StoneSprings Hospital Center - November 09, 2016

The holiday season is starting, family is on the way, and you’re in charge of the turkey. What could go wrong? With travel, stress and high alcohol consumption, quite a bit. Thanksgiving is the busiest day of the year in most emergency rooms. But learning about the top five dangers can help you be better prepared to make it from prep to dessert without incident.

Cuts and Burns

Mix lots of helping hands, a few glasses of wine and a carving knife and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. It’s not surprising that a holiday focused around a meal leads to lots of kitchen mishaps. To avoid burns and cuts, slow down and save drinking any alcohol until dinner, not before. One more piece of deep-fried advice: While everyone knows that the oil used in deep-frying a turkey poses a fire hazard, you might not know that leaving the turkey a little frozen or wet, even inside the cavity, can cause the bird to catch fire, or even explode, when it hits hot oil.

Food poisoning

Food that’s not heated properly or refrigerated promptly can make you sick. Salmonella, from an undercooked turkey can cause diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps for hours and even days. The solution? Rely on a meat thermometer, not a timer, to tell you when your meat and sides are thoroughly cooked. And refrigerate leftovers before heading out for a walk or a family football game.

Chest pains

Heartburn and indigestion from Thanksgiving goodies can produce painful side effects may be mistaken for more serious symptoms. And overexertion from pick up football, wrestling with the nephews, or carrying luggage, can also cause shortness of breath and a straining or tight feeling in the chest. Because it’s always better to be safe than sorry, anyone with acute pain should call 911 or head the ER to be checked out, even if the culprit turns out to be that extra serving of oyster stuffing.

Stress

Heavy travel volume, mandatory family time, and increased alcohol consumption combine to make Thanksgiving a pressure cooker of a holiday. The result is migraines, panic attacks, irregular heartbeats and more that turn diners into patients. To cut down on seasonal stress, consider simplifying your meal and traditions, make sleep a priority, allow time for yourself, and minimize high-stress situations. Also consider traveling during off-peak hours.

Aging

Relatives who live apart don’t always keep up with their aging family members’ health over the course of the year. When they see these loved ones on holidays they can be shocked by their appearance or deteriorating health conditions and rush off to the hospital for care. Understanding the normal aging process and inquiring about regular health checkups may ward off well-meaning reactions.

Should you find that your Thanksgiving celebration does produce a medical emergency, delay dessert and head to the nearest emergency room.

It’s not fun to think about accidents and illness, but knowing where to go in an emergency is important. At StoneSprings Hospital Center, our expert emergency department is ready with advanced care 24 hours a day. Our team of board-certified physicians, nurses and clinical staff is specially trained and equipped to care for all types of emergencies. When minutes matter, choose StoneSprings Hospital Center ER.