Holiday season means more injuries, more emergency room hesitancy

Health

FILE: A sign giving direction to a hospital emergency department hangs on a wall. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (WBOY) – More injuries are reported on the holidays, but at the same time, more people are also hesitant to visit the emergency room.

A study by DrFirst revealed that over a quarter of those surveyed have needed to call emergency services due to holiday activities, but 1 in 3 also reported that they are less likely to seek medical attention around the holidays.

Common injuries over the holidays are cuts from cooking, back injuries from heavy lifting, asthma and allergy attacks and broken teeth. In severe cases, all of them can require medical attention.

With COVID cases on the rise, some hospitals and emergency rooms expect full capacity and overcrowding over Christmas weekend. Davis Health System officials warned that they expect full capacity and longer wait times in the coming weekend despite new mobile check-in technology that is meant to save time in the ER.

In the DrFirst survey, 56% said they are less likely to go to the ER on holidays because of longer wait times; 39% cited overcrowded facilities as their reason hesitancy, and 35% listed hospitals and emergency services being understaffed as a reason they might not get injuries treated. 22% said they are even hesitant to call 911 because of longer wait times on the phone.

“A trip to the ER is never high on someone’s holiday to-do list, but lives are at risk if people avoid emergency treatment when they urgently need it,” said Colin Banas, M.D., M.H.A., chief medical officer for DrFirst.

Telehealth is an option that can be used for non-life-threatening injuries and illnesses.

Ruby Memorial in Morgantown offers urgent care video visits. Virtual visits can also be scheduled with MedExpress and even pharmacies like CVS.

To read the full DrFirst survey, results and methodology, click here.

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