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  • Don’t be a holiday turkey (Times Herald)

    Published: 11/28/2012

    Over the river and through the woods to ... the emergency room we go?

    Possibly. But the chances rise if you are drinking, operating a turkey fryer, or are surrounded by a particularly volatile family.

    I’m mentally mapping the quickest routes to the hospital right now.

    On the actual holiday the volume of patients is less but the day after is extremely busy according to Dr. Robert Czincila, Chief of Emergency Medicine at Einstein Montgomery.

    Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we shall die. What could be more American than that?

    Visions of my Uncle Frank rubbing his chest with one hand while picking the remains of a turkey drumstick with the other dance through my head.

    “Are you okay?” a random family member asked watching the man turn various shades of red.

    “Fine,” he always snapped back no doubt powering through a cardiac incident to be able to enjoy the desert spread.

    “People tend to drink and eat more around the holidays,” said Czincila. “Especially salt which puts people who suffer from hypertension and at a higher risk.”

    Alcohol also can have adverse effects with certain medications along with the possibility that people may skip prescriptions to be able to enjoy a few more drinks.

    “Alcohol is sometimes the cause of falls or physical altercations. Also, God forbid the person drives under the influence,” noted Dr. Czincila.

    The lead story on the news on Thanksgiving and the object of many YouTube videos is turkey fryer explosions. Is it simply an overreaction or an actual problem?

    “Turkey fryers are safe if used in the correct manner, sober and the directions are read and followed.

    It should only be used outdoors,” said Czincila who lists burns caused by mixing water to hot oil and smoke inhalations as common accidents related to use.

    When families come together around the holidays — especially ones with aging relatives — the topic of conversation quickly turns to everyone health. Sometimes it’s as innocuous as Aunt Dolores asking if her mole looks bigger than it did last Christmas.

    “People that don’t get out that often tend to spill the beans around the holidays. Their symptoms may seem mild but it doesn’t mean it couldn’t be something severe,” said Czincila.

    (Read the whole story by Katie Bambi Kohler on the Times Herald site here.)

  • Communications Team