Local anecdotal reports indicate that in recent years there has been an increase in the numbers of injecting drug users admitted to hospital in Bristol. Subsequent analysis of hospital admission records for Bristol residents between 1997 and 2005, using an extract of the Hospital Episode Statistics database (HES) held by the University of Bristol on behalf of the SWPHO, confirmed that amongst this client group there had indeed been an increase in the numbers of admissions. This increase was most notable for serious skin, soft tissue, and vascular problems associated with intravenous drug use e.g. abscess, cellulitis, phlebitis / thrombo-phlebitis, pulmonary embolus, and femoral artery aneurysm which may be associated with injecting into the femoral vein (groin). Further analysis showed that the increase in admissions was partly due to an increase in the absolute number of people admitted, but also related to the repeated admission of some individuals.Analysis of national data indicates that this trend is not confined to Bristol and may consequently be indicative of an emerging public health problem, suggesting that health inequalities experienced by this particular client group may be exacerbated by choice of injection site.
|Translated title of the contribution||The rise in serious skin, soft tissue, and vascular disease amongst drug users, England, 1997-2005|
|Title of host publication||UK Public Health Association Annual Conference, Telford|
|Publication status||Published - 14 Mar 2006|