Christmas Canceled?

Egerton Y. Davis the Fourth, spokesperson for the Council Executive of the Utopian College for Emergency in Medicine, has announced that UCEM intends to cancel Christmas. He stated reluctantly:

”Tis not the season to be jolly, ’tis the season to be horrifically injured“.

Concern about about the impact of Christmas on UCEM’s ability to achieve its utopian medical outcome objectives led to the creation of the ‘Preventative Health for Utopian Care’ Christmas task-force. Numerous strategies have been proposed and analysed to mitigate the impending medical disaster that Christmas will inevitably be. This has resulted in UCEM’s largest public health initiative since the 1912 campaign to stamp out penis captivus.

The first strategy was to make it a mandatory requirement of Christmas gift-giving that slippers be included in every festive transaction, thus preventing innumerable needless foot injuries and amputations. This initiative appears to be supported by Theresa King, Chief Podiatrist at Cardiff and Vale NHS Trust and likely future honorary Fellow of the Utopian College of Emergency for Medicine, who stated:

“Your safety is more important than comfort or fashion. Healthy feet and correct footwear should be at the top of everyone’s healthy check list.”

Indeed New Zealand’s fourth most popular folk duo, the Flight of the Conchords, even chimed in with a theme song for the PHUC Christmas ‘Fashion is Danger’ campaign:

Other strategies include the recent unveiling of the much-lauded Mental Health Hotline to help alleviate Christmas-associated stress-induced psychopathology and the introduction of Waiting Room Gynecology to counter the influx of Christmas Party-associated sexually transmitted infections.

Nevertheless, despite embracing the WHORe model and the above mentioned PHUC Christmas campaign measures, the Council Executive has wisely decided that Christmas still poses too much of a threat to Utopian medical outcome objectives. This decision was made following the overload of the Mental Health Hotline by calls from terrified doctors of all medical specialties demanding that something be done.

Egerton Y. Davis the Fourth, speaking at the UCEM offices on Enlightenment Boulevard, stated that:

“Rheumatologists and Hand surgeons have been literally sh*tting bricks in the face of an impending tsunami of Christmas-related Wii injuries such as ‘Wii knee’.

Just the other day I was sharing a bottle of port with a noted Hand surgeon who told me that, “Fashion may be a danger, but Wii is an even bigger danger – you can’t take a population of video game-addicted couch potatoes and start making then move right out-of-the-blue like that.”

I assured him, on behalf of UCEM, that we whole-heartedly agree.”

Following the dire warning issued by a casual doctor in the UK, UCEM researchers have classified the litany of Christmas-related injuries and illness into four categories:


  • All presents are potential time-bombs not just the notorious Wii video game.
  • Consider the injuries that result from eyelids getting caught on zips as people try to squeeze new jumpers over their fat heads. People also routinely stab themselves with knives and screwdrivers while frantically trying to penetrate thousands of layers of wrapping paper.


  • White Wine in the Sun‘ may sound like good idea but the dangers of alcohol are innumerable.
  • They range from dry eyes from ‘sleeping with eyes open’, to horrible burns from cooking while drunk, nasty back injuries from doing the ‘funky chicken‘ on the dance floor in an inebriated state, PFO-ing, and worst of all, being crushed to death after suffering from a terminal case of beer goggle-itis (technically known as ethanolic oculotoxicity) or the dreaded 12 STIs of Christmas



  • These are better off in a torture chamber than your living room.
  • The myriad ways in which a Christmas tree can inflict pain and suffering on you and your family include: the Christmas star falling down your child’s esophagus, branches jumping down your child’s bronchial tree, not to mention the real danger of having your eyes poked out.

Egerton Y. Davis the Fourth stated that UCEM’s decision to cancel Christmas was not taken lightly:

“Indeed, there may have been some benefits to the festive season. For instance, our researchers, led by the acclaimed Professor Bristol, were looking forward to an acceleration in their attempts expand the Bristol Stool Chart concomitant with the gross excess of over-eating that goes on at Christmas.”

However, Egerton Y. Davis the Fourth said that ultimately UCEM were left with no choice:

“Once you’ve seen one 86 year-old with a bowel perforation from eating Christmas Cake you’ve seen enough”.

He was referring to the tragic incident of the plastic robin inside a Christmas cake, whose beak popped the bowel of an elderly woman in the early 1980s (see the offending robin here). Snodgrass has blamed the loss of touch sensation associated with dentures as the main problem in such situations, but UCEM rightly maintains that Christmas is the real culprit.

STOP THE PRESS! Breaking news on Christmas Eve… The end result of Santa’s last minute negotiations with UCEM: ‘Christmas Cancellation Canned‘.

Utopian College of Emergency for Medicine

Chris is an Intensivist and ECMO specialist at the Alfred ICU in Melbourne. He is also a Clinical Adjunct Associate Professor at Monash University. He is a co-founder of the Australia and New Zealand Clinician Educator Network (ANZCEN) and is the Lead for the ANZCEN Clinician Educator Incubator programme. He is on the Board of Directors for the Intensive Care Foundation and is a First Part Examiner for the College of Intensive Care Medicine. He is an internationally recognised Clinician Educator with a passion for helping clinicians learn and for improving the clinical performance of individuals and collectives.

After finishing his medical degree at the University of Auckland, he continued post-graduate training in New Zealand as well as Australia’s Northern Territory, Perth and Melbourne. He has completed fellowship training in both intensive care medicine and emergency medicine, as well as post-graduate training in biochemistry, clinical toxicology, clinical epidemiology, and health professional education.

He is actively involved in in using translational simulation to improve patient care and the design of processes and systems at Alfred Health. He coordinates the Alfred ICU’s education and simulation programmes and runs the unit’s education website, INTENSIVE.  He created the ‘Critically Ill Airway’ course and teaches on numerous courses around the world. He is one of the founders of the FOAM movement (Free Open-Access Medical education) and is co-creator of litfl.com, the RAGE podcast, the Resuscitology course, and the SMACC conference.

His one great achievement is being the father of three amazing children.

On Twitter, he is @precordialthump.

| INTENSIVE | RAGE | Resuscitology | SMACC

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