A Trip to the ER on Christmas

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Wesly Mccune's grandfather had a stroke and took a turn for the worse on Christmas.

"He has been fighting and he's just gone downhill," Mccune says.

On such a joyous holiday, the emergency room typically sees more seriously ill patients.

"Mostly an elderly population, 80 years old plus... generalized weakness, falls, things like that -- a lot of nursing home patients," says Dr. Robert Hogan, an ER physician at Camden Clark Medical Center.

Hogan tries to make a Christmas visit as painless as possible for the patients since they're definitely not happy to be there.

"Sharing in the moment with them that I'm away from my family as well and they're here with us unfortunately and seeking medical treatment," the doc says. "I talk with them about Christmas and what it means to me and what it means to them."

Patient volume increases as it gets later on Christmas day.

"Probably after like three or so this afternoon it'll get more hectic or it won't get hectic," says Janelle Morikone, an R.N. at CCMC. "Usually after Christmas lunch people are done opening presents and everything like that, they'll start coming to the ER."

The emergency room is the last place people want to be on Christmas Day but sometimes there's just no choice.

"Today we had a family get together and we were playing," says Gabby Miller of Parkersburg. "I went into this room and smashed my finger in the edge of the door and I like broke it."

"I've had a worse Christmas," Mccune says. "This is an iffy Christmas but it certainly isn't the worse."

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