Washington County VA

More emergency calls on Thanksgiving

Many people tucked into big holiday meals on Thanksgiving with family and friends but others spent the day in the emergency room.

An ambulance siren is the last sound anyone wants to hear, especially on a holiday, but at least 10 people did in Glade Spring, Va.

"That was probably a first for us, that many calls in one day," said captain Dwayne Stanley, with the Glade Spring Life Saving Crew.

Emergency crews responded to a heart attack and then other calls that are typical of the start of the holidays, said Stanley.

"I would say during the holiday season chest pains and probably car wrecks are our top two," he told us.

Stanley said the Thanksgiving car wrecks this year weren't alcohol related. He thinks the heart problems are due to stress.

"With the holiday season coming on, they tend to stress out more and some people, with their medical conditions, it can cause them to have chest pains," Stanley said.

The Bristol Regional Medical Center, in Bristol Tenn., was also busy on Thanksgiving helping people with those preexisting conditions.

"Yesterday we were busier than previous years in the evening on Thanksgiving," said Miranda Moretz, an emergency medicine physician.

Moretz told us people were coming into the emergency room with high blood pressure and congestive heart problems.

"Particularly with congestive heart failure people are supposed to be regulating their salt intake and fluid intake and things like that," she said.

But the Thanksgiving meal makes that hard.

"All of the desserts are loaded with sugar and salt, unless you're specifically cooking in the non traditional way," said Moretz.

If you add alcoholic drinks on top of that,"then the next day you can have an irregular heart beat ," she told us. In the medical field they call that "holiday heart."

They also see gall bladder issues around the holidays due to people eating too many fatty foods.

Moretz told News 5 that even though they've been busy the past two days, Monday will be even more hectic.

"People are trying to stay home with their families," she said. "They're trying to wait out their illness and ailments."

That means a busy emergency room when the weekend is over.

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