History

In 1965, two spectators collapsed and died in the University of Nebraska football stadium. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) was not available. Based on the need to address this problem and the expanding philosophy at that time involving CPR, airway management and defibrillation were included in the emergency medical care provided for the stadium. In the 8 years that followed, 18 spectators developed a cardiac or pulmonary emergency. Of these, 9 experienced cardiac arrest. Eight of the 9 were successfully resuscitated and discharged from the hospital. Other specific experiences with medical care provided at mass gatherings have been reported by the Denver Mile High Stadium; the University of Arizona, Tucson; the 1984 Los Angeles and 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympic Games; the 1986 World's Exposition In Vancouver, British Columbia; the XV Winter Olympic Games in Calgary, Canada; the Indianapolis 500, the Carrier Dome at Syracuse University; and the 1982 US Rock Music Festival in Devore, California. Statistics generated from these events have shown an incidence of medical problems ranging from 0.12 to 6.00 per 1000 spectators and cardiac arrests ranging from 0.3 to 4.0 per 1,000,000 spectators. These numbers reflect the unique medical setting and indicate a need for a medical care plan and program in any mass gathering.

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