New Year’s Eve is a busy night for emergency room physicians across the country. In San Francisco last year, emergency rooms experienced approximately a 50 percent increase in patients on New Year’s Eve.
“We’re already preparing to see more patients,” said Dr. Malini Singh, interim medical director for San Francisco General Hospital’s emergency department. “It’s just a reality of New Year’s Eve.”
Alcohol plays a significant role in the traffic in emergency rooms on New Year’s Eve. Broken bones, head wounds and the injuries resulting from drunken driving are the most common problems seen in emergency rooms. Physicians are cautioning people to be responsible with alcohol, while not encouraging people to overindulge in alcohol.
“I don’t want people to think I’m encouraging drinking, but if you do, you have to drink responsibly,” said Dr. Steven Polevoi, the medical director for the University of California at San Francisco emergency department.