‘Relatively few’ incidents of injection spiking in emergency departments in Ireland

‘Relatively few’ incidents of injection spiking in emergency departments in Ireland

Following a recent surge in social-media reports of spiking, the Irish Association for Emergency Medicine (IAEM) has said that there have been “relatively few” incidents in emergency departments across the country.

The IAEM said there has been extensive coverage of incidents of members of the public feeling they have been injured with a sharp implement, such as a needle.

There have been numerous social-media reports of alleged drink spiking and spiking via injection.

The IAEM noted the “understandable worry” that a toxic substance may have been administered. However, the experience of Irish emergency departments has been that such incidents are “relatively few”.

It also said that suggestions that various tests can ascertain what substance has been injected are “ill-informed”, as the only purpose of toxicology tests in the emergency department is to assist treatment in those who are acutely unwell.

“Management of needle-stick injuries includes a detailed assessment of the risk of transmission of serious blood-borne infection,” The IAEM said.

“The risk of the transmission of a blood-borne infection in the kind of ‘spiking’ incidents being reported is remote and, therefore, the public should be reassured that this is not something to be concerned about.” 

It said that attendance at an emergency department is, therefore, unnecessary where a person feels that they may have sustained such an injury, but are feeling well.

Such incidents should be reported promptly to An Garda Síochána, it said.

Last month, gardaí in Dublin said that they commenced an investigation into an alleged assault, where a female became disorientated, possibly caused by a drug administered by a needle prick.

Over the past number of weeks, students’ unions across the country have commenced campaigns to raise awareness about spik

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