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Topeka doctor offers tips to avoid Thanksgiving ER visit

(WAVE 3 News)
Published: Nov. 22, 2021 at 10:44 AM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - A Topeka doctor is reminding the community to be mindful of their safety this Thanksgiving.

Dr. Chad Gustin, an M.D. with Topeka ER & Hospital said patients typically end up in the emergency room over the holiday for injuries involving Thanksgiving dinner. “This includes cuts from preparing food, burns from touching stovetops and hot pans, and food-borne illnesses from improper cooking and food handling,” he added.

Dr. Gustin said the best way to avoid these injuries is to practice general kitchen safety, which often gets overlooked during a busy holiday.

“People who are normally very careful can get distracted or rushed,” he continued saying, “They cut themselves while chopping vegetables or grab a hot pan without an oven mitt, and end up needing medical treatment.”

Food-borne illness is also avoidable. Dr. Gustin encourages people to cook the turkey until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees, keep raw meats, poultry, and seafood away from cooked food and foods that won’t be cooked, such as fruits and vegetables.

Drinking alcohol is another popular part of the Thanksgiving holiday. Dr. Gustin said adults should be mindful of their alcohol intake, especially when it’s time to get behind the wheel of a car.

“Around the holidays, people can also drink too much alcohol and not always realize it,” he said. “When it’s time to leave, they might think they’re OK to drive, but their blood alcohol concentration says otherwise.”

Dr. Gustin said his best piece of advice would be to have a sober friend or family member drive or utilize a ridesharing service.

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