Indulgent diets, little sleep, food poisoning: Why ER physicians see more patient visits during holidays

Emergency room physicians are uncovering a pattern behind spikes in ER visits during holidays, according to a Business Insider report.

New York City physicians estimate a 5 percent to 12 percent increase in ER visits during the holidays. Erick Eiting, MD, director of emergency medicine at Mount Sinai Beth Israel in New York City, told Business Insider he noticed a distinct pattern in ER visits on Thanksgiving or Christmas, which shifts from patients with viruses to patients who've gotten food poisoning or drank too much as the day continues.

ERs in Kansas and Texas cities have recorded similar upticks in patient visits. Daniel Baker, DO, an emergency medicine physician in Wichita, Kan., told WDAF-TV  that his patient load increases 15 percent around Christmas Day. James Williams, DO, an emergency physician in Lubbock, Texas, told Governing Magazine that he sees around 10 percent more patients during November and December.

Dr. Eiting also noted that fewer patients follow physician orders over the holidays. They are more likely to go against diet restrictions and not get enough sleep, making them more susceptible to strains and broken bones.  

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