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  1. #1

    The new bathrooms can wait . . .

    So can the concession stand improvements.
    So can the luxury boxes.
    So can lowering the field.
    So can removing the track.
    So can fixing the parking situation.

    There is something else that must come first. Improve the EMS services.

    Midway through the second quarter an elderly man two rows in front of me slumped over and passed out. Fans sprung into action, getting him laid out on a bleacher, getting his clothes loosened. Getting some water and ice. A doctor seated near by came to help. People called for the EMS service. Three minutes later two police officers arrived. Another two minutes later two more police officers arrived. After NINE minutes two EMS folks arrived, but they had neither a defibrillator nor oxygen. After another three minutes two more EMS workers arrived with a defib and oxygen.

    Fortunately it was a case of heat stroke. Had it been a heart attack the man would have been dead. There is no excuse for the lack of decent EMS services at any event where 25,000 people are gathered. I wasn't seated in some far outpost, but at the fifty yard line 23 rows up from the field. We could have gotten a couple of strong guys and carried the guy to the hospital in the time it took EMS to get there (well, that might be an exageration, but we could have gotten him to the stadium gate and to an ambulance). Of course, there were four EMS workers on the field, not fifty yards in front of us, but they never came. Instead, two workers, apparantly summoned from a galaxy far, far away, were called instead. It was frightening, and could have ended a lot worse than it did.

  2. #2
    Allenmurray,

    I certainly understand your point, however, I think the sheer number of incidents like you described overwhelmed the number of EMS units at the game. While walking to the bathroom I saw four separate teams working on four patients. I realize the heat was expected, but not the number of vasovagal/heat induced events.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Greensboro, NC
    The EMS vehicle lights were flashing from the 2nd quarter on, it looked like. I can't really speak to their efficiency, but they were busy.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Meeting with Marie Laveau
    Quote Originally Posted by doctorhook View Post
    Allenmurray,

    I certainly understand your point, however, I think the sheer number of incidents like you described overwhelmed the number of EMS units at the game. While walking to the bathroom I saw four separate teams working on four patients. I realize the heat was expected, but not the number of vasovagal/heat induced events.
    The frequency and severity of the heat related incidents today went beyond any previous game in memory (30+ years). The aluminum benches throughout seem to reflect the hot sunlight and make the stadium seem even hotter than it was years ago with the original wooden ones. (The wooden ones hid their own peril. The splinters were exceptional.)

    I vote for more night games..... at least until the end of daylight savings time!!

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by doctorhook View Post
    Allenmurray,

    I certainly understand your point, however, I think the sheer number of incidents like you described overwhelmed the number of EMS units at the game. While walking to the bathroom I saw four separate teams working on four patients. I realize the heat was expected, but not the number of vasovagal/heat induced events.
    You make a very fair point, from what I have since heard folks were dropping left and right. OTOH, given the weather forecast, that fact that anyone who has ever been to WW knows there is NO shade at noon, and the fact that the place is a large concrete bowl, perhaps having a few more units on hand, (or even some Red Cross volunteers if no more paid EMS units were available) would have been wise.

    Also, this is a great reason to stop having noon games in mid-September at WW. Mid-September in Durham rivals mid-July many palces in the US. ESPNU coverge is fun, but not at the expense of serious injury or death.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Greenville, NC
    I was two rows behind you, Allen, and I, too, was shocked at the lack of response on the part of EMS or Duke University. I could not believe the amount of time it took for the EMS to arrive. When I saw the uniformed police officers arriving (Durham PD), I thought that maybe help was on its way. But, no. Those people stood by and simply watched.

    When the first wave of EMS arrived (and had the man suffered a heart attack, he would have already been dead by then), I thought that perhaps he would finally get the help he needed.

    When the second wave of EMS arrived with their equipment, the gentleman sat up. Do you think that EMS or the Durham PD would have summoned a stretcher or some type of wheelchair to use to escort the ailing gentleman from the stadium? Reasonable people might think yes.

    The second wave of EMS responders made the ailing gentleman climb the steps out of the stadium!!!

    Was this a lawsuit waiting to happen? You'd better believe that it was. I couldn't believe the exposure that Duke University had to a claim of negligence today.

    When the EMS hadn't arrived after 2 minutes, I began taking pictures to document the situation. I was frightened and concerned that this man wasn't getting the help that he needed. I decided to record the events on my camera to help him and his family prove their case. My camera was recording the minutes that passed and also the non-action of the Durham Police Department and the Duke University EMS.

    My goodness, Duke University was just lucky today. I was astonished at the lack of response to a true emergency in the stands.

    Thankfully, the fans in the stands were able to provide shade and water, simple first aid.

