To send content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about sending content to .
To send content items to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.org
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about sending to your Kindle.
Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
For many patients with addiction and other substance problems, the emergency department (ED) is the sole provider of medical care. This study sought to determine the prevalence and characteristics of substance-related medical problems in ED patients, as defined by documentation in the medical record. We also sought to compare the ED resource use (length of ED stay and number of revisits) of patients with and without substance problems.
Trained evaluators using explicit criteria reviewed all ED charts during a 6-week period at a Canadian tertiary care teaching centre. Data was collected on demographics, documentation of problematic substance use and whether the ED visit was due to substance problems. Using a computerized database, we determined how many patients with and without substance problems had 1 or more subsequent ED visits during the 1-year period from Sept. 1, 2002, to Aug. 31, 2003.
Of 6064 visits made by 5194 patients, 6026 visits (99.4%) representing 5188 patients (99.9%) were captured for review. Of those visits, 674 (11.2%, 95% confidence interval [CI] 10.4%–12.0%), made by 600 patients, had documentation of problematic substance use and 521 visits (8.6%, 95% CI 7.9%–9.4%) by 469 patients were caused by substance problems. The mean age of patients with a visit due to a substance problem was 39.2 years, compared with 48.5 years for those with other visits (p < 0.001). The admission rate for substance-related visits was 25.3%, compared with 17.6% for other visits (p < 0.001). For discharged patients, the median length of the ED visit owing to substance-related problems lasted 232 minutes (IQR [interquartile range] 267 min), compared with 164 minutes (IQR 167 min) for other visits (p < 0.001). In 1 year of follow-up, 161 of 600 patients (26.8%) with a substance problem made 466 revisits (mean 0.78 revisits/patient), compared with 975 of 4588 patients (21.3%) without a substance problem who made a total of 2150 revisits (mean 0.47 revisits/patient, p < 0.001).
Substance problems contribute significantly to ED visits, hospital admissions and duration of ED stay at a tertiary centre. It is likely that our methodology underestimates the scope of the problem and that a universal screening program would find a higher prevalence. The magnitude of this problem supports the need for an interdisciplinary identification and intervention program for ED patients with substance-related issues.
Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this to your organisation's collection.