From the Wires
Emergency Physicians Warn: Beware of "Holiday Heart"
By: PR Newswire
Dec. 10, 2012 09:36 AM
Keep Stress In Check This Holiday Season Before Ending Up in the ER
WASHINGTON, Dec. 10, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The holiday season is supposed to be joyous, fun and happy. But it can also be stressful. The nation's emergency physicians want to remind all Americans to keep your stress in check.
"For many, including emergency physicians, the holidays come with a daunting pile of obligations," said Dr. Andrew Sama, president of the American College of Emergency Physicians. "Don't overdo it, because you can damage your health and possibly wind up spending the holidays in the emergency department."
One particular concern is known as "holiday heart" syndrome. It is an irregular heartbeat that occurs in people who are otherwise healthy. It can be the result of stress, lack of sleep, excessive alcohol or caffeine ingestion, and/or dehydration. Emergency physicians say this is more common during the holiday season because of holiday parties and other events. Best advice is to moderate alcohol use and drink plenty of water. If an irregular heartbeat lasts for longer than a few hours, you should seek medical attention or go to the nearest emergency room immediately.
A long to-do list of decorating, buying presents and hosting parties can be overwhelming. It is important to pace yourself, whether it's eating and drinking or shopping.
Money has been is a significant source of stress during the holiday season because of the current state of the economy (American Psychological Association 2011). Here are some tips to help you get through the season with the least amount of stress possible.
"If you feel chest pain or think you are having a heart attack, call 911 or seek emergency care right away," said Dr. Sama. "Don't postpone treatment because you don't want to spoil the holidays. In the meantime, take care of yourself now, and reduce that stress ."
ACEP is the national medical specialty society representing emergency medicine. ACEP is committed to advancing emergency care through continuing education, research and public education. Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, ACEP has 53 chapters representing each state, as well as Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. A Government Services Chapter represents emergency physicians employed by military branches and other government agencies.
Dr. Ryan Stanton, an emergency physician in Lexington,KY is available for interviews on this topic. To request one, please contact Mike Baldyga at 202-728-0610, ext. 3005. You can also find him on our YouTube page at http://tinyurl.com/auerrop.
SOURCE American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP)
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