The Mater Hospital emergency department (ED) is behind major hospitals in London and Oslo in the scale of acute drug toxicity cases coming through its doors.
European Commission-funded research, conducted in 31 hospitals across 21 countries, found:
- Mater Hospital ED had a total of 2,089 acute cases between 2014 and 2017;
- Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda had 84 cases over the same period;
- The Mater caseload dropped from 524 in 2014 to 436 in 2016, before rising sharply to 586 in 2017;
- The number of cases in Drogheda fluctuated from 28 in 2014 to 11 in 2015, rising to 24 in 2016 and falling to 20 in 2017
The European Drug Emergencies Network (Euro-DEN) has been running since the end of 2013 and, according to its researchers, provides a “unique insight” into acute harms from drug use given the limited systematic data on the area.
Of the 586 acute cases in the Mater in 2017, heroin was the most common drug, with 199 cases, some 34% of the total.
Source: Cormac O'Keeffe, Irish Examiner, 19th February 2020