A STUDY by university boffins has found that single, unemployed men between 18 and 30 years old are the largest group of patients to walk out of Letterkenny General Hospital without getting treatment.
More than half were drink-related, said the survey by researchers from Galway University.
The study, entitled ‘Patients who walk out from our emergency departments: Is alcohol an issue?’, found that more than half of this group of ‘walkout patients’ had alcohol-related presentations, such as chronic abuse and/or intoxication.
However just 2.34% of patients leave the Emergency Department without receiving treatment.
Of that figure:
* 53% were alcohol-related
* 29% were involved in violence
* 52% had a history of psychiatric illness.
Of the 2.34 per cent walkout rate, 53 per cent had alcohol-related presentations, some 29 per cent involved violence or an altercation and 52 per cent had a documented history of psychiatric illness.
The study group called all those who had left the hospital without treatment over a four-week period. They were categorised as DNWs – patients who Did Not Wait – and LAMAs – people who Left Against Medical Advice.
During the four-week study carried out by researchers based at the National University of Ireland, Galway, the charts of patients who did not wait (DNW) and left against medical advice (LAMA) were observed over a one-month period at the ED in Letterkenny General Hospital.
Findings showed that the reasons why patients left did not relate to over-crowding over staff issues, but were to do with the patients themselves.
The study was presented at the International Conference for Healthcare and Medical Students.Tags: