The holiday season is definitely not when you expect to be visiting the emergency room, but emergencies occur when you least expect it and often when they are most inconvenient. Consumer Reports has plenty of tips and advice for those who might find themselves waiting at an ER for emergency medical treatment this holiday season.
You can reduce the chances that you will need emergency medical treatment by avoiding injury risks. Many of the injuries that result in emergency room visits over the holiday season involve falls while hanging decorations. Others are a result of fires involving Christmas lighting. The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that as many as 15,000 people are injured and have to be rushed to emergency rooms every holiday season as a result of decoration-related injuries.
Drive safely. Car accident rates spike every year between Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Avoid driving under the influence of alcohol – drunk driving results in many serious accidents over the holiday season, many of which require visits to the emergency room. Have a plan to secure a designated driver and carefully plan out in your mind a safe route home. Be sure to avoid overcrowded routes. Be especially careful on the roads, and look out for intoxicated drivers when you are out and about, especially late at night. Drive defensively and stay alert.
If you suffer from a chronic medical condition, make sure that you are stocked with sufficient medication. Many pharmacies are on a restricted time schedule over the holidays and you do not want to suffer an emergency because of lack of planning. Also, remember to cut down on alcohol intake, and limit the sugary, rich foods that are the staple of the holiday season.
If, however, you do suffer an injury and have to be rushed to the ER, remember to be very patient. Emergency Rooms are especially crowded and short-staffed during the holiday season when many staff members are on holiday. Many doctors are also on vacation during the season, so your chances of seeing a specialist are also slim. Stay calm and take along a cell phone charger when you visit the ER. If you’re taking children along, take something to keep them calm and preoccupied by long delays.
It is also important to remember that hospital staff may be stressed. As it is the holidays, they have family with whom they want to spend time. Make it easy for the staff by providing them with the important information that they need to give you the right emergency medical treatment. That includes information about any medications that you are already on, herbal supplements and nutritional products. You should also report any conditions for which you are currently being treated. Give a complete rundown of your medical history and any other important details. This will help accurately diagnose your condition and help you get the treatment that you require.
The Indiana personal injury lawyers at Montross Miller Muller Mendelson & Kennedy, LLP represent persons injured as a result of medical negligence across Indiana in hospitals and emergency rooms.