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The Fun and Consequences of Celebrating New Year’s Eve

A 30+Year ER Doc Has Seen It All and Offers Tips for Revelers

 
PRLog - Dec. 29, 2009 - BRIARCLIFF MANOR, N.Y. -- As a physician who has specialized in emergency medicine for more than 30 years, Dr. Timothy Haydock has seen his share of the effects of excessive drinking on New Year’s Eve at hospitals he has worked at in Boston and at White Plains Hospital Center where he has been head of the emergency for the past five years.

“When it comes to partying, New Year’s Eve ranks near the top for people drinking alcohol more than they should,” Dr. Haydock stated. The consequences run the gamut from miserable hangovers to more serious and sometimes deadly incidents.

As it turns out, New Year’s Day may well be the busiest day of the year at the Hospital’s Emergency Department (ED) when people are looking for relief from headaches, nausea, vomiting and upset stomachs because they drank too much the night before. Other visits to the ER are to mend broken ankles and other injuries sustained from nasty falls attributed to loss of balance, one of the effects of being intoxicated.

“A trip to the ER can be avoided simply by saying ‘no’ to having that next drink and making sure you have a plan for getting home safely if you over indulge.”

He noted that one of the pitfalls of excessive drinking—especially for young people— is a sense of euphoria that tricks the person into thinking that this good feeling will be sustained if they continue drinking. “There is a lag time when the reveler does not feel impacted by the drinking but that quickly changes.  The warning signs that you are crossing over into a dangerous zone are slurred speech, poor coordination and lack of judgment.”

Alcoholic poisoning can lead to death. “When the individual passes out and is unconscious, breathing can stop. Or they can asphyxiate on their own vomit,” Dr. Haydock stated.

“A little self discipline never hurts when it comes to alcoholic consumption,” Dr. Haydock added. But so is remaining safe from harm after the party is over. “Don’t count on your friends to help assure you will begin the new year in one piece as they may not be in any condition to look after you,” he stated.

“Alcohol is a drug that impairs judgment. Among other things, one cannot drive in this condition. Nor cross a busy intersection or walk up a flight of steps unassisted. That’s why you need to have someone you can absolutely trust who will make sure you get home OK,” Dr. Haydock noted.

There is some good news about drinking and New Year’s Eve. In recent years, Dr. Haydock has seen a decline in ER admissions for auto accidents and fatalities caused by DWI, a testimonial to the effectiveness of public education and law enforcement. “New Year’s Eve at White Plains Hospital Center’s ER like any other night these days. Our wish is that it remain that way. Please drink responsibly and avoid a needless visit to our ER.”

White Plains Hospital Center (WPHC) is a 292-bed voluntary, not-for-profit health care organization with the primary mission of offering high quality, acute health care and preventive medical care to all people who live in, work in or visit Westchester County and its surrounding areas.  Centers of Excellence include the Dickstein Cancer Treatment Center, The William & Sylvia Silberstein Neonatal & Maternity Center and The Ruth and Jerome A. Siegel Stroke Center. Other specialty programs include The Westchester Orthopedic Institute and minimally invasive robotic surgery.  The Hospital has the busiest Emergency Department in Westchester County, treating 48,000 patients a year.  White Plains Hospital Center is an eight-time winner of the Consumer Choice Award, an honor given to the nation’s top hospitals by the National Research Corporation. WPHC is a member of the New York-Presbyterian Healthcare System and the Stellaris Health Network, Inc.  For additional information, visit http://www.wphospital.org.

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