North Yorkshire Drinkers Warned to Stay Safe Over Christmas.
9:22am 21st December 2012
With the festive party season well underway in the lead up to Christmas and the New Year, Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust is urging those out celebrating to drink responsibly and only call for an ambulance in the event of a serious or life-threatening emergency.
They say alcohol continues to be one of the leading causes of accidents in the UK and this problem intensifies during the festive season when the enjoyment of an alcoholic drink often plays a central part of many celebrations and social gatherings.
Adding that with more people out and about with colleagues, friends and family, the ambulance service is reminding people to think about the consequences of drinking to excess and to drink sensibly to keep themselves, and others, safe and well.
Dr David Macklin, the Trust’s Associate Medical Director said: “The high number of calls we receive in the lead up to Christmas and the New Year, particularly on the last Friday before Christmas Day and on New Year’s Eve itself, puts the service under significant pressure and makes it more difficult for us to ensure we can get to all of our patients quickly.
“Our emergency ambulances are a lifeline in a genuine life-threatening emergency such as a heart attack or stroke, but our staff are too often caught up in looking after people who have drunk excessively or have sustained alcohol-fuelled injuries which could have been avoided.
“We’re certainly not trying to stop people enjoying an alcoholic drink, but do ask that they do so sensibly to avoid the need for an ambulance and leaving them available for those with a genuine need.
“Please leave your car at home, use public transport or arrange alternative transport such as a taxi. If you go to a party and know you're going to be driving the next day know your limits and drink within the daily guidelines1. You can opt for lower strength drinks and drink singles rather than doubles when drinking spirits. It’s also a good idea to alternate the alcoholic drinks you do have with soft drinks or water and stop drinking alcohol well before the end of the night so your body has time to process the alcohol before the following morning.
“With this holiday period being a traditionally busy time for us, I would encourage people to ease the pressure on our staff by helping themselves and staying safe to avoid the need to call an ambulance - something no-one wants during this festive time.”
Over Christmas and on New Year’s Eve the ambulance service says it is running various initiatives across the county to ensure people with alcohol-related illnesses and injuries don’t place too much pressure on the service and on emergency departments in hospitals across Yorkshire. They add that this includes establishing satellite medical units and the use of police and paramedic teams schemes in busy city centres across the region.
Yorkshire Ambulance Service is also reminding people who require treatment or advice for a minor illness or injury to consider other more appropriate healthcare services available to them and only to call 999 when someone is in need of time-critical life-saving help.
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