Objective: To examine the impact of the 2018 Commonwealth Games on ED patient presentations related to drug(s) and/or alcohol.

Methods: Retrospective observational study comparing ED patient presentations made pre, during and post the 2018 Commonwealth Games with either an International Classification of Diseases-10 diagnosis or presenting complaint related to drug and or alcohol misuse.

Results: Drug- and alcohol related presentations accounted for 5% (n = 890) of all ED presentations across the 36-day study period with no significant difference between pre (n = 312), during (n = 301) and post (n = 277) periods (P = 0.2). Overall, drug- and alcohol-related patient presentations made to the EDs tended to be young (median age 35 years, interquartile range 24–48), Australian (n = 820, 92%) and male (n = 493, 55%). The majority arrived by ambulance (n = 650, 73%), were allocated an Australasian Triage Scale category of 3 (n = 505, 57%), and arrived between 15.00 and 22.59 hours (n = 365, 41%). No demographic characteristics, ED characteristics or outcomes differed significantly over time.

Conclusions: During the 2018 Commonwealth Games, minimal impact on the ED was noted pertaining to drug and alcohol misuse. Further research is required to understand whether this held true for other types of ED presentations and during other types and locations of mass gathering events.


Delany C, Crilly J, Ranse J. (2021). Drug- and alcohol-related emergency department patient presentations during the 2018 Commonwealth Games: A multi-site retrospective analysis. Emergency Medicine Australasia.