Watch out for holiday season injuries

Dec. 13, 2011

Falls from ladders, oven burns, cuts and gashes - with the holiday season in full swing so are the holiday induced injuries. The Hand and Upper Limb Centre (HULC) at St. Joseph’s Health Care London (St. Joseph’s) is seeing patients with common festive wounds and HULC Occupational Therapist Shrikant Chinchalkar says most injuries to the upper limbs at this time of year are preventable, “People are too rushed and stressed and aren’t careful enough.”

Tasks that people do at this time of year and resulting injuries include:

  • Falling from ladders when trying to put up Christmas lights resulting in fractured elbows and wrists
  • Hurried holiday shopping causing slips and falls and dislocated shoulders
  • Rushed and overabundant baking and cooking meaning burns, cut tendons and aggravation of previous injuries and ailments like tendonitis and carpel tunnel syndrome
  • Hastily trying to finish home made gifts, especially woodworking, late at night when tired leading to serious injuries and amputations of fingers from table saws and skill saws
  • Using an electric knife to carve the Christmas turkey, not paying attention, leading to serious cuts and gashes

patient receiving cast

“Alcohol is sometimes a factor and many injuries are extremely complex requiring surgery, hardware installation and long periods of therapy,” adds Chinchalkar. “Another thing we see is people trying to substitute home first aid for hospital care because they don’t want to ruin the party, they have family visiting or they don’t want to stop celebrating. We’ve seen people wait three days to a week to seek professional care which can have a significant impact on their treatment and recovery plan. We want people to remember to be safe and take their time doing holiday tasks as injuries are often avoidable. If they are hurt, go to the emergency department.”

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For more information, please contact:
Kelsi Break, Communication and Public Affairs,
St. Joseph’s Health Care London
Phone: 519 646-6100 ext. 64792 
Email: kelsi.break@sjhc.london.on.ca

St. Joseph's Health Care London
St. Joseph’s Health Care London is leading patient care, teaching and research centre in Canada with a distinguished legacy of service to London, Southwestern Ontario and the veterans of Canada, dating back more than 130 years. St. Joseph’s five key role areas include acute/ambulatory care, complex care and veterans care, long-term care, rehabilitation and specialized geriatrics and specialized mental health care. Facilities and services including St. Joseph’s Hospital, Parkwood Hospital, Mount Hope Centre for Long Term Care and Regional Mental Health Care London and St. Thomas are part of the St. Joseph’s family. Our research arm, the Lawson Health Research Institute, continues to direct their research to the development of new knowledge that is continually being applied directly to patient care. St. Joseph’s is affiliated with the University of Western Ontario.

Hand and Upper Limb Centre
The Hand and Upper Limb Centre (HULC) at St. Joseph’s Health Care London is a leading Canadian centre providing a wide range of state-of-the-art care for patients with any injury or condition of the hand, wrist, elbow and shoulder. Opened in 1992, it is a nationally and internationally recognized centre of excellence in treatment, research and teaching.  Each year, HULC treats patients through 30,000 clinic visits, 14,000 therapy visits and 3,800 surgical cases.

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