Boozy injuries add to busy Christmas in Gladstone ED
GLADSTONE'S dedicated doctors and nurses are preparing for a busy Christmas holiday period and calling on residents to celebrate sensibly to avoid ending up in hospital with booze-fuelled injuries.
Boxing Day was one of the busiest days last year in the Gladstone Hospital Emergency Department.
On December 26 last year, 92 patients went to the ED - compared with 76 on an average day - and 15 of these were admitted to hospital for further treatment.
Last Christmas Day, 69 patients went through the ED and 11 of these were admitted to hospital.
There were 68 ED patients on New Year's Eve and 69 on New Year's Day.
Gastroenteritis, cut fingers, broken arms, upper respiratory tract infections and abdominal pain were the most common diagnoses.
Gladstone Hospital director of emergency Dr Syed Khadri said the Christmas-new year period was traditionally a busy time of year in the ED, especially for alcohol-related injuries.
"I encourage our residents to enjoy themselves, but to please drink alcohol sensibly to avoid falls and accidents,” Dr Khadri said.
"Driving while under the influence affects not just you but the community as well, and I would encourage anyone thinking about drinking to plan their way home in advance.”
Australian Medical Association Queensland president Dr Chris Zappala said using commonsense and not drinking to excess would reduce your chances of a Christmas trip to hospital.
"It's always a little worse at this time of year so we need to remember what those safe drinking guidelines are,” he said.
Dr Zappala also urged residents to remember family members and people in the community who were disadvantaged or ostracised at Christmas and keep an eye on those vulnerable in the heat.
"Enjoy yourself but just remember those people less fortunate and bring them into the fold,” he said.
Dr Khadri reminded residents their sickest patients were always attended to first and at busy times in the ED they would probably wait to be seen.
"The Gladstone Emergency Department team wishes our community a safe, healthy and very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,” he said.
People with non-urgent conditions are encouraged to see a GP or go to a pharmacy for assistance. In an emergency, phone 000 and ask for an ambulance. If you are unsure whether you need to go to an ED, phone 13HEALTH (13 43 25 84) for advice.
- Ensure you have enough medication to last over public holidays.
- Keep hydrated and avoid drinking too much alcohol.
- Wash your hands and dry thoroughly before handling any food.
- Don't risk food poisoning by eating dodgy leftovers. If in doubt, throw it out.
- Supervise children around pools, dams and at the beach.
- Keep batteries out of reach of children.
- Look out for friends, family and neighbours who might need help.