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Let’s all drink to a ruined Christmas

If you’re looking for a recipe for a ruined Christmas, try this one:

  • Take an evening out (an office party is good, but a social with friends works just as well)
  • Add far too much alcohol
  • Leave in A&E for hours
  • Swallow your pride

That’s what happens too often in the week before Christmas. And the cost? Even if you do manage to avoid serious injury or other health complications, which is absolutely not guaranteed, it could include any or all of:

Ruining your new party clothes; Extreme annoyance of your friends who would rather be partying than stuck in a hospital waiting room with you; A blighted career – not a good way to earn promotion if it happens in front of your boss; Explaining all of this to your mum; A visit from the police; Loss of dignity in general.

A&E consultants see this served up every year as Christmas Day approaches and the party season peaks.

Dr Edward Rysdale, Emergency Medicine Consultant at Royal Stoke University Hospital , said: “ I’m confident the people who drink sensibly are having a better time than those I care for. I’ve treated people as early as 10pm who drank before they went out and ended up drinking too much. Some of them can’t even remember going out; the first thing they remember is waking up in a hospital gown on a trolley in A&E.”

“This comes as a big shock. They are surrounded by NHS staff and older patients who have had heart attacks or strokes. Finding out that an ambulance had to bring them here also makes them embarassed.”

And fellow Emergency Medicine Consultant, Dr Julie Norton added: “When someone is brought to A&E, it’s not just their night out that is ruined. Their friends have to

spend hours in an A&E waiting room too. Every single one of them I spoke to as they were leaving wished they had stepped in to make sure their friend had drunk less before going out or drunk more slowly when they were out.”

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