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Holiday season brings more patients than usual to emergency rooms

East Tallinn Central Hospital ER department (EMO).
East Tallinn Central Hospital ER department (EMO). Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

The holiday season has brought more patients than usual to emergency rooms. Physicians advice to use moderation and stock up on home medications.

The winter holiday season promises to end with a viral illness for many this year, as influenza and corona viruses are on the rise. Christmas celebrations have been canceled for many families.

"We had hoped that the children would be better by Christmas, but just before Christmas I was feeling a little unwell myself after the children had been coughing in my face for a week," Marie Nigol said.

"In fact, a lot of people now either have children who are sick or are sick themselves, so we are not the only ones."

Doctors advise people to stock up on home medications during the holidays and to consult a physician by calling 1220 before going to the emergency room.

Long holidays mean extra work for any medical facility. "The main health problems are mostly related to overeating, especially for the chronically ill, whose condition is aggravated by a high consumption of salty and fatty foods, but also, of course, excessive consumption of alcohol, which can be a risk during the long holidays when celebrations take place for several days in a row," Eva-Maria Sentifoli-Saluveer, head of nursing at Perekliinik OÜ, said.

This year's holidays also brought more patients than usual to the emergency rooms. While the average daily attendance at North Estonia Medical Center's ER is 200, there were about 100 more patients today.

"Slippery roads are another consideration. Slip injuries account for approximately one-quarter of all trauma cases. And, unfortunately, there is still a significant amount of alcohol-related injuries and complications," Sirli Saar, an emergency physician at PERH, said.

"Avoid stress, pay more attention to loved ones and maybe less to food and drink," Sentifoli-Saluveer advised.

Accidents usually peak on December 31, but expect longer waits in emergency rooms now.

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Editor: Barbara Oja, Kristina Kersa

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