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by Jennifer Wetzel | Thursday, Dec. 29, 2016, 10:05 AM
New Year’s Eve is expected to bring 100,000 revelers to downtown Nashville for this year’s “Music City Midnight” festivities, and there will be hundreds of thousands more at private parties and celebrations throughout the region.
Corey Slovis, M.D., chair of Emergency Medicine at Vanderbilt, knows that some of those revelers will end up in Vanderbilt’s Emergency Department, since New Year’s Eve is usually one of the facility’s busiest times of the year. Alcohol-related injuries and deaths typically spike, causing physicians and staff to prepare for an influx of patients requiring help after overconsumption.
“We see a number of patients who consume too much alcohol on New Year’s Eve, putting themselves and others at risk,” Slovis said. “Your celebration can quickly turn tragic when too much alcohol is involved.”
Many statistics and studies show the years’ highest number of alcohol-related traffic fatalities occurs on New Year’s Day, and the period around New Year’s is also dangerous for pedestrians.
Although the worst injuries are typically associated with drunken driving, emergency departments also see injuries from falling while intoxicated, resulting in broken bones or head injuries. Alcohol overdoses are also common, particularly among those under the legal drinking age.
Slovis says many alcohol-related injuries are preventable and offers these tips before popping the cork:
“Alcohol impairs your judgment,” Slovis said. “Think very carefully about placing yourself or others at risk.”
Jennifer Wetzel, (615) 322-4747
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