Thursday, December 13, 2012

Holiday Cocktails that Will Land You in the Emergency Department

Shaken or Stirred, These Things Don’t Mix, Loyola Trauma Expert Says

MAYWOOD, Ill. – Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens go together and are celebrated favorite things, but according to a Loyola trauma chief, there are some things that just do not go together and are a recipe for disaster.

“Kids and light cords, cars and cell phones or alcohol and anything, are just a few of my least favorite things,” said Dr. Thomas Esposito, chief of the Division of Trauma, Surgical Critical Care and Burns in the Department of Surgery at Loyola University Medical Center. “The mild weather has delayed the traditional snow blower and snow shoveling injuries, but the Christmas and New Year holidays still bring in falls from ladders, electrical outlet zaps and alcohol-fueled everything."

Dr. Esposito is asked so often about what he sees in the Loyola Level 1 Trauma Center that he has actually created an extensive list. “Santa has his naughty list and so do I,” Esposito said. “We trauma surgeon “mixologists” have our list of time-tested recipes for disaster that we see year in and year out."

While he said he is rarely surprised by injuries he routinely sees in the Trauma Center, Esposito is disturbed by the number of children who are injured by televisions. “Little kids climb on improperly mounted flat screens and big-screen TVs or the TV stand and get seriously hurt or die when the TV topples over onto them,” Esposito said. “And there is always a trail of patients we get who drink or use other intoxicants and fall off the roof while hanging lights or even shoveling snow! I guess it is a double form of getting high, but roofs and human hooves don’t mix well."

Among the things that Dr. Esposito said do not mix are:

  • Alcohol and Anything
  • Bar brawls and Bottles
  • Guns and Gatherings
  • Cars and Cell phones
  • Candles and Cats
  • Little fingers and Electrical sockets
  • Ladders and Lights
  • Toy parts and Little tongues
  • Kids and Cabinets
  • Knives and Lives
  • TVs and Tots
  • Roofs and Ice
  • Flames and Fleece
  • Drinking and Decorating
  • Pets and Poisons
  • Cooking and College Football
  • Space Heaters and Enclosed Spaces
  • Kids and Light cords
  • Candles and Champagne
  • Shovels and Out-of Shape Shovelers
  • Hands and Snow blowers
  • Knives and Knuckles
  • Heat and Bare Feet
  • Texting and Tree topping
  • Reefer and Roofs
  • Drivers and Distraction
  • Faces, Fingers and Fireworks

Loyola is the only Level 1 Trauma center verified by the American College of Surgeons in Illinois.

A Level 1 trauma center is equipped to provide comprehensive emergency medical services to patients suffering traumatic injuries of all degrees of severity - car and motorcycle crashes, stabbings, athletic injuries, falls - using multidisciplinary treatment and specialized resources, Esposito said.

About Loyola University Health System

Loyola University Health System (LUHS) is a member of Trinity Health. Based in the western suburbs of Chicago, LUHS is a quaternary care system that includes Loyola University Medical Center (LUMC), located on a 61-acre campus in Maywood, Gottlieb Memorial Hospital (GMH), on a 36-acre campus in Melrose Park, and convenient locations offering primary and specialty care services throughout Cook, Will and DuPage counties. At the heart of LUMC is a 547-licensed-bed hospital that houses the Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine, the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, a Level 1 trauma center, a burn center, a children's hospital, Loyola Outpatient Center, and Loyola Oral Health Center. The campus also is home to Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Loyola Center for Fitness. The GMH campus includes a 254-licensed-bed community hospital, a Professional Office Building with 150 private practice clinics, an adult day care program, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, the Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park.

Trinity Health is one of the largest multi-institutional Catholic health care delivery systems in the nation. It serves people and communities in 22 states from coast to coast with 93 hospitals, and 120 continuing care locations — including home care, hospice, PACE and senior living facilities — that provide nearly 2.5 million visits annually.