Emergency department visits related to alcohol are highest on New Year’s Day
Overall, from 2011 to 2015, there was a 35 percent increase in visits to the emergency department due to alcohol-related injuries
December 29, 2017 – With New Year’s Eve celebrations approaching this Sunday, the Health Department reminds New Yorkers to take care of themselves and others. Alcohol-related emergency department (ED) visits more than double on New Year’s Day every year, according to Health Department’s syndromic surveillance system, which uses data from emergency departments in New York City. Peak hours of arrival at the emergency department are between 1 a.m. and 4 a.m.
In addition, the Health Department today released a Vital Signs report on the annual number of emergency department visits for alcohol-related injuries. Between 2011 and 2015, there was an increase – from 10,480 to 14,171 emergency department visits for alcohol-related injuries. Most alcohol-related injuries seen in the emergency department are unintentional. Over half (57 percent) of alcohol-related injuries treated in the emergency department are due to falls. The full Vital Signs data (PDF).
“While New Year’s Eve is a time for celebration and fun, it’s also when we see a doubling in the number of alcohol-related emergency department visits in this city,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett. “If you plan on drinking alcohol this weekend, be sure to drink in moderation and pace yourself. The emergency department is not the place to ring in the New Year.”
Data from the Statewide Planning and Research Cooperative System (SPARCS, (October 1, 2014-September 30, 2015) was used to generate this Vital Signs. SPARCS data include all hospital discharges reported by New York State hospitals. Details about the SPARCS database.
“New Yorkers celebrate New Year’s Eve better than anyone, but we need to be responsible and safe,” said Council Member Corey Johnson. “It is vital that we make sure New Yorkers are educated about alcohol misuse and its very grave consequences. I applaud Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett and her staff for raising awareness about this very important issue.”
The Health Department offers the following tips for holiday revelers to reduce their risk of alcohol-related emergency department visits:
Alcohol misuse costs nearly $6 billion in citywide economic productivity losses each year in New York City. Health Department initiatives to help reduce excessive alcohol use include educating health professionals about the importance of screening and counseling, a strategy that is one of the most effective prevention interventions. The agency also supports community-based efforts to prevent underage drinking. The Department has issued guidance for health professionals and provides data and other information to community coalitions. The Department’s website offers lower-risk drinking guidelines and resources for New Yorkers.
New Yorkers can find more information about alcohol and their health here. Individuals seeking support or treatment for alcohol use issues for themselves or their loved ones can contact NYC Well by calling 1-888-NYC-WELL, texting “WELL” to 65173, or going to nyc.gov/nycwell. Free, confidential support is available at any hour of the day in over 200 languages.
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