Ambulance crews are gearing up for the busiest night of the year tonight, Friday December 18, and are warning people to think about how much alcohol they drink.
The Friday before Christmas marks the most popular day for Christmas parties and festive nights out.
For some it will be a night to remember for all the wrong reasons as drinking leads to them taking risks which can endanger their health and cause additional pressures for the emergency services.
In 2014, the East Midlands Ambulance Service received 2,420 calls on Friday December 19 (a call every 35 seconds), which is around a 20% increase in calls compared to the evening of 21 November 2014, only a month prior.
Between the hours of 11pm on Friday and 7am on Saturday morning they received around 700 calls. A similar increase in calls is expected this year.
Dr Bob Winter, Medical Director, said: “At this time of year alcohol has a huge impact on our ambulance service.
“Excessive drinking can lead to people taking life-threatening risks, such as drink driving, getting into fights, accidents and falls or falling asleep outside which puts them at risk of hypothermia.
“Too much alcohol can also adversely affect some medications and worsen some chronic illnesses such as diabetes.
“We want everyone to enjoy celebrating safely but that means thinking about the potential impact of your drinking. Know your limits and don’t take risks with your health. It is important to look after your health and stay well this winter. ”
EMAS is encouraging those who do need medical attention to think twice before dialling 999. Is it life-threatening or could you make your own way to other NHS services, such as an urgent care centre, walk-in centre or your local GP or pharmacist? This will free up the 999 service for those who genuinely need emergency medical attention.