VIDEO: The ED’s enemy is booze, not methamphetamines
FOR every meth-related presentation to the Rockhampton Hospital Emergency Department, there's eight for alcohol.
The statistics mirror the results of an Australasian College study which found one in eight patients in peak times in Australian hospitals were there because of alcohol consumption.
Rockhampton Emergency Department Nurse Unit Manager Chris Glover said the numbers were only a fraction of the story, as they didn't take into account injuries sustained by those affected by alcohol.
"It ties up all the resources in the department when we do have someone who is affected by alcohol and is acting out," he said.
"The other patients aren't being cared for while that is occurring so it is a huge disruption.
"If people are suffering chest pain, or need to go to the toilet, a lot of them aren't willing to speak up because they know we are busy dealing with someone who is affected by alcohol."
Mr Glover, who estimated the hospital saw on average one ice-related presentation to the ED a week, said while drugs were issue, alcohol often didn't get the blame it deserved.
"The ice 'epidemic' has been given a lot of publicity and it is a huge problem but we see far more alcohol-related presentations than we do for ice," he said.
"Alcohol is always a problem in every emergency department that you go to.
"From a personal perspective, I have always been disappointed that alcohol abuse doesn't get the recognition or attention that it should... alcohol is one of the most dangerous drugs in society."
- The study screened 9600 patients during one week
- It found one in eight presentations during peak times was alcohol-related
- Over the whole week the number was one in 12