Alcohol Harm in Emergency Departments (AHED) Program

Emergency departments in Australia and New Zealand are at the forefront of dealing with the harmful effects of alcohol consumption. Alcohol-related presentations to our emergency departments have a significant effect on other patients, workforce morale, and the functioning of the ED.

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Research
BI App Pilot


One in five Australians and New Zealanders drink at a level that increases their lifetime risk of alcohol-related disease or injury. Almost half of Australians (44.7 per cent) over the age of 18 reported consuming alcohol on a single occasion in the preceding year that put them at increased risk of acute injury.

There is no compulsory collection of alcohol–related presentations to EDs in Australia and New Zealand. As a result, alcohol-related presentations are underestimated in official reporting.

ACEM seeks to play an active role in reducing alcohol harm in emergency departments across Australia and New Zealand. The College is a member of the National Alliance for Action on Alcohol (NAAA), the Victorian Alcohol Policy Coalition (APC) and the New South Wales and ACT Alcohol Policy Alliance (NAAPA).

ACEM has also developed some policy recommendations, which we've outlined in our Statement on Alcohol Harm. It calls on governments in Australia and New Zealand to:

  1. Introduce compulsory collection of alcohol-related ED presentation data.

  2. ​​Introduce a preventative health program for emergency departments.

  3. Address alcohol regulation and advertising.

For information or enquiries contact Ange Wadsworth: [email protected]

 

 

2016 Alcohol Harm Snapshot Survey

The latest Snapshot survey of alcohol-related presentations to emergency departments (EDs) in Australia and New Zealand – taken at 2am Sunday 17 December – has shown once again that alcohol continues to impact on staff, patients and health systems in both countries.  

In Australia the survey revealed that one out of eight patients were there as a result of the harmful use of alcohol. While in New Zealand, the survey shockingly revealed that one out of four patients were there as a result of the harmful use of alcohol.    

Read more on the 2016 Australian and New Zealand Snapshot Surveys.


Australia Day 2016 Snapshot Survey

Research conducted by ACEM found that one in seven patients attending EDs on Australia Day 2016 were there as a result of alcohol harm. It revealed that at 11pm on 26 January, 15 per cent of patients across 100 EDs were there as the result of alcohol.

Read more on the Australia Day 2016 Snapshot Survey.

ACEM gratefully acknowledges funding received by the Australian Rechabite Foundation.


2014

Seven-day continuous survey of alcohol-related presentations

Over one week in December 2014 eight emergency departments across Australia and New Zealand were monitored, with over 9,600 patients screened. The study found that at peak times, one in eight presentations to EDs are alcohol-related. Almost one in 10, or 9.5 per cent of all presentations 24/7 were alcohol-related.
 
Read more on the Seven-day continuous survey.


Survey of ED clinical staff perceptions of alcohol–related presentations

In June 2014 ACEM surveyed over 2000 clinicians about their experiences of alcohol-affected patients in emergency departments. The survey results confirmed that alcohol has a serious impact on staff and other patients in our emergency departments. The survey findings have been published in the Medical Journal of Australia.

Read more on the survey's findings and its launch presentation.


2014 Alcohol Harm Snapshot Survey

The 2014 Alcohol Harm Snapshot Survey – taken at 2am Sunday 7 December – found that the percentage of alcohol-related presentations to EDs in Australia and New Zealand was 12 per cent (one in eight patients).

Read more on the 2014 Australian and New Zealand Snapshot Surveys.


2013 Alcohol Harm Snapshot Survey

The 2013 Alcohol Harm Snapshot Survey – taken at 2am Sunday 15 December – found that one in seven patients (14 per cent) were in Australian and New Zealand EDs because of alcohol. The survey findings have been published in the Medical Journal of Australia.

Read more on the 2013 Australian and New Zealand Snapshot Surveys.

For information or enquiries contact Ange Wadsworth: [email protected]
 

HSM_Stacked_Blue.jpgThis project trialled an app to allow emergency department physicians to identify hazardous drinkers and offer them a Brief Intervention (BI) and referral if required.

The app enables physicians to screen for harmful drinking on their smart phones, using the WHO Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test (AUDIT), and where appropriate, follow with a referral to Hello Sunday Morning to reduce their alcohol consumption.


The aim was to develop a feasible, sustainable BI for emergency department patients, coupled with an ongoing opportunity to reduce harmful drinking. Three Victorian emergency departments piloted the innovation in 2016. An evaluation of the project will be completed by June 2017. 

ACEM gratefully acknowledges funding from VicHealth.

For information or enquiries email [email protected]