Introduction. Bruges is the largest city in the province of West-Flanders in Belgium. Because of its ample canals, it is sometimes referred to as “Venice of the North.” As such, it is a major tourist destination and during New Year’s Eve there are many festivities. The AZ Sint-Jan is the largest hospital providing medical care to the area.
Aim. This study seeks to examine the impact of the New Year’s Eve festivities on the workload of the emergency department of AZ Sint-Jan.
Methods. Data was analyzed for every patient presenting to the emergency department from the 31st of December starting from 06:00PM until the 1st of January 08:00AM from 2009 until 2018. The time of entry, type of injury, gender, age and whether the patient was intoxicated were evaluated. Via a random date generator 10 other dates in this time period were obtained for comparison. Data was analyzed using Jasp©.
Results. 399 patients were included for analysis. On average, 41 patients presented themselves to the emergency department on New Year’s Eve between 06:00PM and 08:00AM. On a random day, this were only 31 patients. Most of the patients on New Year’s Eve arrived between 00:00AM and 08:00AM. 58% of all patients were male. 22% of all patients were intoxicated with alcohol. From 00:00AM until 08:00AM, one in three patients were intoxicated. The average age on admission was 36 years.
Discussion. During New Year’s Eve there is a consistently higher workload in the emergency department. There is an influx of young males who are intoxicated. These patients tend to stay a long time to “sleep it off” and put considerable stress on the available resources. More attention should be given to risk mitigation strategies tailored to this group to prevent excessive drinking.