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St. Patrick's Day in the ER

Updated: Feb 27

The emergency room can be a festive place on St. Patrick's Day

Despite the known alcohol-related injuries on St. Patrick's Day, they are usually sustained in an innocent manner, such as tripping or losing balance, rather than in a bar brawl.

"The jovial tone of St. Patrick's Day calms the furies that drive people's violent nature," said one ER nurse.

"We see less trauma from fights or altercations on St. Patrick's Day, and the patients tend to hobble into the emergency room much earlier than on other days.

Instead of all the trauma at night that we normally see, it happens in the light of day." On St. Patrick's Day, the emergency room can resemble a sea of green as patients come in wearing their green clothing, hats, and necklaces.

In addition to trauma, patients often come in suffering from hypothermia, because St. Patrick's Day revelers can spend long stretches outdoors in cool weather, often wearing less than conditions warrant, and alcohol consumption can reduce body temperature.

One patient was treated after consuming hallucinogenic drugs, and he pranced around the emergency room thinking he was a leprechaun, throwing fake gold at hospital staffers.

One emergency room staple no one looks forward to on St. Patrick's Day is the green vomit.

"We have sort of a green patrol going around and mopping up green vomit, every year, we know we're going to get at least one or two green vomits because of all the green food coloring added to beer and food."

One St. Patrick's Day, a group of advertising executives came in panicking after they had lunch outside the office. During the meal, they decided to take part in the day's festivities by drinking green beer. The food coloring altered the appearance of not only the beer but the executives' teeth as well — just before an important meeting. Four or five of them came to the ER freaking out because they had to see a client.

The food coloring stained the plaque buildup on their teeth, and getting rid of it was no easy task. It just doesn't go away immediately. People do stupid things on St. Patrick's Day.

For more stories like this one, pick up a copy of Off the Chart A Nurse's Journey

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Published by Jennifer Tipton / This post may contain affiliate links.

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