Staying safe and out of the emergency department these holidays

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Dr Bob Polanski at Toowoomba Hospital

Dr Bob Polanski at Toowoomba Hospital

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Darling Downs Health is offering some handy tips to stay healthy and also avoid a trip to the emergency department during the festive season.

Emergency Specialist Dr Bob Polanski said hospitals are still busy places over Christmas.

“I find that the atmosphere is a lot more joyous and people are a lot happier but we still see a lot of sick people and that doesn’t change over the holidays.

“Generally, there’s not a notable increase in presentations to the emergency department on 25 December, and it’s probably the last place you want to spend your day.

“Keeping up with your fluids, and importantly your water is the important fluid to make sure you’re drinking.”

Dr Polanski said the key to avoiding a trip to the emergency department during the festive season was moderation and knowing your limits.

“Being safe in general is also really important. A lot of people might go for bike rides or you might get an electric scooter and want to try it out, but make sure you’re wearing your safety equipment so you avoid having to come see us.

“If you do end up in the emergency department, we’d like to remind the community that we use a triage system, so the sickest people are seen immediately.

“I think it’s nice to know that if you’re waiting it’s because you’re not the sickest person and that we’re treating someone who is more life-threatening and urgent first.

“Finally, I’d like to say a big thank you to all of our extended emergency services team who will spend their Christmas caring for their communities.

“There’s a lot of people that work in emergency services from the staff, the pre-hospital paramedics, the police, the nurses and volunteers so just a big thank you to everyone.

“We really appreciate everyone’s effort over the holiday season,” said Dr Polanski.

Additional information

For medical assistance

  • For all medical emergencies, please call triple zero (000) and seek assistance immediately.
  • If you’re having a medical issue that’s not an emergency but you’re unsure of what to do you can phone 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84) and speak to a registered nurse.
  • If you or someone you know is struggling, you can reach out to Lifeline (13 11 14) or Beyond Blue (1300 22 4636) for support.

Some general food safety tips

  • Store raw meats at the bottom of your fridge to ensure juices can’t drip onto foods underneath.
  • Use separate chopping boards for raw meat and ready-to-eat foods.
  • Don’t overcrowd your fridge as it can cause the temperature to rise and allow for bacterial growth.
  • Use coolers and ice for non-perishable items like drinks to leave more fridge space for perishables.
  • When food is on the table keep it out of the sun, over ice bricks and covered.
  • If food has been out on the table for more than two hours put it in the bin.
  • Ensure any leftover food is reheated to 70 degrees and steaming hot before serving.