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Emergency department outpatient treatment of alcohol-intoxicated bicyclists increases the cost of medical care in Japan.

Emergency department outpatient treatment of alcohol-intoxicated bicyclists increases the cost of medical care in Japan.
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Homma Y, Yamauchi S, Mizobe M, Nakashima Y, Takahashi J, Funakoshi H, Urayama KY, Ohde S, Takahashi O, Shiga T,


Homma Y, Yamauchi S, Mizobe M, Nakashima Y, Takahashi J, Funakoshi H, Urayama KY, Ohde S, Takahashi O, Shiga T, (click to view)

Homma Y, Yamauchi S, Mizobe M, Nakashima Y, Takahashi J, Funakoshi H, Urayama KY, Ohde S, Takahashi O, Shiga T,

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PloS one 2017 03 2212(3) e0174408 doi 10.1371/journal.pone.0174408
Abstract

Riding a bicycle under the influence of alcohol is illegal in Japan. Nevertheless, intoxicated bicyclists are frequently treated at hospital emergency departments for bicycle-related injuries. This patient population usually requires more hospital resources, even for relatively minor injuries. Therefore, we hypothesized that bicycle-related crashes involving bicyclists under the influence of alcohol cost more to treat than those that do not involve alcohol intoxication. The aim of the present study was to examine the costs associated with bicycle-related minor injuries and alcohol intoxication of the bicyclist. The study was conducted at the Tokyo Bay Urayasu Ichikawa Medical Center Emergency Department, Japan. All minor bicycle crashes involving 217 individuals aged ≥20 years treated from September 1, 2012 to August 31, 2013 were included in the analysis of data obtained from medical records. Variables included alcohol intoxication, sex, age, collision with a motor vehicle, Glasgow Coma Scale, injury severity score (ISS), laboratory tests, treatment of wounds, number of X-ray images, number of computed tomography scans, and medical costs. Multiple linear regression analysis was performed to evaluate the association between alcohol intoxication and medical costs. Seventy (32%) patients consumed alcohol, and the median medical cost was 253 USD (interquartile range [IQR], 164-330). Multivariable analysis showed that alcohol intoxication was independently associated with higher medical costs (p = 0.030, adjusted R-square value = 0.55). These findings support our hypothesis and should encourage authorities to implement comprehensive measures to prohibit bicycling under the influence of alcohol to prevent injuries and to reduce medical costs.

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