Search tips
Search criteria 


Logo of jrsocmedLink to Publisher's site
J R Soc Med. 1993 July; 86(7): 393–395.
PMCID: PMC1293008

Management of alcohol abusing patients in accident and emergency departments.


A pilot study was undertaken in the Accident & Emergency (A & E) departments of two central London teaching hospitals to determine if patients who were abusing alcohol and had not received any prior medical treatment or counselling for their drinking problem were amenable to offers of help. During the 24-month study period 104 patients were identified as having a previously untreated alcohol problem, and of these 46% attended an appointment to discuss their drinking habits. The group identified was much smaller than would be expected from the number attending the A & E departments during the study period and the reasons for this are discussed. However, the important observation from the study is that almost half the patients identified as having an alcohol problem returned to the department the following day to seek advice. This suggests that A & E departments are an appropriate place to offer patients initial help about their drinking habits.

Full text

Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (589K), or click on a page image below to browse page by page. Links to PubMed are also available for Selected References.

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Rhodes M, Carlson G, Dunn J, Malata C, Merry C, Milne D. All day drinking--its impact on an accident and emergency department. Health Trends. 1990;22(3):120–121. [PubMed]
  • Holt S, Stewart IC, Dixon JM, Elton RA, Taylor TV, Little K. Alcohol and the emergency service patient. Br Med J. 1980 Sep 6;281(6241):638–640. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Yates DW, Hadfield JM, Peters K. Alcohol consumption of patients attending two accident and emergency departments in north-west England. J R Soc Med. 1987 Aug;80(8):486–489. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Robertson CE, Little K, Smith H, Ritson EB. The impact of alcohol on the acute hospital service: patient presentation, admission and the perception of alcohol use in such groups. Alcohol Alcohol. 1989;24(5):405–408. [PubMed]

Articles from Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine are provided here courtesy of Royal Society of Medicine Press