ER’s brace for busy holiday weekend

Yale-New Haven Hospital (file).


NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Overindulge this Thanksgiving weekend and you could end up spending some time the emergency room. Doctors say the next few days are some of the busiest of the year in the ER.

At Yale New Haven Hospital, Dr. William Fleischman says a typical holiday starts out quiet, but by the end of the night their packed.

“People don’t wanna come in which is true on a nice day and a holiday, so people try to stay home until their symptoms become too sever and they come in,” said Dr. Fleischman.

Physicians say the most common Thanksgiving ailments include cooking mishaps, like burns and knife wounds. Other common injuries include cuts, falls, and stomach issues, like food poisoning and the after effects of over-eating.

Doctors say alcohol consumption is a big factor in many holiday related trips to the ER.

“People drink and they think they are okay and then go and drive so they get into accidents and come in,” said Dr. Fleischman.

On Thursday afternoon, the trauma rooms sat empty. But, Dr. Andrew Ulrich, the Vice-Chair of Operations at the YNHH Emergency Department, said they’re ready to take in DUI crash victims. They’ll also see people with alcohol poisoning and injuries from fights, often the result of too much to drink.

The Friday after Thanksgiving is the busiest day by far. Doctors say that’s when patients start coming in with more serious complaints and issues.

“What we tend to see in the next couple of days are people who are either outside their normal medical care because the holiday shuts stuff down. Their behavior over the last 24-48 hours of eating, drinking, and maybe not taking care of themselves with their medications the way they’re supposed to lend themselves to situations where they have to be seen,” said Dr. Ulrich.

Yale’s advice to people to help them avoid a holiday trip to the ER? Everything in moderation.

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