Go easy on the turkey this Thanksgiving Day. Registered Nurse Matt Erickson, the emergency department manager at Victoria General Hospital said the number one condition they usually see this weekend is abdominal pain — from eating too much.
“I’m probably going to be guilty of slipping a little bit on that as well,” Erickson said. “But if you know you have abdominal issues, make sure you’re taking extra care with portion control.”
Rich and fatty foods such as gravy or turkey skin can irritate people, especially those who have pre-existing abdominal conditions or gallbladder issues. Abdominal pain is what brings most of their patients into the emergency department at VGH year-round, but there’s a “significant increase” around holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas, Erickson said.
Turkey dinners are also risky before taking the first bite. Although it’s not a high number, Erickson said the emergency room usually sees a couple of turkey-carving hand lacerations.
“People can cut their thumbs or fingertips quite badly,” Erickson said. His recommendation? Don’t be intoxicated when you’re carving.
“Usually with any of these turkey-carving incidents, I would say most of the time there’s probably alcohol on board.”
Alcohol seems to be a common denominator in other Thanksgiving incidents, from driving and household injuries. VGH also sees an increase in traffic-related incidents whenever a holiday weekend inspires people to be close to family.
Most of the problems they’ll see in hospital’s ER this Thanksgiving, Erickson said, can be prevented by common sense.