Chicago hospitals brace for alcohol-related problems on New Year's Eve

December 31, 2010

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Emergency rooms around Chicago are bracing for an influx of patients seeking help for drinking too much Friday.

The head of the emergency room at Loyola University Medical Center in Chicago's western suburbs says he sees more teenagers on New Year's for alcohol-related problems than any other day of the year.

It's an old routine for hospitals by now. Emergency room doctors prepare for patients who celebrate New Year's Eve a bit too much. Dr. Rahul Khare works at the ER at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

"It's actually pretty quiet a couple hours before new year's, but then about 15 minutes after new year's hits, we do see a surge of ambulances," Khare said.

Khare said doctors mostly try to re-hydrate patients. He said pumping stomachs is invasive and doctors don't do it much any more.