Alcohol-related admissions to an intensive care unit in Dublin.
Intensive Care Units
Length of Stay
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.
A study was designed to objectively measure alcohol-related ICU workload.
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.
The study group occupied 16.7% of the total available ICU bed-days, experienced longer stays and higher mortality.
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.