Alcohol-related violence presenting to the emergency department : is ‘glassing’ the big issue?

Sendall, Marguerite C., Laing, Anthony, & Barker, Ruth (2013) Alcohol-related violence presenting to the emergency department : is ‘glassing’ the big issue? Emergency Medicine Australasia, 25(6), pp. 550-557.

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Describe the characteristics of patients presenting to Emergency Departments (EDs) within Queensland, Australia with injuries due to assault with a glass implement (‘glassing’) and to set this within the broader context of presentations due to alcohol-related violence.


Analysis of prospectively collected ED injury surveillance data collated by the Queensland Injury Surveillance Unit (QISU) between 1999 and 2011. Cases of injury due to alcohol-related violence were identified and analysed using coded fields supplemented with qualitative data contained within the injury description text. Descriptive statistics were used to assess the characteristics of injury presentations due to alcohol-related violence. Violence included interpersonal violence and aggression (verbal aggression and object violence).


A total of 4629 cases were studied. The study population was predominantly male (72%) and aged 18 to 24 (36%), with males in this age group comprising more than a quarter of the study population (28%). Nine percent of alcohol-related assault injuries were a consequence of ‘glassing’. The home was the most common location for alcohol-related violence (31%) and alcohol-related ‘glassings’ (33%). Overall, the most common glass object involved was a bottle (75%), however, within licensed venues an even mix of a drinking glass (44%) and glass bottle (45%) were identified.


Contrary to public perception generated by media, ‘glassing’ incidents, particularly at licensed venues, constitute a relatively small proportion of all alcohol-related violence. The current study highlights the predominance of young men injured following alcohol-related violence, demonstrating a key focus area within the population for aiming prevention strategies.

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5 citations in Scopus
5 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 62580
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: alcohol, assault, emergency department, injury, glass
DOI: 10.1111/1742-6723.12136
ISSN: 1742-6723
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > CLINICAL SCIENCES (110300) > Emergency Medicine (110305)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified (111799)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Clinical Sciences
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 Australasian College for Emergency Medicine & Australasian Society for Emergency Medicine
Copyright Statement: The definitive version is available at
Deposited On: 17 Sep 2013 22:47
Last Modified: 05 Jan 2015 10:04

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