Introduction Young people under 16 years are drinking twice as much as their peers 10 years ago. Data on alcohol-related attendances to our large urban paediatric emergency department identified increasing attendances, weaknesses in information gathering and giving, inconsistencies in clinical treatment and poor follow-up arrangements. As a result a clinical care pathway was formulated and a nurse-led brief intervention clinic was introduced.
Methods The alcohol care pathway was introduced in Spring 2004. All young people who presented to the emergency department with alcohol-related problems were given an information pack and offered follow-up at a brief intervention clinic (BIC). Following the introduction of the pathway an audit of attendances was performed.
Results 253 children attended between May 2004 and May 2005. 79% were female and 29% male. The age range was 10–15 years. 62% had drunk alcohol previously and 7% had previous alcohol-related hospital attendance. 16% were hypothermic. None were hypoglycaemic. Comorbidity included head injury, assault and alleged rape. 25% were admitted. Over 90% of families received information packs. 92% of young people had some form of follow-up including BIC, mental health services and school nursing. This is an increase of 30% from summer 2002.
Conclusions This continued audit confirms a steadily increasing trend of alcohol-related attendances to our emergency department, predominantly in females. The introduction of the pathway has resulted in standardised clinical care, raised awareness and has facilitated access to specialist services.
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.