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Warning over world cup alcohol intake


The president of the College of Emergency Medicine has called on England fans to lay off the booze during the World Cup for their own sake and the sake of the hard-pressed hospitals.

A rise in alcohol-related injuries during the tournament is expected, as people across the country pile into pubs.

Assault victims are predicted to make up a large proportion of injuries.

“During the World Cup, and particularly when England are playing, people will find themselves either at home or in the pub and are obviously very excited about the upcoming event,” said College of Emergency Medicine president Dr John Heyworth.

“With the build-up to the match, the game itself and the aftermath, there is an opportunity for some substantial drinking - and we know that when people are passionate about football matches and alcohol is involved, it can lead to some great times but also some less favourable incidents.”

“We see an increase in the number of people tripping over, falling down stairs and crashing their cars,” Dr Heyworth explained.

“Alcohol-related concerns are focused in a very small time frame around big international matches. A lot of drinking, a lot of passion, a lot of excitement, hopefully a lot of euphoria and sometimes a bit of disappointment – a mix that can very easily lead to either violence or accidents, and people need to be aware of that.”

An increase in domestic abuse, which rose during the World Cup in 2006, is also expected by specialists at Southampton General Hospital.

Dr Rob Crouch, a consultant nurse in the emergency department, said: “The rate of domestic abuse increased during the World Cup in 2006 and it was far higher on the weekends when England had significant games.

“If individuals are at risk, or perceive themselves to be at risk, they should be aware of the increased dangers and make plans accordingly, keeping key contact numbers to hand and have clear plans to protect themselves and others who may be at risk.”

Dr Heyworth added: “People can have a great time and be very enthusiastic and passionate about their support for England, which we all want to be, but it does need just a bit of thought to make sure it doesn’t all go wrong.”


Readers' comments (5)

  • I think A&E departments would do well to implement a fining system for anyone who comes in with what they deem as self inflicted injuries from alchohol abuse (clinical judgement would obviously be used here).

    So all those idiots who do come in drunk after having a scrap or whatever, charge them for their care.

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  • Well done Mike, first utterly subjective knee jerk reaction.

    Why stop there? Why not withdraw treatment for smokers? Lets have policemen decide who causes road accidents and leave them at the side of the road and only treat their victims.

    Alcohol is taxed, that tax goes towards public services, and part of that is the Health Service. We are a public service that serves (wait for it) the Public, and unfortunately for the likes of you, we are expected to deliver high class treatment irrespective of background, belief, gender, religion etc.......

    Then of course we come to your brilliant idea of charging for it. How many managers do you think will be needed to administer that?


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  • Mark, Hardly knee jerk, this is an idea that has been discussed before many times, I'm sure a quick search on here will bring up previous discussions.

    And yes, personally I would stop treatment or charge if people refused to stop smoking.

    Like smoking, you are right alcohol is taxed; and yes, some of that goes to the NHS. But how much do people who abuse alcohol COST the health service?

    And unfortunately for the likes of you, there will not be a health service soon because the sheer level of abuse by the public we serve.

    So when the NHS crumbles into dust, you can sit in your smug little world with no job, safe in the knowledge that you allowed the status quo to continue.

    Something needs to be done.

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  • Hi there,

    We are all human beings as regards to any type of enjoyment therefore people who are happy about something like footabll should enjoy without limit whatever happens. The goverment should be able to look after those who may have been involved i.e accident drive drinking. Why do if alcohol is not good then it should be abolished completely. Please remember we are born to enjoy whatever we have on earth and in this sense life is too short and death is waiting for everybody.

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  • Enjoy whatever you like, you just shouldn't expect everyone else to pick up the pieces for you for your own self destructive actions.

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