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Let’s Talk Turkey: Seasonal Data from Komodo Health

Thanksgiving week officially launches the holiday season with family, food, festivities — and occasional folly. From over-indulging in turkey to mishaps with carving knives and Black Friday stampedes, physicians unfortunately do see an upswing in holiday-related health concerns each year.

As the long-weekend approaches, we took a look at some Thanksgiving trends in our Healthcare Map using the International Classification of Disease (ICD-10) codes. Let these findings give you some tips on staying healthy during this season of plenty.

W291 – Contact with Electric Knife
Electric knife injuries peak during the holidays, with the highest number of occurrences reported last year in November 2018. While reported injuries are evenly distributed between men and women, 70% of knife injuries in November happen to men. Guys! Keep your eye on the bird and stay safe!

R141 – Gas Pain
Intestinal discomfort brought more than 160,000 Americans to their healthcare provider in 2018; 3,000 of those visits occurred during Thanksgiving week. Pace yourselves! There will always be leftovers.

W21 – Struck by sports equipment (football)
More than 13,000 Americans ended up visiting their medical provider or emergency room in 2018 after they were injured while playing football. 200 of those visits alone happened during Thanksgiving week.

X10.2 – Contact with Fats and Cooking Oil
Football isn’t the only potentially harmful activity. 13,000+ Americans were injured in 2018 after coming into contact with fats and cooking oils: 164 of them occurred over the Thanksgiving weekend.

Z631 – Problems in Relationships with Inlaws
Jerry Seinfeld once opined, “there’s no such thing as fun for the whole family.” Although conflicts with inlaws have existed since marriage was invented, 25% of inlaw-related visits to healthcare providers occur during (or just after) the holiday season. Be careful when discussing politics over pie. May you walk away from the Thanksgiving table with a full heart — and happy memories.

W6143 – Pecked by Turkey
Thanksgiving revelers may have the last laugh during the holiday, but turkeys don’t go down without a fight. Their indignant pecking (at children, primarily) sent 23 Americans to their healthcare providers last year. Notably, none of these incidents occurred over Thanksgiving week, when the turkeys were presumably, uh, otherwise engaged.

W52 – Crushed, pushed or stepped on by crowd or human stampede
What better way to punctuate giving thanks than by waking up at 3:00am and getting jostled by the crowds in pursuit of the latest bargain? Nearly 2,000 people were injured by a crowd in 2018. We encourage everyone to play it safe and sleep in on Black Friday.

#GivingTuesday
There’s no ICD-10 code for giving. Thanksgiving week is closely followed by the kickoff of the charitable season, starting with Giving Tuesday on December 3, 2019. Nonprofit organizations welcome your support, and this day reminds us that we can show our gratitude by giving to the groups that make our society a more healthy, inclusive, safe place to live.

Gravy. Gratitude. Giving. Thanksgiving week has it all!

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