Irish Journal of Medical Science

, Volume 179, Issue 3, pp 405–408

Alcohol-related admissions to an intensive care unit in Dublin

  • M. McKenny
  • S. O’Beirne
  • C. Fagan
  • M. O’Connell
Original Article

Abstract

Background

Excessive alcohol consumption is ingrained in Irish society and is known to have significant adverse health consequences, including adverse outcomes for critically ill patients. Previous assessments of alcohol-related intensive care unit (ICU) admissions were felt to have underestimated the scale of this problem.

Aims

A study was designed to objectively measure alcohol-related ICU workload.

Methods

We prospectively recorded the number of patients who were admitted to St James’s Hospital ICU as a result of alcohol misuse during a 6-month period in 2008. Admission diagnosis, Acute physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation Score 2 (APACHE 2), ICU length of stay and 30-day mortality were recorded.

Results

The study group occupied 16.7% of the total available ICU bed-days, experienced longer stays and higher mortality.

Conclusion

This study adds to the data available on the scale of alcohol-related problems amongst Irish healthcare system patients. Prioritisation of primary preventative strategies is necessary.

Keywords

Alcohol misuse Intensive care unit Mortality Length of stay Bed-days 

Copyright information

© Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. McKenny
    • 1
  • S. O’Beirne
    • 1
  • C. Fagan
    • 1
  • M. O’Connell
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Anaesthesia and Intensive CareSt James’s HospitalDublin 6Ireland

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