Top 7 Holiday Medical Emergencies & When to Head for the ER
We all know how crazy the Holiday Season can be, with relatives coming in from out of town, finding that perfect gift, getting your home decorated, and preparing that unforgettable holiday meal.
With the all the commotion and parties to attend, the risk of suffering an accident, increase during this time of year. Then there is the question, “Should I visit the ER for this emergency?” Holiday medical emergencies are a serious concern, especially during Christmas and New Years Eve.
There are about 250 injuries a day during the holiday season. These are the top 7 reasons why people visit the ER during the holidays. Get the facts and signs of alert that you need to visit your nearest emergency center. If you get quality ER treatment fast, you may be back in time to enjoy your holidays with your friends and family.
Holiday Decorating Injuries
Our first of our holiday medical emergencies believe it or not involves holiday decorating. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that Emergency Rooms across the country attend some 15,000 injuries involving holiday decorating during November and December each year, and the number of injuries is on the rise.
Out of those estimated 15,000 cases:
- 34% involve falls
- 11% are from cuts and lacerations
- 10% are due to back strains
Head for the ER if:
- You fall from a ladder, stool, or roof. You have a broken bone or an internal injury
- If you have cut yourself and bone or tendons are visible
- If you lost consciousness after a fall, you might have a concussion
- If you have severe pain or mobility issues
Alcohol and Drug Abuse
It is not a surprise that alcohol and drug abuse is on our holiday medical emergencies list. Emergency room visits for injuries related to alcohol usage continue to rise according to a study by researchers at the National Institutes of Health. The investigation revealed that Emergency Room visits for acute or chronic alcohol-related treatment rose by 61 percent between 2006 and 2014.
Out of all the drug and alcohol-related injuries treated by Emergency Rooms each year:
- 17.1% occur on New Year’s Day
- 10.1 occur on Christmas Day
Severe alcohol poisoning could lead to death if you see anyone displaying the following symptoms bring them into the ER immediately:
- Metal Confusion
- Slurred speech
- Slow breathing
- A blue colored tint of the skin
- Low body temperature
Trauma and Car Crashes
We encourage to drive safely every day of the year but especially during the holidays as trauma and car crashes are among the top holiday medical emergencies. According to information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the month of December can be especially dangerous for motorists.
The week between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day is considered one of the most dangerous and deadliest weeks of the year for drivers. More people on the roads, stress, weather conditions and alcohol consumption are all contributing factors for road accidents.
- 40% of deaths during the last week of the year involve at least one drunk driver
- Drivers between the ages of 21 and 24 tend to be more often involved in fatal crashes related to alcohol use. The second highest age group was drivers between 25 and 34 years old.
Any person involved in a car crash regardless of whether alcohol was involved or not should be brought in to our Emergency Room immediately for evaluation. Remember insurance companies are required by law to cover ER visits for car crashes.
Sprains, Broken Bones, and Concussions
It seems the number of falls increases during the holidays, from falling while putting up Christmas decorations, slipping and falling while running errands, to kids falling off their new bikes, and skateboards, the truth is at our Emergency Centers we see a fair share of sprains, broken bones, and concussions during the last few days of the year.
You should pay us a visit when:
- You suspect you or a loved one has a broken bone
- You have fallen and hit your head and lost consciousness, are feeling dizzy, have trouble remembering things, have difficulty speaking, as you may have a concussion
- If you have difficulty walking or are suffering from severe pain
We are all guilty of overindulging during the holidays. Those special dinners and Holiday treats, however, can give us some nasty scares and some real problems. In fact, the CDC has stated that abdominal pain is the single most common reason that American patients visit the ER, accounting for seven million visits per year
According to a study by the American Heart Association, overeating makes you four times more likely to experience chest pains or worse suffer a heart attack.
Additionally, people who overeat during the Holidays:
- Are 10 times more likely to visit the ER
- Run the risk of requiring emergency stomach procedures
- Increase their risk of having food stuck in their esophagus
Whenever you experience chest pains, shortness of breath, or severe abdominal pain you should rush to the ER for evaluation, don’t wait it out.
During the Holiday Season, people who suffer from allergies are exposed to many triggers, from Christmas trees, mold, scented candles, and of course food.
For most of us, allergic reactions are mild and can be treated with an over-the-counter antihistamine, however, in some cases, our immune system’s response can be severe enough to cause an asthma attack or a life-threatening anaphylactic shock.
Severe asthma attacks or cases of anaphylactic shock require immediate medical attention, all Altus Emergency Center locations will be open every day during this Holiday Season to attend such emergencies.
Kitchen Related Injuries
There’s a lot of food preparation that goes on during Christmas and New Year’s, and in our eagerness to create those spectacular meals, we could end up cutting or burning ourselves.
Hopefully, most cuts and burns will be superficial and won’t require medical attention, however, if your wound is deep enough as to where you can see bone, cartilage, or tendons you need to come in for stitches, and if you have second or third-degree burns you must come into the ER immediately.
Altus Emergency Centers wishes everyone in the communities we serve a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. And we would like to remind you that we will be available to treat any medical emergency that arises.