ST. CLAIRSVILLE Jamboree in the Hills officially opened its gates Thursday with song, festivities and a crowd eager for summer fun. The staff at the medical tent, meanwhile, stood ready should the festivities get out of hand.
East Ohio?Regional Hospital physician Neal Aulich said cases of dehydration and intoxication are expected to lead the workload, since the temperature was 90 degrees and humid.
He noted that while last year was cooler and saw fewer cases, prior years have had as many as nine people receiving IV fluids at one time. They noted that 10 people were treated as of mid-afternoon Thursday. Aulich said this is about average, with 80 to 100 patients expected daily.
"We expect it to be busy this year," he said, adding that the crowds were expected to increase during the next days. A thunderstorm is expected Saturday.
He added that they have four squads, an ambulette for less serious injuries such as broken bones, and air-conditioned hospital units. Patients can also be resuscitated if necessary before being sent on to a hospital.
He said there would be paramedics and nurses present 24/7. There are also two to three attending physicians and two resident physicians, and 15 to 18 EMS personnel in the tent or on the venue. They have four to five fully-stocked ambulances, three crews in the field and two paramedics walking in the crowd.
Aside from heat related ailments, Aulich said they expect foot and ankle injuries and other issues related to falling.
Also expected are some issues of intoxication and assaults. About 10 to 20 people are usually sent to the hospital every day with issues such as chest pains and shortness of breath. He said during one past event a pregnant woman went into labor.
Medics advise that attendees alternate beer with water, consume electrolytes, and bring sunscreen. In addition, people should have friends nearby to help in the event of intoxication.
In matters of law enforcement, officials will patrol for cases of assault, drug use and other petty crime, and underage drinking. Deputy R. Alderman said the crowd has begun with high energy, but the attendees are normally law-abiding in the majority of cases.
DeFrank can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org