November 21, 2007 Albany -- South Georgia Hospital emergency rooms are bracing for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. ER doctors say Thanksgiving day and the Friday after are two of their busiest days of the year.
The waiting room chairs at the Palmyra Medical Centers Emergency Room were mostly empty Wednesday, but doctors say just wait. Thanksgiving evening and Black Friday the chairs will be full of patients wanting medical help.
"It's always a busy day for us. We are the only big clinic open," said Emergency Physician Dr. Emanuel Tanglao.
E.R. Officials say Thanksgiving night and Friday they will see about 25 percent more patients than even their busiest non-holiday. Dr. Tanglao has worked most Thanksgiving holidays in Albany since 1998, and says they will treat just about every kind of emergency case. "We see a lot of course, people who had a lot to drink. We see a lot of wrecks. We see a lot of indigestion, abdominal complaints, people stuff themselves."
With lots of families traveling to see family, many times those travelers forget their medicines, and end up at the E.R. looking for help getting a prescription drug. Officials say they have seen lots of people complaining of colds already this week, and they warn cold sufferers not to waste their time coming to the E.R.
Over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, because there is not much they can do. "It's just basically common sense, give them a little chicken soup and lots of liquids," Dr. Tanglao said.
The doctor's advice this Thanksgiving, everything in moderation. Don't eat too much, or drink too much alcohol. But they are ready in the E.R., because they know there will be an overflow number of patients this Holiday weekend.
Hospital officials say if you have to go to the emergency room, you need to be a patient patient. They see the most serious cases first, so you could have to wait a while.