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Phoenix-area ERs gear up for busy Thanksgiving

PHOENIX — Valley emergency room staffs said they are ready for Thanksgiving, one of the busiest days of the year for emergency medical treatment centers.

Maricopa Medical Center R.N. Ken Daniels said the patients they see range from burn injuries to people with food poisoning. In many cases those taken ill are people breaking their diet and stuffing themselve. In some cases, overdoing on turkey can lead to heart attacks.

“We see people not taking care of themselves; the immortality gene where people think they’ll live forever,” he said.

Holiday stress adds fuel to the fire.

Cooking mishaps are another common holiday injury: people cut themselves carving up the bird or have turkey fryer accidents that can leave serious burns.

“First- and second-degree burns are the most painful,” he said. “Third-degree burns aren’t as painful because you’ve burned the nerve endings but that is the most dangerous, the most life-threatening.”

Another concern is sprains, strains and fractures from sports-related injuries as folks head outdoors.