FAYETTEVILLE, Ga. (December 8, 2010)—With the holiday season upon us, shopping centers are not the only places seeing an increase of activity. From common illnesses to minor accidents, emergency departments often get more than their fair share of visitors this time of year. Physicians would like to remind families to be safe this winter and to keep Piedmont Fayette Hospital’s Minor Emergency Care Center (MECC) in mind as an alternative for non-life-threatening injuries and illnesses.
“With the peak of the cold and flu season upon us, dangerous winter weather conditions and holiday events to prepare, illness and accidents are more likely to occur,” said James Robertson, M.D., Piedmont Fayette Hospital’s director of emergency services. “Friends and family get together to share meals, but may inadvertently share germs as well. Icy conditions sometimes mean more slips and falls this time of year. And it’s not uncommon for us to see minor injuries in our emergency department due to holiday-related activities such as hanging decorative lights, cooking accidents and assembling gifts.”
To help keep your family healthy during the holidays, physicians at Piedmont Fayette Hospital offer a few health and safety suggestions.
Many people are already suffering the effects of cold and flu this year. First and foremost, the Centers for Disease Control recommends everyone six months and older receive a flu vaccination. The more family and friends around you that have been vaccinated, the less chance the virus has to ruin your family’s holiday plans. The CDC also recommends washing hands regularly and always coughing or sneezing into a sleeve or tissue.
Many “holiday-specific” injuries also can be avoided. Some of the more common are related to falls that can result in sprained joints and broken bones. As people get out and about for shopping and holiday parties, they may encounter icy conditions in unfamiliar areas. In these situations, some simple common sense tips are in order. Keep an eye out for icy sidewalks, driveways and parking lots. Don’t carry more items than you can handle and ensure your field of vision is not impaired.
When it comes to new gifts and decorations in the home, never rush to complete their assembly and always follow the recommended safety instructions. When hanging outdoor lights or decorations, always use safety equipment such as gloves and safety glasses, stay clear of live electrical current and leave the high-altitude decorations to the professionals.
Doctors’ offices fill quickly this time of year as family practitioners handle increased cases of coughs and sniffles. Emergency departments often take a lot of the overflow as people look for care at all hours of the day during the holidays. Fortunately there is an alternative for a variety of common health concerns.
“The MECC is an incredible time-saving alternative for members of the Fayette community who want to make sure that they receive proper medical attention, but don’t require an admission to the hospital,” says Dr. Robertson. “It allows us to give specialized attention to our patients by separating cases of extreme trauma from less severe injuries or illness: providing all of our patients with the utmost in medical care in an efficient manner.”
The MECC is staffed by physicians, nurses and other emergency staff professionals who are able to treat a range of emergency conditions. Some of these conditions include cuts, bruises, ear aches, cold and flu symptoms, broken bones and other injuries or illnesses that are not perceived to be life, limb or vision threatening, including chest pains.
Patients have equal access to both the hospital campus and expanded service areas, while enjoying a seamless patient care experience. The same broad range of insurance is accepted at both hospital service locations. While the MECC is equipped to handle many emergency conditions, any patient who feels their situation requires serious medical attention should immediately call 911 or go to the main emergency department.
For more information on Piedmont Fayette Hospital and the Minor Emergency Care Center, visit piedmontfayette.org.