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Don’t let alcohol ruin your bank holiday


12:00am 29th April 2011

Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust is urging people to drink responsibly during the Royal Wedding and May Day bank holiday celebrations to help ensure their vital service is available for those who need it most.

For the majority of people, four days off and the marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton will mean there will be a lot to celebrate and the enjoyment of alcoholic drinks is expected to play a big part in many of the social get-togethers being organised.

With alcohol being one of the leading causes of accidents in the UK, ambulance staff are expected to be kept busy with related illnesses and injuries which has prompted the service to ask people to drink sensibly to keep themselves, and others, free from harm. 

Vince Larvin, Assistant Director of A&E Operations for North Yorkshire, said:

“A lot of people will see this weekend a reason to celebrate and, for many, alcohol will play a big part in their festivities.  

“All too often our ambulance crews are caught up dealing with people with excessive drunkenness and alcohol-fuelled injuries which could have been avoided and this problem can become exasperated during bank holidays and major events. 

“The associated risks of heavy drinking can also lead to a rise in assaults, including those against ambulance staff, and incidents of domestic violence which also cause problems for our staff.  

“It’s easy to forget how much alcohol you have had when you are enjoying yourself and people don’t always consider the consequences their actions. But, while we are dealing with alcohol-related incidents, we could be delayed in getting to someone suffering from a heart attack or a stroke.

“We’re not saying people shouldn’t enjoy themselves while celebrating, but we do ask that they do so sensibly to avoid the need for an ambulance and leaving them available for those with a genuine need.

“We want to make sure that this weekend is one people will remember for all the right reasons and, more importantly, that our ambulance crews are there for those who need them most. So please act responsibly and enjoy the weekend’s celebrations with the spirit intended.”

Yorkshire Ambulance Service is also reminding people who require treatment or advice for a minor condition to consider the variety of other healthcare services available them and only to call 999 in a medical emergency when someone is in need of time-critical help. For advice and treatment for non-emergencies and less serious conditions, consider options such as a visit to your local pharmacist or GP surgery, a call to NHS Direct on 0845 46 47 or visit a walk-in-centre. 

1.    People should not regularly exceed their recommended daily amounts of alcohol, which is three to four units for a man and two to three units for a woman. To put that into real terms, a pint of four percent lager contains 2.3 units as does a 175ml glass of 13% wine. 

2.  There is a variety of healthcare services available:

§  Self care - A range of common illnesses and injuries can be treated at home by combining a well-stocked medicine cabinet with plenty of rest. This is the best choice for very minor illnesses and injuries.

§  NHS Direct - NHS Direct provides confidential health advice and information by phone, through digital TV and online, 24 hours a day.

§  Pharmacist - Your local pharmacist can give you advice on illnesses and the medicines you need to treat them. Visit a pharmacist when you are suffering from a common health problem which does not require being seen by a nurse or doctor.

§  GP - Provide a range of services by appointment, including medical advice, examinations, and prescriptions. In an emergency, a GP can also visit your home outside of opening hours.

§  NHS walk-in centre, urgent care centre, or minor injuries unit – You do not need an appointment and you will be seen by an experienced nurse or GP. These services give healthcare and advice and most are open from early in the morning until late at night. Visit one of these centres if you need medical treatment or advice which does not need a visit to A&E or a medical appointment.

§  A&E or 999 - A&E or 999 should only be used in a critical or life-threatening situation when someone is seriously ill or injured.

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