A Mackay Base Hospital Dr says falls and alcohol-related injuries were common over the festive season.
A Mackay Base Hospital Dr says falls and alcohol-related injuries were common over the festive season.

The injuries likely to land you in hospital this Christmas

Toy-related falls and alcohol-fuelled injuries will keep Mackay Base Hospital’s emergency department staff busy over the holiday period.

“We certainly see a lot of injuries, especially after Christmas or even on Christmas Day,” ED’s assistant clinical director Dr Bauke Hovinga said.

“We do have a fair few falls.”

Dr Hovinga said many of these falls were linked to new play equipment and not just limited to children.

“Falls from scooters or roller blades or rollerskates,” he said.

“They come in with broken arms or head injuries.

Toy-related falls linked to new toys were common on or just after Christmas Day.
Toy-related falls linked to new toys were common on or just after Christmas Day.

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“(We) see a fair few adults as well with the same kind of injuries.”

Dr Hovinga said the older patients “get a bit over confident” while trying out a child’s new toy and had a fall themselves.

“They think oh that’s a new skateboard, I’ll give that a go,” he said.

“It’s important that kids are always … closely supervised especially when they have new toys.”

Dr Hovinga also recommended any use involve the appropriate safety gear.

He said a number of injuries have also been linked to people who “climb on roofs just to hang up their Christmas decorations”.

“Certainly in the period when people are drinking we do see more alcohol-related injuries,” Dr Hovinga added.

Dr Bauke Hovinga said children should be supervised closely on any new toy.
Dr Bauke Hovinga said children should be supervised closely on any new toy.

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“Alcohol exacerbates pretty much everything,” he said.

Heading into New Year celebrations, Dr Hovinga said water-related presentations did increase.

“Drownings are definitely a risk when you have been drinking alcohol, so you have to be really mindful of … anything water-related,” he said.

“Drinking alcohol and water activities … they don’t really go together.”

Dr Hovinga said it was important for there to also be one or more designated sober people to supervise in these situations.

“Certainly if you’re swimming at the beach, it’s really quite risky,” he said.

With more people staying closer to home this holiday season, Dr Hovinga said there was “potential for increased ED presentations”.

Drownings were a risk during the festive season.
Drownings were a risk during the festive season.

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“People do need to be mindful what they come into the ED for,” he said.

He also urged anyone visiting the ED to be mindful of the medical staff working.

“They are not at home celebrating with their family, so it’s always important to be polite and respectful to our staff,” Dr Hovinga said.


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