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Emergency rooms meet capacity on the Fourth of July

Emergency rooms are beyond busy on the Fourth of July. In fact, it's the busiest day of the year. Between burn injuries and drunk driving accidents, there are many people who need attention.

With staff members at their limits, it's possible that negligence and mistakes could happen. Exhaustion, distractions and the need to treat more serious injuries in the middle of another consultation can make an emergency room a frantic place filled with potential errors.

How can you avoid an injury that lands you in the hospital?

Remember that the Fourth of July is only as dangerous as you make it. Choose to avoid dangerous home fireworks displays, and stay off the roads if you don't plan to go to a major fireworks show. Don't get behind the wheel while intoxicated, and make sure you stop friends if they try to do so.

Burns to faces, eyes and hands are common on the Fourth, so take the time to educate your family, children and friends about the novelty fireworks you have at your home. Don't risk an injury by failing to talk about firework safety.

If you do have a home display, don't re-light any duds. Make sure to wait at least 10 minutes before you approach the firework that didn't light and then douse it with water to make sure it's out.

By taking precautions to avoid an injury, you can help avoid a trip to an already full emergency room. That helps reduce the load on doctors and the risk to your health caused by errors in the ER.

Source: KRISTV, "Avoid a 4th of July emergency room trip," Roland Rodriguez, July 03, 2017

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