Dr. Matthew Judd, ER Physician, offers tips on how to avoid the ER this holiday season.
As an emergency physician, I have a front row seat to the misfortunes experienced by our community. Many of the accidents I see occur despite the best attempts at prevention.
A few of those injuries and illnesses are seasonal and the holiday season is no exception. With that in mind, here are a few words of holiday safety advice based on my experiences in the emergency room:
- Don’t unclog your snow blower with anything important. Your fingers are important.
- Don’t eat your big holiday meal leftovers after two days. Refrigerators are great, but a leftover turkey dinner can be more of a hazard to your body than a snow blower.
- Don’t tackle big shoveling jobs in one episode. Shoveling snow is a marathon, not a sprint. Better to ignore a few of those flakes than end up with back pain, or worse.
- If your neighbor was shoveling and is now lying in the snow, they’re probably not making snow angels.
- Don’t climb onto your roof. That tangle of lights, ladder, snow-covered roof and hard, icy ground are conspiring against you.
- Don’t behave as though you have special winter driving skills. The icy freeway has no respect for your four-wheel drive and the laws of physics apply despite your traction control.
- Don’t forget to buy a carbon monoxide monitor. Perhaps that daily headache is not caused by holiday stress.
- Don’t ski or snowboard without a helmet. Paramedics are wonderful people, but an ambulance or helicopter ride down the mountain is far less enjoyable than with friends and even more nauseating with a concussion.
It is my hope that your holidays will be happy and accident-free. However, if you need us, my colleagues and I will be available 24/7 in the emergency department.
You can reach West Valley Medical Center at 459-4641.