A visit to the Emergency Department is scariest part of Halloween

Monday, 24 October 2016

From costume fails to pumpkin carving incidents, we are urging people to stay safe this Halloween and avoid a trip to the Emergency Department.

It’s not the ghosts, goblins and witches likely to cause alarm; the real scares are sharp knives, candles and alcohol, the Trust warns.

Last year, during Halloween, more than 265 patients attended A&E department at Southmead Hospital. Doctors and nurses treated patients for cuts, burns and head injuries.

The team were kept busy with 28 alcohol-related injuries and over 150 patients with injuries caused from slips, trips and falls.

Leilah Dare, Emergency Medicine Consultant, said: “Many of these incidents could have been avoided if people took greater care of themselves.

“We don’t want to stop people having fun but we only have a finite number of resources - time taken to treat avoidable injuries at A&E could be used to treat someone with a life-threatening illness.

“People should take care during this time of year and only visit A&E if absolutely necessary.”   

HalloweenRead our top tips on staying safe this Halloween:

  • Sharp knives and thick pumpkins are a fearful combination - take extra care when carving
  • Candles and lanterns might be atmospheric, but they’re a hazard. Be aware of your surroundings and keep costumes away from naked flames
  • Avoid tripping on your costume by making sure you can safely move your feet
  • Drinking? Know your limits and alternate alcoholic drinks with soft drinks or water
  • Take care putting up decorations - over 50% of visits to A&E last year were due to falls, breaks and sprains
  • Wearing face paint or make-up? Make sure you’ve done a test patch to save any allergic reactions. 

If you do become unwell consider the most appropriate service for your healthcare needs. Your local pharmacy can give advice and suggest suitable medication for a range of illnesses and ailments. NHS 111 can advise whether you need addition healthcare support and can arrange out of hours GP appointments if appropriate.

Our Emergency Department team will be here ready to treat you if you do suffer a genuine emergency or are seriously ill but we ask you to look after yourself, your friends and relatives to avoid preventable accidents.