Almost 300 11-year-olds admitted to A&E for alcohol abuse .. Sept 30, 2013 7:22:30 GMT
Post by Focus on Sept 30, 2013 7:22:30 GMT
The number of children aged 11 and under being taken to A&E after drinking too much has soared by a third in the last year.
Across the UK, 293 youngsters were admitted to hospital after abusing alcohol – a rise of 35 per cent.
Another 145 in the same age group were taken to hospital for drug abuse – up by 14 per cent.
Doctors say that most hospitals have patients in their 20s dying of liver disease, having started drinking at 11 or 12.
The figures show that alcohol problems appear to be worsening in young children just as trends for older age groups appear to be stabilizing.
Doctors are also worried about teenage girls who are leaving themselves vulnerable to assault by becoming so intoxicated.
Worrying : The sharp rise in the number of children aged 11 and under being treated for alcohol abuse comes as figures for older age groups appears to be steadying
According to an investigation by BBC Radio 5 Live’s Victoria Derbyshire Programme, there were 6,580 alcohol-related admissions for all youngsters aged 18 or under last year – which although very high has fallen from 7,821.
Dr Morten Draegebo, an A&E consultant, said: ‘We have had many cases where young teenage females have come in saying that they may have been sexually assaulted.
‘They’re that intoxicated and are distressed and say I may have been but they don’t even know if they have been or not.
‘On a humane level that is very distressing. I’m a parent, I would hate for that to happen to my daughter.’
Dr Draegebo. who works at Cross House Hospital in Kilmarnock, Scotland, added: ‘There is a problem with their ability to defend themselves.
‘The typical patient may be found in a field.
‘They often need to hide away from any sort of adults in the area so they’re picked up by the ambulance service.
‘They have difficulty locating where they are because the description comes through from a distressed half-drunk teenager potentially saying that they’re under a tree somewhere in a large park.
‘They have vomited. The vomit may go down the wrong way into the lungs. They are unable to defend themselves even from assault.’
Andrew Langford, chief executive of the British Liver Trust, said there was a growing number of young people with liver failure or liver cirrhosis as a result of heavy drinking.
Dangerous: The growing number of young people who are drinking earlier means it is now common to see 20-year-olds dying of liver disease, one expert said (picture posed by models)
‘What we know is that 30 years ago it was very unusual to see someone in their twenties with liver cirrhosis,’ he said.‘Now it’s quite common for units to have young people in their twenties dying of liver disease because they started drinking so early.
‘That has really affected the average age of death from any liver disease.
‘It’s now 57 and it used to be high up in the 60s. The earlier someone starts drinking to excess, the worse it is because their livers are immature.
‘Alcohol will damage all of our livers but if young people are drinking to excess at 11, 12 or 13 then that really is storing-up a real disaster.’
The study obtained figures from 125 of 189 NHS trusts and health boards across the UK.
It also found that there were a total of 1,897 admissions for a drug-related condition among the children aged 18 and under last year, down from 1,908.
The findings contradict recent NHS reports implying that the number of children drinking alcohol was beginning to fall.
The survey involving 7,500 school pupils showed that the percentage of 11 to 15 year olds who had ever tried alcohol had dropped to 43 per cent, down from 51 per cent two years ago.
Today's society has a lot to bloody answer for!! - Fx