Robert House guides us through the 12 Injuries of Christmas and what to do about them, bringing you health and happiness!

Welcome back to the 12 Injuries of Christmas! Let’s leave the first 2 families to recover from their nightmares on Christmas, and move along to the next door down…


On the ninth day of Christmas, another injury…. Nine Ladies Choking

martini olive choke clear 12 injuries christmas

Martini, anyone?

Welcome all to this festive extravaganza! It’s Christmas Eve and you are having a party. As you do. Nine ladies and ten lords. Obviously this is a very well connected house. So you put on a little spread, and some simple games ready to help these very posh people have a little bit of fun.

Shockingly though, things go sideways when all the Ladies start choking on the olives in their martinis! No fear as you and your two neighbours all went on the same Coaching for Geeks first aid course and you remember what to do!

First you try to get all of them to cough. A good cough, if they are able, is a really good way to dislodge something that is stuck. Two of the ladies cough up the blockage. Two down, seven to go.

Now to back blows. Get them to lean forward and using the base of your hand you are going to hit them, with some force I may add, right between the shoulder blades. You should check after each blow to see if the airway has become clear again. After the 5 blows, good news, three have coughed up their blockers. Four ladies left.

Now you need to move onto abdominal thrusts. From behind you need to make a fist with your thumb wrapped in, place your fist below the bottom of the sternum, in the middle. Your other hand comes around and grabs your wrist firmly. The motion is in and up in one smooth sharp motion. Cough, cough, cough! Three more chunks of martini blockage come flying up! Brilliant!

But there is still one more lady who is choking. So we need to go back to are 5 back blows and rotate them with the 5 abdominal thrusts.

Still not working. Slight panic now…

The last lady has now passed out. At this point we go straight into CPR. This is where you show your ten lords what to do, so they can take over so you can get the appropriate help. The ambulance arrives in great time for a Christmas miracle! All the ladies saved and the paramedics take our last lady to the hospital.


On the tenth day of Christmas, another injury…. Ten Lords a Wheezing

asthma inhaler christmas 12 injuries

All that CPR seems to have had an effect on all our lords. Wouldn’t you know it, all of them are asthmatic!

Let’s keep as calm as the kid who is top of the nice list.

The lords all take a seat and sit them upright and comfortable. Loosen their festive ties so there is nothing tight around their necks and encourage slow, controlled deep breaths.

If they have inhalers get them to take a puff, and if they have a spacer then definitely get them to have a puff through that.

Each lord can take one puff per minute (either as 1 a minute or 2 every 2 minutes) with 6 big deep breaths.

Five of the lords are settling. Cracking. But the other five… less cracking.

If the inhaler doesn’t seem to be making any improvements, or breathing gets harder and they become exhausted, them time to get our lovely paramedics back out.

Paramedics arrive and the nebulisers help. What a horrible Christmas eve. Let’s hope for a better day tomorrow. Your sister and brother in law and their 12 kids are coming around for Christmas dinner tomorrow so today’s horrible day can be forgotten…


On the eleventh day of Christmas, another injury…. -11 degrees of Hypothermia

freezing hypothermia 12 injuries christmas

It’s Christmaaaassss! Yay! You get up, have a nice relaxing morning in front of the fire, chestnuts roasting, the works. Readying yourself for the fun of all the kids coming over. Then you get a “knock knock” at the door. It’s one of Santa’s helpers! He looks freezing! Apparently something happened to Santa during the night and this poor helper has been stuck outside all night in nothing but surf shorts and a T-shirt with a decorated Christmas Bulbasaur on it. They must have just done the southern hemisphere before getting to your street. You bring him in.

He is shivering badly, struggling to talk, nausea, and has really slow shallow breaths. It doesn’t look good. He is clumsy and seems really confused. His pulse is really weak and all his limbs are very pale. That’s it, you are sure he is hypothermic and you know it can be fatal.

How are we treating this? Firstly we need to get all the cold and or wet clothes off. Then we need to warm the torso before we worry about limbs, and we have to warm them up gradually. This is important as doing the limbs first can cause shock which can also be fatal. Then we need nice warm clothes and blankets.

Well that was a bit of excitement we could have done without. Let alone the weird loud bang from next door. Could have sworn that sounded like a board game explosion.

With that, the family turns up ready for a fun Christmas dinner.


On the twelfth day of Christmas, another injury…. Twelve Allergic Reactions

Well finally, and amazing dinner and wonderful fun was had. Crackers pulled, bad jokes told and dinner went down a treat. You moved onto the Christmas pudding, goes down well as well, but then all 12 kids start to feel a little off…

Oh no, the puddings must all have contained nuts! And you were sure you were safe!

You see before you a wide variety of symptoms:-

  • Rashes
  • Itching
  • Hives
  • Pins and needles/tingling
  • Swelling of varying body parts
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Snotty noses
  • Dizziness/fainting
  • Abdominal pain
  • D and V

Luckily 4 of the 12 are not anaphylactic to nuts, but do still have reactions. They can have simple antihistamines and decongestants. Small rash and blocked noses slowly go away for these 4.  

Any trigger to reactions should be removed from the area as early as possible. Get rid of the pud!

The other 8 are badly allergic and all have their epipens at hand thankfully. You know the needle needs to be shot into nice big muscle areas, so the thigh or bum works well. Once done they should lie down.

Get that ambulance back!

4 seem to be responding to the epipens, but if they struggle they can use a second one after 5 minutes if needed.

Looks like trouble with the last 4 though. They are not responding to the injections and they have swelling in their faces, so we are worried this is going to occlude their airways. We keep going with the epipens if we have spare (thankfully we do), every 5 minutes, but if they pass out we have to move straight onto CPR.

The ambulance arrives, apparently they have been really busy today, and takes the last 4 off to hospital where they are treated and are fine. Phew!

Wait till the neighbours hear about your crazy Christmas!


Thank you for joining us on this wonderful journey through the magic of Christmas and the injuries that goes along with it.

We’re not here to make you fear Christmas, just to be as safe as possible.

Merry Christmas!

As always, take care of yoursELFS and happy geeking!


Robert House – Operating Department Practitioner and Coaching for Geeks health correspondent

Follow Robert on Twitter @Roberthouse1985


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