I hope everyone had a safe and great Thanksgiving yesterday! Every once in awhile I think it is important to take a step back from medical malpractice and legal blog posts and take a look at something less-business related but still relevant to the overall blog. Basically, take a look at something a little easier to digest (and the day after Thanksgiving, that will help us all!).
Emergency rooms on and after Thanksgiving are busy places; just because it is a holiday doesn’t mean people stop getting hurt. There are some interesting injuries that ER doctors see, particularly ones that are holiday-related (pumpkin carving accidents, food poisoning from rotten Easter eggs, electric shocks/burns from Christmas lights, etc), and here are some of the more interesting ones for Thanksgiving.
Sometimes the turkey isn’t ready when everyone gets to the house, so we naturally continue to pick at appetizers and, of course, continue to drink alcohol. By the time the turkey is ready and does come out, some people are a little liquored up. ER doctors say they see a lot of knife-related injuries stemming from carving the bird, particularly of intoxicated individuals.
Another common injury happens when patients have intestinal blockage due to overeating—that’s right, intestinal blockage! This generally happens when patients also have a condition such as inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis, or a related disorder.
Yesterday I noted how technology and medicine will continue to advance hand-in-hand, but sometimes they fail (i.e. when the robotic surgery device malfunctioned and shut down). A new theme with cooking turkeys is deep-frying them, and I cannot stress enough how dangerous gallons of boiling oil is. Add alcohol, and you have a real recipe for injuries! ER doctors have said that they have been a large increase in burns because of this new cooking method!
And lastly, another common “injury” not necessarily during Thanksgiving or the day after, but in the few days after is spoiled food. People go to the ER with severe food poisoning when they do not properly refrigerate/let food sit out too long. Also, people continue to eat leftovers way longer then it is save (rule of thumb is no more than five days, but safe practice is at three; when in doubt just throw it out!).
Legally, there is not much a patient can due to sue anyone because of his or her injuries. Generally, he or she would have assumed the risks of doing this actions and would be comparatively negligent when they cut their own hand while intoxicated even if they allege that the knife handle was defective and caused them to slip. In the case of the frying oil, manufacturers do make their own turkey frying kits and could have a products liability issue. However, they insulate themselves from lawsuits well with warning labels and again, through the assumption of risk doctrine. Moreover, the patient would likely to comparatively negligent as well.
But what do you think? I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment or I also welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can drop me an e-mail at [email protected] . You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at www.protectingpatientrights.com.