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Surviving festival season – how first responders can better protect festival-goers

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Whether you are young or old, a party animal or just enjoy live musical performances, the festival season can be an exciting time of year. It may be a great way to relieve work stress and be in the moment. This attitude means, however, that many people may overstretch themselves, or not treat their bodies in ways they usually would. Be it unpredictable weather or increased alcohol intake, many people may find themselves in immediate health strife and in need of help. This is where first responders are crucial.

Receiving immediate medical care could be the difference between life and death. By understanding the medical issues that commonly plague those at festivals, be it big or small, first responders can better assist those who may need it.

Dealing with the elements

Everybody loves a party during the summer. The weather is nice and festival goers want to get out and enjoy themselves. The Australian sun, however, can be incredibly hot, with temperatures in summer exceeding 40 degrees in certain areas. Without adequate hydration, many may suffer from heat stroke or severe dehydration. As a first responder, it is important then to have the proper equipment to help you deal with these conditions. Common symptoms of dehydration include:

·         Headaches

·         Dry Mouth

·         Dark urine

·         Muscle cramps

To treat this, first responders should sit the patient down and give them plenty of water or drinks that promote oral rehydration. If after this treatment they feel no better, it is advised that they attend a hospital to see a doctor for further care. Without help, this condition can turn into heat exhaustion which is far more serious.

Alcohol-related conditions

Unfortunately, some festival goers may overindulge in alcohol and may need to be medically assisted to help protect them from serious harm. When dealing with anyone with excessive intoxication it is important to remain safe and not put yourself in any danger. Getting the patient sitting and replacing fluids may be your first point of call, as is assessing their current state. Careful monitoring and preventing breathing and choking problems are key. If a person is displaying the following symptoms, they may have more serious alcohol poisoning:

·         Confusion

·         Vomiting

·         Seizures

·         Slow breathing

·         Irregular breathing

·         Blue-tinged skin or pale skin

·         Passing out (unconsciousness)

If this is the case then calling triple zero is essential for an ambulance, as well as staying with the person to assist them medically and prevent them choking.

Festivals can be a fun experience for all. First responders however play a large part in making sure the party doesn't turn sour and its patrons are protected should the worst happen.

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