Alcohol main contributor

Up to 45 percent of patients attending Byron Bay Hospital's emergency department over the Christmas-New Year holiday program were affected by alcohol.

Presentations at the department peaked at 90 on New Year's Day, according to Jane Ackerman, the hospital's executive officer and director of nursing.

For a hospital the size of Byron Bay's, "that is very busy", she said.

Ms Ackerman said a fair percentage - 30 to 45 percent - of patients who were treated at the hospital during that period "had alcohol on board".

"It's an expectation now for the staff," she said.

"They would expect quite a few presentations to have alcohol on board, or drugs, or both."

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