and O'Regan, Paud (2022) Alcohol-related acute medical reviews in an acute hospital before and immediately after the introduction of minimum unit pricing. Irish Journal of Medical Science, Early online, https://doi.org/10.1007/s11845-022-03100-z.

External website: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11845-0...

BACKGROUND
Minimum unit pricing (MUP) is one aspect of the Public Health (Alcohol) Act 2018 to limit the detrimental health impacts of alcohol use. Alcohol withdrawal syndrome (AWS) can occur within hours to days after alcohol cessation. This audit assesses two periods to see if the introduction of MUP had a significant impact on acute alcohol-related medical reviews mediated through a change in the incidence of AWS.

METHODS
The medical inpatient handover documents all acute medical reviews of patients in Tipperary University Hospital in the preceding 24 h. Documents were retrospectively reviewed for two 28-day time periods 5th January to 1st February 2021 and 2022. Patients were assessed for presentations related to alcohol.

RESULTS
518 patients were reviewed by the acute medical service between 5th January and 1st February 2021. 28 patients presented with alcohol-related medical complaints. 637 patients were reviewed by the acute medical service between 5th January and 1st February 2022. 24 patients presented with alcohol-related medical complaints. The proportion of patients presenting with alcohol-related medical conditions, 5.41% for the first assessment period and 3.77% for the second period, was compared using MedCalc software. This demonstrated a difference of 1.64% (95% confidence interval - 0.78 to 4.24%, P = 0.18).

CONCLUSION
At this institution, the introduction of MUP did not result in increased presentations with alcohol-related medical complaints. It is unlikely that it leads to an increase in the incidence of AWS.


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