Background: Emergency Department (ED) encounters for ethanol intoxication are becoming increasingly common. The purpose of this study was to explore factors associated with ED length of stay (LOS) for ethanol intoxication encounters. Methods: This was a multi-center, retrospective, observational study of patients presenting to the ED for ethanol intoxication. Data were abstracted from the electronic medical record. To explore factors associated with ED LOS, we created a mixed-effects generalized linear model. Results: We identified 18,664 eligible patients from 6 different EDs during the study period (2012–2016). The median age was 37 years, 69% were male, and the median ethanol concentration was 213 mg/dL. Median LOS was 348 min (range 43–1658). Using a mixed-effects generalized linear model, independent variables associated with a significant increase in ED LOS included use of parenteral sedation (beta = 0.30, increase in LOS = 34%), laboratory testing (beta = 0.21, increase in LOS = 23%), as well as the hour of arrival to the ED, such that patients arriving to the ED during evening hours (between 18:00 and midnight) had up to an 86% increase in LOS. Variables not significantly associated with an increase in LOS included age, gender, ethanol concentration, psychiatric disposition, using the ED frequently for ethanol intoxication, CT use, and daily ED volume. Conclusion: Variables such as diagnostic testing, treatments, and hour of arrival may influence ED LOS in patients with acute ethanol intoxication. Identification and further exploration of these factors may assist in developing hospital and community based improvements to modify LOS in this population.
- Alcohol intoxication
- Length of stay