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Title: Trends in reported GHB-related presentations to Sydney emergency departments between 2012 and 2021
Author: Harris, O.
Siefried, K. J.
Chiew, A.
Jamshidi, N.
Chung, D. T.
Moore, N.
Nic Ionmhain, U.
Roberts, D. M.
Ezard, N.
Brett, J.
Issue Date: 2024
Journal: EMA - Emergency Medicine Australasia
Abstract:  Objectives: In overdose, gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) and its precursors can cause decreased levels of consciousness, coma and death. Here, we aim to describe reported exposure to GHB at four EDs in Sydney, New South Wales (NSW), Australia. Methods: We searched the ED databases of four Sydney metropolitan hospitals for presentations relating to GHB exposure between 2012 and 2021. We calculated annual number of presentations stratified by hospital, age, sex, mode of arrival and triage category. Results: A total of 3510 GHB-related presentations to ED were recorded across the four hospitals. Data for all hospitals were only available from 2015 onwards and between 2015 and 2021; there was a 114% increase in annual presentations (from 228 to 487). Males represented 68.7% of all presentations and the median age was 31 years (range 16?74 years). There was an increase in the proportion of female presentations between 2012 and 2021 (from 27.9% to 37.9%) along with the severity of presentation over the same period, with the proportion of presentations with a triage category 1 increasing from 19.7% to 34.5%. Conclusions: Increases in recorded absolute number and severity of GHB-related presentations to Sydney EDs are a major public health concern. There may also be shifts in the demographics of those with GHB-related presentations. Renewed efforts are required to understand the drivers of these increases to optimally target harm reduction approaches. � 2024 Australasian College for Emergency Medicine.
ISSN: 17426731 (ISSN)
Digital object identifier: 10.1111/1742-6723.14402
Appears in Collections:Liverpool Hospital

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