Journal article

Prevalence of illicit substance use among patients presenting to the emergency department with acute behavioural disturbance: Rapid point-of-care saliva screening

Marie Gerdtz, Celene YL Yap, Cathy Daniel, Jonathan C Knott, Peter Kelly, George Braitberg



OBJECTIVE: To determine the prevalence of illicit substance use among patients presenting to one ED with acute behavioural disturbance using point-of-care saliva testing. METHODS: A prospective observational study was conducted. Acute behavioural disturbance was defined as any episode requiring a security response for unarmed threat (Code Grey). The setting was a single ED and tertiary referral centre located in metropolitan Australia. Participants were adults presenting to the ED requiring a Code Grey. Saliva was analysed for meth/amphetamine, cannabis, cocaine and opiates using a rapid point-of-care test. Self-reported drug use was recorded at the time of saliva testing. Data collection oc..

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Funding Acknowledgements

This study was funded by The Nurses Board of Victoria Legacy Limited Mona Menzies Fellowship. In-Kind support was provided by Pathtech Pty Ltd, NorthWestern Mental Health and Royal Melbourne ED who together supplied the test kits. The vendor (Pathtech) was not involved in the study design, data collection, management of the project, data analysis, interpretation of data or decision to submit an article for publication. The authors would like to acknowledge the co-operation provided by the staff of the participating ED, with whose assistance this study could not have been undertaken. We also acknowledge Roshani Prematunga for her assistance in data analysis and Maggie Bock for her assistance in the study site supervision and data entry.