‘Black Friday’ is the name given by emergency services to the last Friday before Christmas as it is the busiest night of the year.
The Friday night is notorious for Christmas parties and nights out which often end as a night to remember for all the wrong reasons.
The East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) is urging people to think carefully about their alcohol consumption as drinking leads to them taking risks which endanger their health.
Every year, the last Friday before Christmas puts the service under increased pressure as many sustain injuries through drunken fights, drink driving or falling.
In 2012, the service received 1,548 calls on Friday, December 21, which is around a 20 per cent increase in calls compared to a Friday evening in November 2012. A similar increase in calls is expected this year.
EMAS medical director Dr Trevor Mills said: “At this time of year alcohol has a huge impact on our ambulance service. Excessive drinking leads 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.”
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.
@EMASNHSTRUST will be posting safety advice over the weekend about how to drink responsibly and where you can access emergency care.
Help to identify which service you might need is available here