Emergency department visits for alcohol-related unintentional traumatic injuries, United States, 2001

The single greatest contributor to alcohol-related mortality in the United States is unintentional injury, accounting for approximately 26,000 deaths per year and placing a substantial burden on emergency departments (EDs). This study analyzes 2001 data from a nationally representative sample of hospital EDs to examine characteristics of ED visits for alcohol-related unintentional traumatic injuries and compared them with visits for unintentional traumatic injuries for which alcohol use was not noted in the ED medical chart. This study presents the first estimate of annual ED visits for alcohol-related traumatic injuries due only to unintentional causes; previous estimates have included injuries from all causes. The results indicate that in 2001 an estimated 314,304 patients were treated in EDs for alcohol-related unintentional traumatic injuries (ARVs). Compared with visits for unintentional traumatic injuries for which alcohol use was not noted in the ED medical chart, ARVs were more likely to involve injuries that require extensive health care services such as falls, motor-vehicle injuries, internal injuries, and brain injuries. The more serious nature of ARVs was also demonstrated by a four-fold higher hospitalization rate compared with non-ARVs.

Language

  • English

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01144670
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Oct 26 2009 9:07AM