The emergency room is the last place you want to land over the holidays, but the holidays themselves seem to bring about a unique set of circumstances that can land even the most mindful celebrator in the ER.
Here are a few tips to avoid some common, yet rarely talked about, holiday injuries.
1. Deep fried turkey is delicious, but if it is wet or still slightly frozen when it hits the frying oil, danger is near. The bird will certainly spit dangerous hot oil, and may even catch fire or explode. Don’t let this happen in your home, make sure your turkey is fully thawed and patted dry before lowering it in to the frying pot. Even then, take a final inspection. A seemingly defrosted turkey may harbor ice in its cavity, especially between the rib bones.
2. Don’t let the food sit out — either before or after it is cooked. Make sure to sanitize any surfaces that come into contact with raw meat. Not doing so can lead to the transmission of harmful bacteria and ultimately lead to some stomach pains, if not much worse. Wash your hands thoroughly when handling uncooked meat and make sure it stays separate from other foods. Pay attention to recommended cooking temperatures, and once the meal is done, all leftovers should be refrigerated within two hours.
3. Carving under the influence not only poses danger to the presentation of the turkey, it does not bode well for the elected carver and anyone in the general vicinity. Finger and thumb lacerations can be common when turkey-carving and alcoholic beverages are combined
4. Haven’t played much football or wrestled this year? Perhaps Thursday evening, post-Thanksgiving feast is not the best time to start. While our ER staff are eager to help anyone who walks through our doors, an overzealous game of tackle football could leave you spending the afternoon with us rather than at home with friends and family. Common post-feast injuries seen in the ER include sprained ankles and hands, fractures, knee injuries and displaced shoulders.
Of course, if you need to seek medical attention, make sure you have your insurance cards handy and make sure you know where to go. Is it potentially life-threatening? The Emergency Room is in order. The CVMC Emergency Department is located at 1107 Highway 395 in Gardnerville.
Our Urgent Care (located at 897 Ironwood Drive in Minden) is closed on Thanksgiving Day, but will reopen for Friday and Saturday. Sprains, non-life-threatening burns, or other urgent but not life-threatening illnesses or injuries can be cared for there if it can wait a day.