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Phoenix-area ERs gear up for busy Thanksgiving

PHOENIX -- Valley emergency room staffs said they are ready for Thanksgiving, one of the busiest days of the year for emergency medical treatment centers.

Maricopa Medical Center R.N. Ken Daniels said the patients they see range from burn injuries to people with food poisoning. In many cases those taken ill are people breaking their diet and stuffing themselve. In some cases, overdoing on turkey can lead to heart attacks.

"We see people not taking care of themselves; the immortality gene where people think they'll live forever," he said.

Holiday stress adds fuel to the fire.

Cooking mishaps are another common holiday injury: people cut themselves carving up the bird or have turkey fryer accidents that can leave serious burns.

"First- and second-degree burns are the most painful," he said. "Third-degree burns aren't as painful because you've burned the nerve endings but that is the most dangerous, the most life-threatening."

Another concern is sprains, strains and fractures from sports-related injuries as folks head outdoors.

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About the Author


Position: Senior News Reporter. Started with KTAR July 4, 1999.

Favorite spots in Arizona: Pinetop-Lakeside, Alpine, Greer.

Have covered some of the biggest stories in Arizona including nine of the top 10 largest wildfires in state history. The Wallow Fire in 2011 became the largest fire in state history. Rodeo-Chediski Fire in June 2002, which is the second largest fire in Arizona. Covered the Yarnell Hill Tragedy in June 2013 that left 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots dead.

Favorite movies: True Grit, both 1969 John Wayne classic and the remake with Jeff Bridges and Lonesome Dove.

Sports Teams: Washington State University Cougars, Texas Longhorns, The University of Montana Grizzlies.

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