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Stay safe on 'Mad Friday'!

14 December 2016

With the Christmas party season well underway, the region’s ambulance service is urging people out celebrating to drink responsibly and only call for an ambulance if someone is involved in a serious or life-threatening emergency.


Alcohol is one of the leading causes of accidents in the UK and this problem is exacerbated during the festive season when alcohol often plays a big part in celebrations with family or work colleagues. 


More people get together socially and excessive alcohol consumption can lead to adverse consequences.  Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust is asking everyone to think carefully about the impact of drinking to excess and reminding them to keep themselves and others safe.


The Trust usually sees a significant increase in the number of 999 calls on the last Friday before Christmas, which has become known as ‘Mad Friday’.  With Christmas Day falling on a weekend this year there is the added potential for two Fridays (16th and 23rd December) to become ‘Mad Friday’.


Dr David Macklin, the Trust’s Executive Director of Operations, said: “The high number of calls we receive in the run-up to Christmas and through to the New Year puts us under considerable pressure and makes it more challenging for us to respond to all of our patients as quickly as we would like to.


“We are a lifeline for patients who find themselves in a genuine life-threatening emergency such as having a heart attack, but our staff are often caught up in looking after people who have drunk excessively or have sustained alcohol-related injuries which could have been avoided.


“We don’t want to spoil people’s fun on a night out, but we are urging them to drink responsibly to avoid the need to call 999 and keep ambulances available for seriously ill patients who really need them.


“It’s a good idea for people to leave their cars at home and

use public transport or arrange alternative transport such as a taxi. If you are going out and know that you'll be driving the next day be aware of your limits and don’t drive until you know that all the alcohol has left your system.  There are lower strength drinks available and drinking singles rather than doubles when drinking spirits will help. It’s also a good idea to alternate the alcoholic drinks you do have with soft drinks or water and stop drinking alcohol well before the end of the night so your body has time to process the alcohol before the following morning.”




Notes to Editor:
1. People should not regularly exceed their recommended daily amounts of alcohol, which is three to four units for a man and two to three units for a woman. To put that into real terms a pint of 4% lager contains 2.3 units as does a 175ml glass of 13% wine.


2. Examples of when you should call 999 for an ambulance: chest pain, difficulty in   breathing, loss of consciousness, heavy loss of blood, severe burns and scalds, choking, fitting/convulsions, drowning, severe allergic reaction and head injury.  Please note: This is not an exhaustive list.


3. Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust covers almost 6,000 square miles of varied terrain from isolated moors and dales to urban areas, coastline and inner cities and provides 24-hour emergency and healthcare services to a population of more than five million people. The organisation receives an average of 2,330 emergency and urgent calls per day and employs over 5,000 staff.


The Patient Transport Service made over one million journeys in 2015-16 transporting patients to and from hospital and treatment centre appointments. The Trust’s NHS 111 service helped 1.5 million patients across Yorkshire and the Humber, Bassetlaw, North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire during 2015-16

Produced By: Corporate Communications Department