While final statistics have yet to be revealed for New Year’s Eve, it is a good bet that they will show a sharp uptick in emergency room visits beginning around midnight. Long before that hour, one regional facility in Madison, Wisconsin reported more people coming in with influenza or from accidents slipping on ice. On the night itself, Dr. Kyle Martin, the medical director at SSM Health’s emergency room, estimated they would likely be about 20% busier than average before the night shift was over.
At Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow, New York, emergency medical center physician Dr. Dean Olsen said the number of trauma patients can double or triple compared to a typical night in the emergency room. The bulk of those are likely to be patients involved in motor vehicle accidents or assaults.
That said, New Year’s Eve is hardly the ER’s most dangerous day of the year. That distinction goes to the Fourth of July.
According to a new Pew Research Center analysis of 2000-2018 injury data from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, on average, more than 45,000 people visit U.S. hospital emergency rooms for treatment of injuries on July 4 and 5.
Almost every large hospital has an emergency room, and there are an estimated 5,000 or so hospital emergency departments around the country. Many a family’s or an individual’s journey to a hospital begins in the emergency department.
What if your community had no hospital? What if there was no emergency room easily reachable? What if your community had lost such a vital resource?
This is exactly the scenario that is playing out in rural communities across the country. Nearly 20 rural hospitals closed their doors in 2019, more closures than any year in the past decade. This trend is expected to continue. read more