Expected Populations and Hazardous Exposures

The event attendance bears some relationship to the expected volume of patients and has implications for the numbers and type of medical personnel needed. However, retrospective research has not yielded any universally acceptable mathematical relationship, and the exposure of the crowd to hazards at an event bears a much greater relationship to the volume of patients than does crowd size. In studying Syracuse University's rock concert, basketball, and football events for 7 years, De Lorenzo found a correlation between crowd size and volume of patients only for the concerts. The duration of the event also correlates with the volume of patients through the duration of exposure to the event and population health risk factors. The 1982 US Rock Music Festival experienced a significant increase in the daily volume of patients on the second day of the 3-day event.

Therefore, investigating expected population characteristics and hazardous exposures is crucial to planning for their medical care. The expected density and range of ambulatory movement within a venue may foretell the risk of heat exhaustion. Will this event attract an older population at risk for sudden cerebrovascular and cardiovascular events or one in which a younger population will likely be exposed to street drugs? Children presenting the danger of separation from responsible adults can be tagged with identification upon entry to the event. Will alcohol be allowed and/or served, and, if so, what is the history of its effect on participants' behavior and health at previous and similar events? Will food be offered at the event, and, if so, what public health officials have responsibility for monitoring and enforcing its sanitation and disposal? Will VIPs (e.g., politicians, heads of state, diplomats, media personalities, corporate executives, etc.) participate, and, if so, what special health and medical care measures are planned? Who are the officials responsible for these measures?

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