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Type and Context of Alcohol-Related Injury among Patients Presenting to Emergency Departments in a Caribbean Country.

Type and Context of Alcohol-Related Injury among Patients Presenting to Emergency Departments in a Caribbean Country.
Author Information (click to view)

Reid SD, Gentius J,


Reid SD, Gentius J, (click to view)

Reid SD, Gentius J,

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International journal of environmental research and public health 2017 08 0414(8) pii E877
Abstract

There is an association between alcohol consumption and injuries in Latin America and the Caribbean. This cross-sectional study explores the socio-contextual factors of alcohol-related injuries in Trinidad and Tobago. Data on drinking patterns, injury type, drinking context prior to injury, and demographics were collected from patients presenting with injuries to the Emergency Departments (ED) of four hospitals. Findings show that 20.6% of patients had consumed alcohol, mainly beer, in the 6 h before injury. More than half were drinking at home (27%), or someone else’s home (27%). Injury most commonly occurred outdoors (36%) while in transit. Alcohol-related injuries occurred mainly because of falling or tripping (31.7%); these patients recorded the highest mean alcohol consumption prior to injury. Most persons who fell (50%) did so at home. Findings highlight the previously unreported significant risk of non-drivers sustaining injures through falling and tripping because of heavy alcohol use. Current interventions to reduce alcohol-related injury have focused on drink driving but there is a need for interventions targeting pedestrians and those who drink at home. A comprehensive multi-component approach including secondary prevention interventions in the medical setting, community educational interventions, enforcement of current legislative policies concerning the sale of alcohol, and policy initiatives surrounding road safety and alcohol outlet density should be implemented.

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