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Tackling Alcohol-related Emergencies During the World Cup

08 June 2010

With the first match fast approaching, Yorkshire Ambulance Service is urging football fans across the county to drink responsibly and stay safe during the 2010 World Cup.

The enjoyment of alcoholic drinks is expected to play a big part in social get-togethers during the tournament, be they for celebrations or commiserations, and whether they are consumed at home or in one of the county’s pubs.  

With more people out socialising during the competition, the service is calling on people to be mindful of the dangers of drinking too much and asks that they take extra care of themselves and others to make sure they don’t become an unfortunate statistic in calling for ambulance assistance.

The associated risks of heavy drinking can also lead to a rise in assaults, including those against ambulance staff, and domestic violence incidents.  

Vince Larvin, Assistant Director of A&E Operations at Yorkshire Ambulance Service, said: “We are not trying to stop people enjoying themselves, but unfortunately ambulance clinicians have to pick up the pieces following alcohol-fuelled incidents. Our valuable life-saving resources are often caught up responding to these incidents which could have been avoided.

“There is a link between major sporting occasions and heavy drinking which, in turn, results in an increase in alcohol-related calls to the ambulance service.

“It’s easy to forget how much alcohol you have consumed when you are enjoying yourself and people don’t always consider the consequences of their actions.  While we are dealing with alcohol-related incidents, we could be delayed in treating someone with a more serious or life-threatening condition.

“We want to make sure that the World Cup 2010 is one people will remember for all the right reasons and that our crews are there for the people who really need us. Please act responsibly and enjoy the matches in the spirit such a great sporting event is all about.”

The Trust will be working extra hard over the coming weeks and will be deploying additional resources during what are widely predicted to be one of the busiest times of the summer.  Our priority remains meeting the needs of patients who require an emergency medical response and to get to them as quickly as possible.

We ask that people only call 999 for an ambulance in a medical emergency when it is obvious that they or another person has a serious or life-threatening illness or injury and needs time-critical help.  For advice and treatment for non-emergencies and less serious conditions, consider options such as a visit to your local pharmacist or GP surgery, a call to NHS Direct on 0845 46 47 or visit a walk-in centre.

Produced By: Corporate Communications Department