This coming Friday, December 19th, or “Mad Friday” as it has been dubbed, is the start of the busiest weekend of the year for East Lancashire’s Accident & Emergency Department and Urgent Care Centres.
Around 40% of all A&E attendances are for alcohol-related injuries and illnesses, with the numbers rising dramatically over Christmas and the New Year.
But Dr Georgina Robertson, Clinical Director of Emergency Medicine at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, is urging party-goers to take care and only call 999 if it is absolutely necessary.
“We are not in the business of spoiling anyone’s fun during the most enjoyable time of the year. However, we ask the public to be careful as we don’t want your lasting memory of this Friday to be the back of an ambulance or A&E,” she said.
The number of people going to the A&E department at the Royal Blackburn Hospital in recent weeks has already been much higher than normal. There were 673 people seen on one day recently compared to an average 490.
On “Mad Friday”, paramedics and A&E staff are under their most severe pressure.
“Please be patient and remember that, if you do find yourself in A&E as the result of an avoidable injury caused by excessive drinking, the doctors, nurses, ambulance and support staff are there to help you,” adds Dr Robertson.