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Not-so-spooky tips about handling Halloween emergencies.

What’s so dangerous about Halloween?

Halloween is based on the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain which marked the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter. Today, Halloween conjures up wonderful memories for both adults and children. However, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, Halloween is also one of four days a year when children are most likely to end up in the emergency room.

4 reasons why children end up in the ER during Halloween

  1. Pedestrian collisions
  2. Eye injuries
    • Puncture wounds from sharp costume accessories
    • Allergic reactions to makeup or decorative contact lenses
  3. Burns
    • Flammable costumes, wigs, and accessories in close proximity to candles and lanterns
  4. Upset stomach from
    • Ingesting costume accessories
    • An allergic reaction to homemade candy
    • Candy that’s been tampered with
    • Consumption of large amounts of candy

Unfortunately, the ER often has long lines and no one wants that on an evening that is supposed to be fun and candy filled!


Can virtual care solve long wait times in the ER? 

Patients are becoming increasingly interested in virtual care because it’s convenient and saves time. According to the CDC National Health Interview Survey, 86% of ER night visits in 2012 were because the “doctor’s office was not open” — not because of the seriousness of the injury. While patients are still going to the ER, they are willing to explore treatment alternatives for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Overcrowded ERs
  • Long wait times for triage and treatment
  • High co-pay rates, even for minor conditions
  • High rates when uninsured

The results of a UC San Diego pilot study revealed how virtual care stations linked to an ER can improve efficiency and reduce patient dissatisfaction with long wait times. Virtual care is becoming very popular throughout the healthcare industry. High speed internet, smartphones, and new software platforms, such as HealthTap, make it easy for patients to connect quickly with their healthcare providers. These virtual care solutions may eventually transform how treatment is delivered in the ER.


Healthcare providers should determine which cases to treat virtually and which to send to the emergency room

As a healthcare provider, you should create clinical protocols, including which conditions can be treated using virtual care. Check out these HealthTap tips to learn more about virtual care best practices for the optimal patient experience.

Halloween is a night of fun and celebration. Let’s work together to keep it that way and to help patients avoid scary trips to the hospital unless it is necessary.

Happy Halloween!

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