New methods of treating alcohol related A&E arrivals needed

I have called for new methods and practices in treating alcohol related admissions to A&E departments.

Currently, a great deal of emergency room admissions in Irish hospitals are related to alcohol related injury or abuse. This adds an enormous stress on staff, resources and facilities in Irish hospitals.

A HSE report last year revealed that on Saturday nights running into Sunday mornings, almost one in three people presenting to A&E are there due to an alcohol related situation. For a remainder of the week approximately 5.9% of arrivals had involved alcohol.

These admissions to emergency rooms can result in a backlog of patients and delays in treatment time, as well as adding stress to an already difficult environment. Some hospitals in the UK have taken to nurse-led programs that see patients with alcohol related conditions are taken to a dedicated section and treated accordingly.

This allows them to monitor patients, record information and offer a range of alcohol supports for people who are identified as having an abusive relationship with alcohol.

Many of these incidents are avoidable through responsible drinking and this is something we must continue to work on, Ireland continues to have a problematic relationship with alcohol and is facing a surge in liver disease in the coming years.

We must face the reality of Ireland’s alcohol problem, enforcing the Public Health Alcohol Bill and regularly improving our initiatives we can start to turn the tide on this situation.

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