LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) – The Fourth of July weekend is one of the busiest times of the year for emergency rooms. With fireworks accidents, heat exhaustion, dehydration, and lacerations, East Texas ER staff said they prepare early for this holiday weekend.
Saturday, extra help was on standby, the nurse manager was returning pages, and ER staff were already rushing around to help patients. It was only the beginning of what is expected to be one of the busiest weekends of the year.
"There is definitely an increase in patient flow on the holidays and we are expecting to see that this weekend," explained Memorial Health System of East Texas Nurse Manager of Emergency Services Sharon Boyett.
So, they gear up early preparing for the calm before the storm.
"We do have more people that are available for call," said Memorial Doctor Jerry Jenkins. "We check the blood supply from the blood bank and in fact, that was done this morning."
"We also have access in case of an emergency, if we do run out, we can have extra blood here within 20 to 30 minutes," said Boyett.
Jenkins has been practicing for 14 years and knows to expect more accidents on the holidays.
"Usually trauma, we see a lot of falls, fractures, activity-related illnesses," he said.
Jenkins said on holiday weekends, in the ER the number of young patients usually spikes.
"They get out and they get to having a good time, and sometimes a good time can have its consequences," he explained.
Also, on the Fourth, fireworks can make the patient numbers increase.
"You just have to be extremely careful because it's not about just burning a finger, you could lose your eyesight," said Boyett.
She also said they've already seen an increase in heat exhaustion and heat stroke, so remember to celebrate and hydrate on the Fourth.
Boyett said ER wait times have gone down, however if you come during a busy time, be patient and they will get to you as soon as possible.