Aim: Injury causes numerous socioeconomic losses. We aimed to discover the pattern of alcohol-associated injury in South Korea. Subject and methods: This study retrospectively analysed patients who visited emergency departments (EDs) between January 2011 and December 2016, using the emergency department-based injury In-depth surveillance data of the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency. Demographic and injury characteristics, clinical outcome, and injury severity [admission rate, ICU care, mortality, excess mortality ratio-adjusted injury severity score (EMR-ISS)] were analysed. Results: In total, 1,383,740 patients were analysed (alcohol-use group 143,506, non-alcohol-use group 1,240,234). The mean age of the alcohol-use group (40.90 ± 15.02) was 10 years older than the non-alcohol-use group (30.19 ± 24.47). The proportion of males (74.4%) and night-time emergency department visits (59.8%) in the alcohol-use group was higher. Injury mechanism rates for assault (22.6%) and self-harm/suicides (9.9%) were significantly higher in the alcohol-use group. The odds ratios of the alcohol-use group for admission, intensive care, mortality, and EMR-ISS ≥ 25 were 1.305 (1.287–1.324), 2.403 (2.340–2.468), 1.134 (1.066–1.206), and 2.855 (2.810–2.900) respectively. Conclusion: Alcohol-related injuries in South Korea have a higher incidence in males, and night-time ED visits and intentional injury mechanisms are significantly higher than in the group who do not use alcohol. Alcohol-related injuries are associated with a higher trauma severity and death rate.
- Emergency department