Everyone likes to let their hair down at Christmas and enjoy the socialising that comes with it, but it’s easy to get carried away and have one drink too many.

Excessive alcohol consumption not only leads to a bad hangover but also significantly increases your likelihood of an accident or injury too. The result could leave you with a Christmas to remember for all the wrong reasons!

That’s why, as part of the Think! Why A&E? campaign, Fylde coast doctors are urging local residents to take caution when enjoying a festive tipple this Christmas.

Winter is always a difficult period for NHS services, particularly A&E departments and throughout the festive period these departments face extra pressures.

Avoidable accidents such as slips, trips and falls all become more likely the more alcohol you consume. Add to this wintery weather conditions and the likelihood of suffering an injury that may need medical treatment increases considerably.

If you are out and about celebrating this festive season, these tips can make sure you safely return home to your own bed, rather than a hospital bed.

  • Eat something – eating food with alcohol helps you to pace yourself, and a full stomach will slow down the effects of the alcohol.
  • Pace yourself – enjoy a drink slowly. You don’t have to join in with every round.
  • Watch out for strength – try drinking low-alcohol and alcohol-free drinks.
  • Watch your size – ask for a smaller glass. A large glass of wine is equivalent to roughly a third of a bottle!
  • Hydrate – alcohol is a diuretic, which means it will dehydrate you. Drink water regularly whether you’re drinking at home or in a pub.
  • Set yourself a limit – decide on a limit of how much you plan to drink and stick to it. The NHS Drinks Tracker app is a great way to keep track of what and how much you are drinking and is completely free to download from NHS Choices.

Dr Tony Naughton, Thornton GP and clinical chief officer at NHS Fylde and Wyre Clinical

Richard Morton (left) and Dave Rigby (right) from the North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust are backing the Think! Why A&E? campaign

Richard Morton (left) and Dave Rigby (right) from the North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust are backing the Think! Why A&E? campaign

Commissioning Group, said: “People obviously tend to drink more than usual during Christmas and New Year. We are not saying ‘don’t drink’. Just be aware of how much alcohol you are consuming and make sensible decisions – otherwise you put yourself at an increased risk of an accident or injury.”

Dave Rigby, paramedic and Fylde sector manager at North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust, added: “We always see an increase in the number of emergency calls at this time of year. That’s why it is important that as we approach the festive period, people remember to be sensible when out and about. The last thing we want is people to suffer an injury and require medical treatment because they have had one too many drinks. This adds extra pressures for us and means Christmas for the individual isn’t one to remember.”

Alcohol is a poison and can be toxic enough to kill.  Long–term over consumption of alcohol also increases the chances that drinkers will suffer from a range of health problems including heart and liver diseases, obesity, and mental illness.

Dr Naughton, added: “Many people are risking their health by regularly drinking too much and probably don’t realise that they’re drinking more than they should be.”

For more information on which health service to access should you require medical treatment this Christmas, please visit http://whyaande.nhs.uk.


 

For further information about this press release please contact the media team on 01772 214213.