Last Christmas day the Hospital’s Emergency Department saw 91 patients which amounted to many concerned family members and disrupted plans.
Emergency Department Director Dr Peter Roberts said there are some common occurrences that land people in the hospital, and most of them could have been avoided.
“We tend to see a lot of people who’ve had DIY related accidents on public holidays. It’s commonly ladders and power tools that bring people in.
“One of the most common DIY accidents I see is tendon injuries related to angle grinders.”
According to Dr Roberts a summer heatwave is also a major cause of illness and injury at this time of year.
“Every year we see an increase in presentations due to existing conditions, like heart disease and frailty, made worse by heat,” he said.
“It pays to ensure you’re stocked up with your usual medications and take precautions to keep yourself, and more frail members of the family, cool.”
Dr Roberts also warns of the dangers of alcohol which can make common, slightly hazardous activities even more hazardous.
A mixture of alcohol, family stress, heat and travel also means far too many are injured or die on the road.
“It’s a sad fact more people get injured or die in road accidents over holiday periods than other times of the year and we see the impact of that on families.
“If you do find yourself in the ED this Christmas we will take great care of you. We have an excellent team of doctors, nurses and others who are here whenever you need them.”
All NSW hospital emergency departments will operate as normal throughout the holiday period.
All are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week all year round for emergencies.
Dr Roberts’ top 5 tips for a safe Christmas:
1. Take steps to keep cool during heatwaves. Drink cool fluids, visit air-conditioned shopping centres, use fans, air-conditioners and cool showers, or sleep under a wet sheet.
2. Check on elderly neighbours and relatives.
3. Don’t use power tools or ladders when you are tired or if you have had any alcohol.
4. Take care driving, especially on unfamiliar roads. Have a rest stop every two hours and avoid driving at times when you would normally be asleep.
5. Pay special attention to pool safety. Keep the fences in good order, the self-closing gates latched, and supervise children at all times.