Some Treated for Cold Exposure, Alcohol
By early afternoon, local hospitals reported treating several dozen people, most for cold-related ailments and others for partying too hard.
Several patients who had drunk too much alcohol were brought to George Washington University Hospital in Northwest for treatment. By 3 p.m. about 70 people had been treated for a variety of issues since midnight. Officials say this is less than normal.
Dr. Bruno Petinaux, an emergency manager at GW University Hospital said drinking in frigid temperatures can be very dangerous.
Petinaux said he was worried that the combination of alcohol and cold would be a bigger problem tonight, "with a very celebratory mood in town, especially when they're dressed in gowns."
More than one dozen children suffering from over-exposure to the cold had been taken to Children's Hospital in Northwest. "We've seen about 15 kids, mostly just cold, and nothing out of the ordinary," said Emily Dammeyer, a spokeswoman for the hospital.
"Nothing that a warm blanket won't cure." The patients ranged in age from 14 months up to 16 years, she said.
Georgetown University Hospital had treated 17 patients by early afternoon, including a half-dozen hypothermia cases, one case of alcohol poisoning and one persons suffering lacerations. "There's been nothing out of the ordinary," said Mary Anne Worley, a spokeswoman for the hospital.
"It's been surprisingly quiet," Ronna Borenstein-Levy, a spokeswoman for Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, said early this afternoon. The hospital treated one patient injured in a car accident on the Clara Barton Parkway, she said.
-- Steve Vogel
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