Local lifesaver urges caution this holiday season

San Antonio – For emergency room doctors, the most wonderful time of the year is also one of the busiest. Falls, burns, and alcohol-related injuries mean emergency rooms are full of families who let their holiday spirit get the best of them.


“Falls are by far one of the most common causes of injury this time of year,” says GSEP Emergency Physician Dr. Dale Crockett. “People overestimate their skill on a ladder while putting up lights, try to do too much too fast and hurt themselves.”

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Dr. Crockett hangs out with SALive’s Jeff Roper to talk safety in a recent interview

Also, chestnuts apparently aren’t the only things roasting over an open fire this holiday season. While the fire danger of Christmas trees is well publicized, the more common causes of holiday burns are from cooking, candles and other sources of open flame like fireplaces and chimineas. “It seems obvious, but we see it every year,” says Dr. Crockett. “People try to do something festive and wind up in the emergency room.”


While on the subject of open flames, Dr. Crockett strongly advises people not to use grills or other sources of open flame to heat their homes, as they create carbon monoxide, an odorless, colorless gas that can be deadly. “In addition to the fire danger, grills and other open flame sources fill your home with carbon monoxide, and should never be used inside,” warned Dr. Crockett. “Also, water heaters and other gas appliances can release carbon monoxide if they aren’t maintained properly, so having a carbon monoxide detector in the home is critical – especially this time of year.”


In 2014, Dr. Crockett saw the dangers of carbon monoxide up close when a patient came to him complaining of headaches and nausea. Dr. Crockett diagnosed the patient with carbon monoxide poisoning, and contacted emergency crews to go to the patient’s apartment complex, where a water heater was releasing the deadly gas. Firefighters got everyone out of the apartments safely. Dr. Crockett hopes that cautionary tale will help others be aware of the dangers of carbon monoxide by installing carbon monoxide detectors in their homes or apartments.

To schedule an interview with Dr. Crockett, contact JT Street via email at jt@esdandassociates.com or by phone at 210-348-8008. GSEP doctors hope to use their platform as medical leaders to help keep the San Antonio community safe, by raising awareness of common ailments like the flu, concussions, running injuries, and other seasonal hazards.


About GSEP 

When it was founded in 1980, Greater San Antonio Emergency Physicians was the first all board-certified emergency physicians group in the state of Texas. This year, the group will care for more than 200,000 patients at multiple facilities throughout the San Antonio area. GSEP is dedicated to providing the best medical care possible to those patients, and ensuring that patients are properly informed about their medical options.

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