A&E Visits For Alcohol Poisoning Double
The number of teenage girls going to A&E with suspected alcohol poisoning is one-and-a-half times the rate of their male counterparts, according to a study.
Overall attendances for alcohol poisoning in England have doubled over six years, according to the Nuffield Trust, which warns of a “stark challenge” for the NHS.
It says they have gone up from 72.7 per 100,000 of population in 2008/9, to 148.8 in 2013/14 – some 65,882 cases.
Young people (15 to 24) had the highest rates of A&E alcohol poisoning visits, according to their research.
In particular, the rate for 15-19-year-old females was one and half times that of men the same age – 357.6 per 100,000, compared to 259.4 in 2013/14.
Total in-patients admissions in England – including those related to long-term, chronic drinking – increased by over 63% in nine years, reaching 255,567.
Men are more likely to be admitted than women and – in contrast to specific alcohol poisoning cases – the 45 to 64 age group makes up most booze-related admissions.
The report also found people living in poorer areas were far more likely to need help – rates were four times higher for those living in the 20% most deprived areas.
However, the true number of alcohol-related admissions could actually be much higher
The study did not count cases where alcohol was a contributing factor, such as falls, domestic violence and heart disease.
Joint author of the report Claire Currie said alcohol was adding significant pressure to an already stretched NHS and urged the Government to do more.
She said: “Our research has uncovered a picture of rising and avoidable activity in hospitals, representing a stark challenge for the Health Service at a time when it’s already great pressure.
“Hospitals alone cannot tackle this issue – the Government must consider measures such as minimum unit pricing, restricting availability and limiting marketing and advertising.”