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Doctors say days after Christmas bring an uptick in patients visiting the ER

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- The holiday season is not just a hectic time for stores, but also many Kansas hospitals as doctors say they notice a spike in visits to hospital emergency rooms in the days following Christmas.

Doctors believe stress from the holiday, overeating and a delay in seeking medical care are to blame.

December and January are the two deadliest months for heart disease, according to the CDC, but there are several reason why the day after Christmas will be busy one in the ER. First, out-of-town families visiting the area play a big part in encouraging loved ones to see a doctor. Also, many doctors offices are closed, instead patients are visiting the emergency room.

Daniel Baker is a doctor at a Kansas Hospital and typically sees about 75 patients per day, but on Monday he saw more than a 15 percent increase in visits.

"People are just kind of holding off, they don't want to go to the hospital during Christmas eve, Christmas," Dr. Baker said. "Coming in and seeing mom and dad are not doing so well, and they just wanted to get them checked out here in the ER, and that's one big theme we're seeing today."

Many of their visits are people who had heart attacks, seasonal cold, and drivers involved in a car crash.

"We do have an extra mid-level provider on staff today," Dr. Baker said. "We do have a full complement of nurses, techs, so we're fully staffed and running on all cylinders right now."