SignatureCare Emergency Center’s board-certified emergency medicine physician, Dr. Christopher Langan says there are steps you can take to keep you and your family out of the ER this Thanksgiving.
HOUSTON, TX – Texans, your local emergency room physicians and nurses have one wish this Thanksgiving season – to have you stay safe and healthy, and enjoy the season with your family and friends.
Every Thanksgiving, local emergency rooms throughout Texas see a spike in weather-related injuries and most of those injuries are preventable. These illnesses and injuries can range from frostbites and hypothermia to auto accidents and other injuries.
“Most of these illnesses and injuries are preventable. Taking simple steps can prevent most injuries that we see during this time of the year,” said Dr. Christopher Langan, a board-certified emergency room physician and SignatureCare Emergency Center’s Chief Medical Officer (CMO).
Dr. Langan said SignatureCare is currently not experiencing an upward swing in the number of injuries or illnesses presented in the emergency rooms, but he cautioned that it is still early in the season.
“We have not seen any major changes in the number of weather-related illnesses or injuries in our emergency rooms so far but this is just the beginning of the cold season. As families come together to celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas it is important that we exercise caution,” he said.
He advised taking steps to prevent accidents and weather-related injuries, and spreading illnesses like COVID, Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) and the common cold or influenza.
“Most of these illnesses and injuries are preventable. Taking simple steps can prevent most injuries that we see during this time of the year.”
“If you are going to gather together with family and friends this Thanksgiving, doing simple things like masking up while indoors, washing hands frequently and keeping a short distance from others will go a long way towards ensuring everyone in your family enjoys the festivities.
“Another thing to be mindful of is cooking injuries. Burns from overflowing and boiling oil, and extremely hot handles and lids could be severe and require an emergency room visit, so guard against that as well,” he added.
See also: Houston Board-Certified ER Physician Urges Texans to Get Vaccinated as the Flu Season Kicks Off.
In 2021 when Texas experienced an unprecedented freeze, local emergency rooms were inundated with patients suffering from frostbites, hypothermia and auto accidents. Dr. Langan said one way to prevent auto accidents is not to drive unless you must.
“If you are not on the road, you will not have to worry about getting into auto accidents which could result in head, spine, neck and back injuries. Chest and abdominal injuries can also result from seat belts worn incorrectly – too high on the abdomen instead of across the hips,” Dr. Langan said.
Cold temperatures also lead to falls, especially by the elderly and Dr. Langan said these can be prevented as well.
“A lot of people, especially the elderly, are injured during cold temperatures. These injuries occur when they step outside without realizing that the sidewalks, porches or driveways are covered in ice. They slip and fall causing hip, back, leg and arm fractures, or head and brain injuries. These are all preventable. All we need to do is stay indoors,” he added.
Dr. Langan also advised covering up if you plan to be outside during the cold season.
“We are going to have cold days between now and the end of the year and if you plan to be outside, it is important to be covered to prevent hypothermia, frostbite and other issues. Take steps to protect yourself and your family and you will have a merry and enjoyable holiday season,” he said.
About SignatureCare Emergency Center
Houston, TX-based SignatureCare Emergency Center own 24-hour emergency centers throughout Texas, including Killeen, Austin, College Station/Bryan, Paris, Midland, Odessa, Texarkana, Pflugerville, and Lewisville, TX.