'Think before you drink', Bradford consultant urges festive revellers (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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'Think before you drink', Bradford consultant urges festive revellers
6:00am Sunday 8th December 2013 in News
Festive revellers are being urged to help out struggling A&E staff this party season by staying sober and avoiding hospital.
Dr Paul Southern, a consultant hepatologist at Bradford Royal Infirmary, says he is not being a kill-joy, but that people need to be responsible for themselves and think before they drink.
“People think Christmas is all about having fun and with that, for many, comes having a few too many drinks, but they just need to think about the consequences of that and how they are going to get home safe rather than end up in a ditch.”
He said the effects of too much alcohol means people do things they would not dream of doing when sober, ending in regret and burdening the NHS.
"My reason for saying all this is not to be a kill-joy, but it’s a fact that more harm can be done at Christmas when people who don’t normally drink much just go too far and their body can’t take it.
“No one wants to have regrets and most right-thinking people wouldn’t want to put a burden on their A&E department either.
“The majority of people in our A&E department, about 70 per cent plus, who come in after midnight are because of alcohol. At Christmas this soars even more. People who drink a lot anyway will drink more and more at this time of year just to get an effect.”
And he added: “The likelihood is if you don’t normally drink much and you drink too much on a night out or at the office party, you’ll be scooped up off the floor by a friend or your colleague and deposited in A&E to be picked up by one of my colleagues. Well, thanks for that.
“Please just think of the effects on yourself and the NHS. A&E departments will be under even more pressure at this time of the year. We are working really hard and the last thing we need is people turning up needing to be sobered up.
“If people really want to help the struggling NHS, they need to think before they drink.”
Last month Dr Southern warned that excessive boozing was causing a worrying rise in cases of liver cancer and brain damage as well as placing a huge burden on hospital finances in Bradford.
He said the number of heavy drinkers diagnosed with liver cancer in the district was increasing and set to rise further, while the risk of dying from other cancers was on the decline.
And he revealed that at least once a month a patient in their 40s in Bradford is sent to a nursing home because they are suffering alcohol-induced brain damage.
Figures for Bradford show the total cost of alcohol-related treatment in Bradford was £35 million last year, including £6.7 million in A&E attendances and £7 million in outpatients appointments, equating to £88 per adult. Last year in Bradford, 138 people died from alcohol-related causes – 101 men and 37 women. Of those deaths, 60 were due to chronic liver disease.
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