A cross-sectional study of emergency department visits by people who inject drugs
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Background People who inject drugs (PWID) have worsehealth than non-injectors and are at heightened risk ofincidents that necessitate hospital emergencydepartment (ED) visits.Study objectives To describe ED visits by PWIDs inMelbourne, Australia, and compare reasons with thosegiven in Vancouver, Canada.Methods In 2008e2010, 688 Melbourne PWIDs wereinterviewed about their ED visits; these data werecontrasted with published data about ED visits by PWIDsin Vancouver.Results Participants reported 132 ED visits in themonth preceding interviewd27.3% drug-related,20.5% trauma-related (principally physical assault),13.6% for psychiatric problems. Melbourne PWIDs areless likely to attend ED for soft-tissue injuries, and morelikely to attend after physical assault than PWIDsin Vancouver.Conclusion PWID in Melbourne and Vancouver attendEDs for different reasons; information about PWID visitscan help EDs cater for them and provide insights forprevention.
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