Does mandatory inpatient alcohol detoxification reduce emergency department recidivism, hospital admissions, and emergency medical services transports for patients with chronic, severe alcohol dependence?
J Emerg Med. 2012 Nov;43(5):883-8
Authors: Duong DK, Rathlev NK, McGrath ME, White LF, Mitchell P
BACKGROUND: In Massachusetts, patients with chronic alcohol dependence can be committed to 30 days of mandatory inpatient alcohol detoxification (MAD).
STUDY OBJECTIVES: To examine the effects of MAD on the number of emergency department (ED) visits, hospital admissions, and emergency medical service (EMS) transports.
METHODS: This retrospective study identified patients in our urban ED committed to MAD. We compared the number of ED visits and admissions to our hospital and Boston EMS transports to any facility in the 1, 3, and 6 months pre- and post-MAD, excluding the 30-day MAD period. Paired t tests were used for analysis of mean values across time.
RESULTS: Ten subjects were enrolled. Comparing pre- and post-MAD, the mean number of ED visits fell 6.5 to 2.7 (p = 0.05) in the first month, 14.2 to 9.3 (p = 0.18) in 3 months, and 25.6 to 17.7 (p = 0.15) in 6 months. Mean number of hospital admissions declined: 1.3 to 0.1 (p = 0.03) in 1 month, 2.3 to 0.9 (p = 0.06) in 3 months, and 3.2 to 1.9 (p = 0.08) in 6 months. Mean number of EMS transports fell 4.6 to 2.3 (p = 0.21) in the first month, 9.2 to 5.6 (p = 0.14) in 3 months, and 13.9 to 10.0 (p = 0.26) in 6 months pre- and post-MAD.
CONCLUSIONS: MAD was associated with an immediate reduction in ED visits and hospital admissions that did not remain statistically significant long term, and a non-significant reduction in EMS transports.
PMID: 19944550 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]