Top 3 Reasons for Holiday ER Visits

Falls, heart trouble and carbon monoxide poisoning are the top three reasons why people end up in the emergency room around the holidays.

There is a lot going on around the holidays. People decorate their houses, cook and travel and sometimes accidents happen. People with careers in nursing will be familiar with these holiday-related reasons why people find themselves in the emergency room:

Falls
When the holidays come around, so do the decorations that need to be placed on roofs and at the very top of the Christmas tree. Festive people climb ladders and chairs to decorate their homes with lights and ornaments galore. Unfortunately, ladders tip over or become slippery and people fall off of them, leading to broken bones and trips to the hospital. According to the National Safety Council, it is important to always hang on to the rungs of the ladder when climbing, not the sides. The council recommends having three points of contact with the ladder at all times and always keeping your hips squared and between the side rails. Wear slip-resistant shoes and don't hesitate to reposition the ladder if something is out of your reach.

Heart problems
Many people's drinking and eating habits around the holidays change to include less healthy food. Because of that, they may attribute chest pain and discomfort to their poor diet, delaying going to a doctor because they don't realize they are having heart trouble. If someone you know is experiencing chest pain, upper body discomfort or shortness of breath, these issues that may be caused by a heart attack, not the extra cookies and potatoes from the holiday feast. Do not wait, seek immediate medical help.

Carbon monoxide poisoning
Christmas and New Year occur during the winter, when outside temperatures force people to turn up their thermostats, increasing the amount of carbon monoxide in their homes. Carbon monoxide, also known as the "silent killer," can leak from your furnace, stove or water heater and cause sickness and even death. According to the Centers for Disease Control, around 15,000 emergency room visits per year are caused by carbon monoxide poisoning. Symptoms of exposure are often flu-like (headaches, nausea and fatigue, vomiting), and the severity of the symptoms is linked with the amount of exposure. Install carbon monoxide detectors throughout your home to prevent your family from being affected by this poisonous gas. 

This article is sponsored by Western Governors University, a nonprofit, accredited, online university. WGU offers online RN to BSN, BSN to MSN, and RN to MSN degree programs to working nurses who already have a current RN license. To find out more, please visit www.wgu.edu/wisecareers_nursing

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