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Emergency rooms are full with flu cases before New Years begins

Medical teams at Aurora St. Luke's ER are ringing in the New Year with the trifecta--- drunks, freezing temps, and a ton of flu cases. He says their case volume is already up 25% because of the flu. Dr. Andrew Calvert, Chief of Aurora St. Luke's ER says the beds are already full with flu cases and the drunk patients haven't started coming in yet.

Dr. Calvert says, "It's one of our busiest days. On top of that with the flu season it's been pretty busy all week, so we expect a busy night."

Dr. Andrew Calvert says the cold could lead to more hypothermia cases.

"When you drink you dilate your blood vessels you are going to feel warm, but the cold is coming out of your body. Your core temperature goes down significantly."

He says drunks pass out and are suffering from exposure when they come in.

"Sometimes they're even comatose and we have to control their airway and warm up core temperature using various methods. Sometimes they come in with cardiac arrest because their core temperature is so low."

Nurse Mary Mattila says the flu has added an extra element this year.

Mattila says, "There are no real beds in the hospital right now, we are fighting being tight like most hospitals with influenza."

The vaccine didn't cover the right strain this year and by midnight she says the ER will be packed with drunk patients.

Mattila says, "Some may be too numb to even realize that they have a bad fracture because of the drinking."

Doctors say when in doubt layer, so even if you stumble away from your friends you'll be warm enough for the weather.

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