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Bell County health experts discuss safety after survey shows ER visits spike during the holidays

Posted at 7:37 PM, Dec 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-22 14:08:50-05

BELL COUNTY, Texas — This time of year is full of cheerful decoration and family gatherings but a new survey shows that it comes with a spike in ER visits.

After surveying over 1,000 people, healthcare technology provider DrFirst found that 26 percent of those surveyed needed to call EMS during the holidays.

"We’re talking about injuries like burns, cuts, and scrapes. A lot of fall injuries, So you can imagine folks in ladders, hanging decorations, or getting elevated to take care of the tree if you will,” said Dr. Colin Banas, Chief Medical Officer for DrFirst.

Not surprising, the number of injuries is actually higher given that they found 30 percent of those surveyed said they were unlikely to call 911 or go to the ER.

"Some of it is understandable during the pandemic. There’s concerns about going into the emergency room, concerns about long what time, there’s concerns about seeing a doctor other than my primary care doctor for example,” said Dr. Banas.

While the survey by DrFirst showed more injuries overall during the holidays, ER doctors say that a spike in life-threatening injuries is what they notice the most.

"Every year it varies. Certainly, we see an uptick in automobile accidents often associated with drinking and driving. Probably just going to holiday parties or staying out later,” said Dr. Justin Regner. Trauma Medical Director, Baylor Scott&White in Temple.

Small injuries and auto accidents go up but that is not the group they see increase the most.

"Probably suicides, this time of year we definitely see a significant increase in self-inflicted harm,” said Dr. Regner.

It’s a trend all trauma surgeons brace for every year.

"There is certainly the highs of Christmas but, many people who’ve lost loved ones or other events, go through big-time lows around Christmas,” said Dr. Regner.