DIY accidents increase during warmer weather and bank holidays
The NHS usually sees a rise in the number of hospital admissions from DIY enthusiasts at this time of year. It said that last year alone, there were more than 4,800 admissions to hospital wards for injuries from drills and other power tools.
Adding that nearly 7,000 people ended up in hospital after tumbling from a ladder.
With even more people at home doing their bit to halt the spread of coronavirus, the NHS is urging people to take simple steps to reduce the risk of avoidable injuries that would put unnecessary pressure on the NHS.
Andrew Bennett, consultant physiotherapist at Epsom and St Helier NHS Trust and NHS national clinical director for Musculoskeletal conditions, said:
“The public have rightly responded to the expert advice on staying at home to save lives during the coronavirus pandemic, and it’s good to keep active and busy while you do.
“But we also know that, particularly when the weather gets warmer, activities such as DIY or gardening can result in injuries.
“As doctors, nurses and Allied Health Professionals deal with the greatest global health threat in a century, it’s particularly important to avoid unnecessary trips to hospital right now, which is why you should always take your time, follow instructions, and check the space around you.”
The three top tips in full are:
- TAKE YOUR TIME
Most injuries occur when people take short-cuts or rush. With people now having more time at home, we encourage people to take the time to plan the piece of work and consider the risks seriously
- FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS
Always follow the instructions when using power tools or machinery
- CHECK THE SPACE
Look for any other potential hazards– it doesn’t take long but can have a huge impact on reducing risk
George Clarke, architect, writer and TV presenter , said:
“The NHS is under massive pressure at the moment tackling COVID-19, so take extra care when doing any DIY work at home to avoid accidents.”
The NHS is keen to stress that people who do injure themselves should still come forward for medical attention, and not let worries about catching coronavirus allow problems to get worse.
Andrew Bennett said:
“So while it remains important that the public support staff by staying safe and using the NHS wisely, they should be assured that local services are ready and able to treat all those who need it, so people should still seek medical help before their conditions get worse.”
Alongside gardening injuries, people are being urged to take precautions as they tackle the difficult task of keeping children entertained at home and in the garden.
Toys and play equipment can pose their own risk when it comes to avoidable injuries. A study by The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, the Royal College of Emergency Medicine and Oxford University Hospitals Trust estimates that 13,000 trampolining injuries are treated in English accident and emergency departments every year, at an annual cost to the NHS of £1.5million.
Where to turn when you have an urgent or emergency medical need during the coronavirus pandemic
NHS urgent and emergency care services are still operating during the coronavirus pandemic.
For non-life-threatening emergencies
If it’s not a life-threatening emergency and you or the person you’re with doesn’t need immediate medical attention, please consider other options before dialling 999.
- Self care at home
- Using the NHS 111 online service, or calling 111 if you don’t have internet access
- Talking to a pharmacist
- Calling your GP
Choosing the best service for your needs will ensure the ambulance service is able to respond to the people who need help the most.
For life-threatening emergencies
Call 999 in a medical emergency. This is when someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk.
Medical emergencies can include:
- Loss of consciousness
- An acute confused state
- Fits that aren’t stopping
- Chest pain
- Breathing difficulties
- Severe bleeding that can’t be stopped
- Severe allergic reactions
- Severe burns or scalds
Call 999 immediately if you or someone else is having a heart attack or stroke. Every second counts with these conditions.
Also call 999 if you think someone has had a major trauma, such as after a serious road traffic accident, a stabbing, a shooting, a fall from a height, or a serious head injury.