Don’t celebrate Hogmanay in A&E

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Dr Andy Reddick, Consultant in Emergency Medicine with NHS Tayside is urging people to watch their alcohol intake to avoid spending New Year in A&E.

Emergency Department Consultant, Dr Andy Reddick said: “We want everyone to enjoy New Year, but would ask people to be responsible about their alcohol intake and to be aware of how much they are drinking because no one wants to spend Hogmanay in the Emergency Department.

“Over New Year we see a huge increase in the number of patients attending A&E with acute intoxication and with alcohol-related injuries.

“We also see a large spike in attendances on New Year’s Day with patients who have injured themselves due to drinking on Hogmanay attending in the early hours of the morning and later on in the day.

“Alcohol-related attendances at New Year have a big impact on the team in the Emergency Department and I would like to thank everyone in the team for their dedication.

“In Tayside, Emergency Department staff voluntarily adjust and add extra shifts over the public holidays, covering antisocial hours to deal with the increase in attendances.

“Over Hogmanay, the team increases late night and early morning senior doctor cover to try and deal with the numbers of alcohol-related attendances. We add a registrar twilight shift on Hogmanay starting late in the evening and finishing later than normal, at 4am instead of midnight, for example and have an additional consultant coming in at 6am on New Year’s Day.”

Over holiday periods, when GP surgeries are closed, A&E departments see a significant increase in attendances, some of which could be dealt with elsewhere. Around one in three people who visit A&E could receive treatment more appropriately by accessing a different service. This can put extra pressure on staff when they may be needed for a real emergency.