Stonefish and prawns strike on Christmas Day

A STONEFISH sting, a girl who swallowed a small key ring and an allergic reaction to prawns were just a handful of medical emergencies dealt with at Mackay Base Hospital on Christmas Day.

Of the 101 people who attended the hospital's emergency department, 16 needed overnight admission.

Emergency physician Dr Peter Wirth said Christmas Day wasn't one of the busiest days of the year but it had a variety of injuries and conditions.

One man suffered a spinal fracture from a quad bike rollover while he was checking his crab pots.

He was injured on Christmas Eve but didn't go to hospital until the next day, when the pain intensified.

On Christmas Day, a fisherman was checking a net when he touched a stonefish and was stung.

A four-year-old girl had breathing problems after swallowing a small key ring with a plastic toy attached.

A 69-year-old man fractured his femur after slipping on ice cream.

Another man, whose jaw was fractured after being punched in a fight, was transferred to Townsville for surgery. A seven-year-old was treated for having an allergic reaction to prawns and a 47-year-old man presented with a neck injury after a jet ski accident at Clermont.

"We didn't see any of the silly season type injuries or alcohol-related presentations," Dr Wirth said.

"Most of the injuries were from people just going about their business and unfortunately something has happened that has injured them."

He reminded people to take care while out and about during the Christmas and New Year period.

"Even fishing can have its hazards as we have seen two men in two days with fish hooks in their face," he said.

Dr Wirth said the emergency department tried to make Christmas Day visits as fast as possible so patients could return to their families.


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