BACKGROUND: People who inject drugs (PWID) have worse health than non-injectors and are at heightened risk of incidents that necessitate hospital emergency department (ED) visits.
STUDY OBJECTIVES: To describe ED visits by PWIDs in Melbourne, Australia, and compare reasons with those given in Vancouver, Canada.
METHODS: In 2008-2010, 688 Melbourne PWIDs were interviewed about their ED visits; these data were contrasted with published data about ED visits by PWIDs in Vancouver.
RESULTS: Participants reported 132 ED visits in the month preceding interview--27.3% drug-related, 20.5% trauma-related (principally physical assault), 13.6% for psychiatric problems. Melbourne PWIDs are less likely to attend ED for soft-tissue injuries, and more likely to attend after physical assault than PWIDs in Vancouver.
CONCLUSION: PWID in Melbourne and Vancouver attend EDs for different reasons; information about PWID visits can help EDs cater for them and provide insights for prevention.
- British Columbia
- Cross-Sectional Studies
- Emergency Service, Hospital
- Substance Abuse, Intravenous
- Substance-Related Disorders
- Wounds and Injuries
- Young Adult