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Title: Emergency departments and alcohol: the perpetual hangover.
Epworth Authors: MacKenzie, Sara
Other Authors: Tran, Viet
Hamilton, Suzanne
Edmonds, Michael
Brichko, Lisa
Keywords: Alcohol
Alcohol-Related Harm
Alcohol-Related Violence
Australian National Drug Strategy Household Survey
Alcohol Consumption
Binge Drinkers
Alcohol-Affected Patients
Duty of Care
Emergency Departments
Emergency Department Staff
ED Staff
Prevent Alcohol and Risk-Related Trauma in Youth programme
PARTY Programme
Emergency Department, Epworth HealthCare, Victoria, Australia
Critical Care Clinical Institute, Epworth HealthCare, Victoria, Australia
Issue Date: Dec-2016
Publisher: Wiley
Citation: Emerg Med Australas. 2016 Dec;28(6):735-738
Abstract: Alcohol is deeply woven into the social fabric of Australia and New Zealand. It is a symbol of celebration, a palatable pleasure, embedded within our sense of identity and, for some, it is a refuge from adversity. With excess, a pervasive toxicity manifests. This is evidenced by alcohol's contribution to major causes of death, especially among teens, and contributing to twice as many deaths as seen from road accidents.[1, 2] Such attribution is not isolated to Australasia, with alcohol-related harm ranking as the third leading cause of disability in high-income countries.[3] To emergency service providers, the consequences are evident, and has provided motivation to assist governments to legislate change.[4-6] The collateral damage from such harm has also been well documented, affecting not only the patient and their families, but also the emergency workers who are often in the direct line of fire.[6] Given the wide ranging impact of alcohol-related harm, it is essential that the drive to change is not reliant on select individuals, economists or politicians, but comes from the entire emergency community, and society at large. Despite highlighting violence as a significant hazard for ED staff nearly two decades ago, there has been little progress in reducing its incidence. This is a multifactorial issue that needs greater attention. Strategies such as tailored department design, communication techniques, increasing security presence or issuing fines for behaviour partially address staff safety and violence in the ED, but do not address the significant contribution of alcohol.[45, 46] It is the imperative of emergency clinicians to champion a new, more responsible era in alcohol culture.
DOI: 10.1111/1742-6723.12699
PubMed URL:
ISSN: 1742-6723
Journal Title: Emergency Medicine Australasia
Type: Journal Article
Affiliated Organisations: Emergency Department, Royal Hobart Hospital, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
School of Medicine, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Emergency Department, Peninsula Health, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Emergency Department, Christchurch Hospital, Christchurch, New Zealand
Emergency Department, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Emergency and Trauma Centre, Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Type of Clinical Study or Trial: Narrative Reviews
Appears in Collections:Emergency Care

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