Visits to the emergency room spike each year during the holidays from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day. While both emergent and nonemergent visits spike during this time of year due to limited access to primary care physicians, Superior Urgent Care covers six of the most common causes of emergency room visits.
6 Causes of Emergency Room Visits
1. Slip-and-Fall & Trip-and-Fall Accidents
Slip-and-fall accidents can quickly occur, whether walking across a slippery pile of leaves or losing your footing while hanging lights on your roof. Trip-and-fall accidents are similarly common due to hazards such as decorations and wires on the floors or in walkways where they would not usually be. Either way, anything from minor bumps and bruises to head trauma, sprains, and broken bones are likely to occur.
To prevent slip-and-fall and trip-and-fall accidents this holiday season, be mindful of clearing slippery leaves from walkways and driveways, do not place decorations and wire in high-traffic areas, and follow safe ladder practices when using one.
2. Food Poisoning
Food poisoning around the holidays is typically caused by undercooking meats, leaving food out for too long, and improper hygiene. Unless a thermometer is used when preparing meat, it can be challenging to determine when it has finished cooking. Additionally, leaving food on the table for long periods when it would otherwise be refrigerated is likely to cause the food to spoil, resulting in food poisoning. Finally, whenever raw meats are being handled or food is being prepared, anyone touching the food should have clean, thoroughly sanitized hands to prevent the spread of germs and harmful bacteria.
According to a study done in 2018, Americans double their drinking during the holidays. As a result, alcohol-related injuries increase as well. While some individuals go to the emergency room needing to get their stomach pumped, intoxication typically makes them more susceptible to slip-and-falls and trip-and-falls, sustaining lacerations from falling, head trauma, sprains, and broken bones.
4. Cooking Accidents
Regular, only-on-holidays, and novice cooks are all susceptible to cooking-related injuries. Whether due to a crowded kitchen, the coordination of a complex holiday meal, or simple absentmindedness, accidents can happen. The most common cooking accidents are knife lacerations due to improper cutting techniques and burns due to exposure to hot foods, utensils, or appliances. While many people enjoy having their family around them during the holidays, consider making the kitchen a one or two-person-only zone to prevent crowding, bumping, and dangerous distractions.
5. Cardiac Events
Unfortunately, the colder weather puts added stress on your cardiovascular system. As the temperature drops, blood vessels constrict, becoming more narrow, causing higher blood pressure, higher heart rates, and thicker blood. Knowing the signs of a cardiac event is critical if you have a history of cardiac conditions or are at risk for a cardiac condition. Symptoms of cardiac distress include the following:
- Chest pain or discomfort
- Shortness of breath
- Upper back or neck pain
- Upper body discomfort
- Nausea or vomiting
- Swelling of the feet, ankles, legs, abdomen, or neck veins
6. Ear, Nose & Throat Symptoms
The holidays are always a busy cold and flu season. As more people travel, shop, gather, and generally cross paths during these months, exposure to different germs and viruses increases. To minimize your risk of catching a cold this holiday season, get your annual flu vaccine, wash your hands thoroughly and regularly, avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth, and avoid close contact with others who are sick.
Urgent Care Services in Keller & Saginaw
Superior Urgent Care is there for you when you need us the most, and this will not change during the holidays. No one plans for accidents, but you should know what to do and where to go in the event of one.
We accept walk-ins and same-day appointments and have on-site bilingual staff members for patients who speak Spanish and Vietnamese. We additionally offer consultations over the phone and in person.