An internationally recognized doctor has warned people to avoid “misguided stoicism” throughout the holiday period, basically advising against putting off medical appointments and treatment using Christmas as an excuse.
According to Professor Keith Willett, this is the time of year during which far too many people just grit their teeth and get on with whatever it is they feel they need to do, which can often lead to medical commitments being left to one side. He speaks of conditions becoming much more serious than necessary in those choosing to hold-off until the New Year, which can in some cases lead to emergency hospital admissions when symptoms are ignored for too long.
“Many of us enjoy celebrating the traditions of Christmas each winter but, as a doctor, I know the equally predictable increase in illness at this time of the year can be a danger, particularly for our older and frail citizens,” said the professor.
“We should be doing all we can to stop illnesses starting by keeping well and through vaccinations but also by responding promptly when illness starts, particularly in those that are vulnerable,”
“There is often a desire to soldier on to the New Year, to avoid the holiday being interrupted, not to ‘make a fuss’, ‘bother the Dr’ or ask a favor of friends and family. My message is simple – if you feel unwell, do seek help or advice early, nip it in the bud and prevent it becoming more serious.”
“My message is simple – look after yourself and others this Christmas. If you, a friend or relative does feel unwell over the holiday, do not soldier on to the New Year but seek early advice.”
He also issued a stark warning concerning the dangers faced by the elderly and vulnerable who may be spending much of the holiday season in homes that are not warm enough.
“One of the upsetting things you see in an A&E department is people who have just been too cold for too long. The period between Christmas and New Year can be a real worry. For those older folk going over to visit for the family Christmas, make sure they don’t return to a cold home,”
“Prevention is absolutely critical. People need to look after themselves by eating healthily and with hot food and drinks; having the heating at a reasonable temperature so they can stay active, and wrapping up warm if they go out. We all have a part to play in making sure friends, relatives and neighbors do this.”