One-in-eight patients in emergency departments affected by alcohol

The peak body for emergency medicine in Australia and New Zealand has conducted its 4th annual Alcohol Harm Snapshot Survey at 2am (local time) Saturday 16 December.

Across 100 Australian emergency departments one-in-eight patients had alcohol related presentations, with some states as high as one-in-five.

“These results continue to paint a worrying picture of the impact of alcohol in Australian and New Zealand health systems,” says Australasian College for Emergency Medicine (ACEM) President Dr Simon Judkins. “To know that up to one-in-five patients receiving care in emergency departments are there due to the impacts of alcohol on their lives, their health, shows us that there is so much more we need to do to address this problem.

“We continue to see alcohol advertising at sporting events, leaders across many public spheres promoting alcohol excess as an acceptable community standard, an ongoing neglect of legislation to impact this issue and a lack of investment in providing help to those affected.”

ACEM supports the National Health and Medical Research Council’s (NHMRC) Australian Guidelines to Reduce Health Risks from Drinking Alcohol that aim to provide health professionals, policy makers and the Australian community with evidence-based advice on the health effects of drinking alcohol.

In summary, 1 in 10 patients in NSW and Victorian EDs were in the ED because of alcohol and 1 in 6 in other Australian states. 
 
State/Territory % of alcohol related presentations
NSW 9.6
VIC 9.8
QLD 16.4
SA 16.0
WA 19.4
ACT/NT/TAS 17.5

Background

ACEM was recently awarded a VicHealth award for its work in the prevention of alcohol related harm.

Contact

Zach Broadhurst
Communications Advisor
03 8679 8817 
0448 875 551
[email protected]