374 in hospital due to too much merry-making this Christmas season

Twenty one year old Erandha was on his way for midnight Christmas Mass on his motor cycle with a friend when an inebriated rider knocked him down in Wattala. Erandha was rushed to hospital around 11.45 p.m. on Christmas eve with serious injuries.

Tuwan Shabreen Fareed, didn’t even realize what had befallen him until he went home after a Christmas party hosted by a friend. The day long party that had started at 10 a.m. broke up around 10 p.m and everyone had had one too many drinks.

One of Fareed’s friends had hugged him wishing him a merry Christmas and while doing so had bit one of his ears. Since they were all merry and intoxicated no one had noticed that Fareed was bleeding profusely.

Pushpa Zoysa: People should be more careful during the season

It was only when he reached home that his family had exclaimed that his ear was bleeding. Fareed’s brother had rushed him around 1 a.m. to the accident ward of the National Hospital. His ear lobe had been bitten in two.

These were just two of the cases treated at the National Hospital on Christmas eve and Christmas day with 374 people being admitted between December 24 and 26. According to a National Hospital spokesman there was a 22 per cent increase in the number of accident victims this year compared to the corresponding period last year where there were 288 admissions.

The Outdoor Patients Department too had treated 913 patients this year compared 828 last year --a nine per cent increase. Twenty five-year-old Irshad from Kotahena also spent Christmas night in hospital.

He was returning home from a party when he happened to see two friends involved in a brawl, one of them heavily drunk. Irshad who tried to intervene got his nose broken while his friends were unhurt. Irshad had to be rushed to hospital at night.

Annesly a father of two met a similar fate when he met with an accident around 4.30 a.m. when returning from a Christmas party at Wennapuwa. His friend who was also travelling with him was admitted to the Wennapuwa hospital while Annesly was transferred from there to the National Hospital.

Pushpa Ramya Zoysa, training-co-ordinator of nurses, of the National Hospital told the Sunday Times that there was also an increase in violent incidents this year. Last year the number of patients admitted due to violence was 83 and this year it was 116 -- an increase of 28 per cent.

She also said alcohol related accidents had increased by 24 per cent from Decmeber 24 – 26 with 105 admissions this year against 79 last year. About 75 per cent of the victims were males who were between the ages 20-45.

She said the National Hospital recorded five deaths and eight suicide attempts during the same period.
She said 75% of these accidents could have been avoided adding, “Since it is the holiday season the lifestyle of a person changes. There is a lot of running about and preparations. So the chances of accidents occurring is relatively high. However these can be prevented if the people are more careful.”

Ms. Soysa said admissions due to falls had increased by 33 per cent from last year. Most of these accidents were instances of people slipping in bathrooms and kitchens.

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