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Hospital emergency rooms stay busy with holiday injuries

Posted at 4:47 AM, Nov 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-23 08:03:34-05

Whether it is cooking burns, cuts from knives or even as far as food poisoning, the Thanksgiving holiday certainly keeps doctors busy.

In 2016, 36,000 people nationwide ended up in the emergency room for injuries related to Thanksgiving Day injuries.

Dr. Brandt Delhammer, who oversees emergency medicine at Wellington Regional Medical Center, was busy treating patients on Thursday.

He said knife injuries are typically the most common injury seen at their ER on Thanksgiving.

“People cutting themselves when they’re using their knife in a way that people don’t typically use them," he said.

He advises to use your best judgment if deciding to go to the hospital for cuts and burns.

“If the edges of the wound aren’t staying together or it’s bleeding and you can’t get it to stop, typically that will need some form of stitching," he said of cuts.

“When it comes to burns, if the burn is painful and you see any blisters or it's more than something very small -- say small than the size of a pea -- then it probably doesn't need to be addressed. If it's larger than that or blistering, then you probably need to get medical attention," he added.

But Thanksgiving Day also brings a lot of nutritional problems like overeating and too much salt.

"A lot of the foods that we serve on this day are sneaky. They’re high in sugar and salt," said Delhammer. “If you’ve eaten too much salt, we can treat you in the emergency room pretty easily -- sometimes it requires fluids and sometimes it requires medication to get the salt out of your body.”

Diabetics and high blood pressure patients are also at risk in the days following the big feast.

“Certain medications cannot be taken with certain foods, and it’s important to know what you can and cannot eat," said Delhammer. "Just because it's a holiday doesn't mean that those rules don't apply."

So, if you have eaten yourself sick, recover by cutting your calories and cutting down on the salt intake.

“Keep in mind that your body has taken in a lot more today and needs to recuperate over the next couple of days. And as always, drink plenty of water,” said Delhammer.