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How Spooky is Halloween Night in the ER?

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How Spooky is Halloween Night in the ER?

Oct 28, 2016

Episode Transcript

Interviewer: What is Halloween night like in the emergency room? We're going to find out next on The Scope.

Announcer: This is From the Frontlines with Emergency Room Physician Dr. Troy Madsen on The Scope.

Interviewer: Dr. Troy Madsen's an emergency room physician with University of Utah Healthcare and I'd imagine at certain times of the year, your job gets a lot more difficult, or the ER gets a lot busier. I'd imagine Halloween is one of those kind of things, you got a bunch of kids running around in the dark, in costumes, a lot of times flowing behind them, yes? No? What's the ER look like on Halloween?

Dr. Madsen: You know, it's surprisingly . . . you might think it's crazy, it's surprisingly not that crazy. Like, if I get my schedule for the month of July and I see I'm working July 4th at night, I'm like, "Oh great, here we go." If I get my schedule for October and I see I'm working October 31 at night, I think, "Okay, I guess I don't have to stay at home and hand out candy to kids," but I'm not thinking, wow, it's going to be insane because it's generally not that crazy.

I think a couple factors are in there, I think parents they're good with kids and it's sad, every Halloween, you see horrible stories about maybe a kid getting hit or something, that happens, but those are fairly isolated incidents.

Usually kids are going trick-or-treating a little earlier, I think maybe it's not quite as dark, certainly the Daylight Savings Time, it used to be that Daylight Savings was first of October, now it's first part of November, so it's usually lighter later now on Halloween, that probably makes it safer. Then in terms of other issues, probably the biggest thing we see is kind of the stuff we see on New Year's, it's maybe alcohol-related, maybe some injuries related to that, but it's not even quite to the degree we might see on New Year's Eve.

I think part of that is usually Halloween is falling on a weekday, just by nature of it, it's not a recognized holiday, it's not like people have the next day off of work. It's not like they're out partying, maybe they might, like, they might be on New Year's. So typically, Halloween's not that crazy. A few injuries here and there, most of the stuff we might see that's Halloween-related is related to alcohol with older people or teens that are getting into trouble and doing stuff, but it's not as insane as you might think.

Interviewer: Oh, well, that's good to know. So I guess the takeaway message from this maybe is stay safe like you have been doing, keep the eye on the kids like you have been doing, but maybe if you're out drinking alcohol, keep that in mind.

Dr. Madsen: Yeah, and it's this standard precaution, and again, I think people are doing a good job with that, in terms of kids and candy and issues there, kids on the street, making sure they're well-lit, using flashlights if you're out after dark, all those things in terms of the kids and yeah, alcohol safety, things like that in terms of Halloween parties.

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