    I believe that most people have a reasonable expectation that when they sit below the building emblazoned with "Duke Sports Medicine" on it that they might have access to emergency medical attention should they need it. Today I learned that this expectation is not reasonable at all.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Skinker-DeBaliviere, Saint Louis
    Quote Originally Posted by allenmurray View Post
    Also, this is a great reason to stop having noon games in mid-September at WW. Mid-September in Durham rivals mid-July many places in the US. ESPNU coverage is fun, but not at the expense of serious injury or death.
    You're right, Allen. This is indicative of a disease that most of the American people have--the inability to understand the risks of heat exposure. Heat kills more people than any other natural disaster. Particularly in the South, we've got people who think the world is ending when it's 60 degrees, but will willingly go out into heat like that and risk death. It's insane.

    A movie is not about what it's about; it's about how it's about it.
    ---Roger Ebert


    Some questions cannot be answered
    Who’s gonna bury who
    We need a love like Johnny, Johnny and June
    ---Over the Rhine

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by CathyCA View Post
    When I saw the uniformed police officers arriving (Durham PD), I thought that maybe help was on its way. But, no. Those people stood by and simply watched.
    About fifteen years ago Durham didn't have separate Police and Fire services. Instead they had a Public Safety Department. Every officer was cross-trained as both an EMS worker, a Fire Fighter, and a Police Officer. Becuase Police Officers were usually the first to respond, the first responders were able to adminsiter first aid, up to and including any service usually provided by an EMS worker (they even carried those supplies in the trunks of thier cruisers). They went away from that at the insistence of a newly arrived police chief. It always seemed a good system to me.

  9. #9
    Cathy,

    How do you know that all the EMS teams were not occupied at the time of this unfortunate gentleman's incident? If nine teams are taking caring of nine patients, do you expect them to leave their patient for this man? Of course not. I suggest you spend the day with one of these dedicated EMS teams in a situation like this, and you may not be so critical of their performance. As for the Durham PD, because of litigation fear, if they are not qualified/cerified EMS, they are instructed not to attend to these paients until EMS shows up.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Greenville, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by doctorhook View Post
    Cathy,

    How do you know that all the EMS teams were not occupied at the time of this unfortunate gentleman's incident? If nine teams are taking caring of nine patients, do you expect them to leave their patient for this man? Of course not. I suggest you spend the day with one of these dedicated EMS teams in a situation like this, and you may not be so critical of their performance. As for the Durham PD, because of litigation fear, if they are not qualified/cerified EMS, they are instructed not to attend to these paients until EMS shows up.

    I don't know whether the EMS teams were occupied or not when this gentleman needed them.

    What I do know is that the weather forecasts predicted high temperatures for a noon start in Wally Wade. Duke University also knew how many people to expect, based on advance ticket sales. A little advance planning could have gotten more EMS teams in place at Wally Wade.

    I do not doubt for one second the dedication of the EMS teams.

    I do question their preparedness today, and I question the failure of the
    university to adequately plan for such a situation.

    And for a crowd of 25,000 people on a day as hot as today, I think that 9 teams of EMS workers is not enough.

    Could they not call in EMS teams from other jurisdictions beforehand? Other colleges/universities call in law enforcement and EMS from other jurisdictions on their game days. It might not be a bad idea for Duke to consider this.

  11. #11
    Cathy,

    I used 9 simply as a random number. Even if you have 15 teams, if there are 16 events, you will not be able to attend to everyone in a prompt manner. Planning for medical incidents is not an easy task, and there are times when the system just gets overwhelmed. You were not critical of the EMS, but you were critical of the PD without knowing policy and procedure. I do not claim that the system is/was good and certainly not perfect, but predicting medical events is not an easy task. I certainly did not see EMS crews sitting around eating pizza.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Greenville, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by doctorhook View Post
    Cathy,

    I used 9 simply as a random number. Even if you have 15 teams, if there are 16 events, you will not be able to attend to everyone in a prompt manner. Planning for medical incidents is not an easy task, and there are times when the system just gets overwhelmed. You were not critical of the EMS, but you were critical of the PD without knowing policy and procedure. I do not claim that the system is/was good and certainly not perfect, but predicting medical events is not an easy task. I certainly did not see EMS crews sitting around eating pizza.
    Yes, I had an expectation that when the police arrived, they would provide help. Usually that's what happens.

    My apologies for not knowing that Durham PD could not respond to a medical emergency.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    The same thing happened in my section, too, though this was a young lady (college age) that was having trouble with the heat. Sometime in the first half, the Durham PD came down and looked at her. A few minutes later, an EMS guy came down empty handed, and spent time looking mostly befuddled, looking up towards the concourse. They finally walked her up, with neither the DPD or EMS person helping her.

    At the half, my mom was having a bit of trouble. We were going to find some shade, and when she stood up, she got dizzy. We sat her down, had her drink her water (waiting for the crowds to subside), then my son and I helped her up the stairs to a shady area. We had to stop to let a golf cart through -- it was one of those passenger carts that seats 8, filled with six elderly people with ice bags on the backs of their necks.

    We got mom to the shade behind the concession stand, where that young lady was still sitting in the shade looking uncomfortable. Mom was really starting to have problems, and the nearby police officer got her a couple of handfuls of ice wrapped in paper towel and offered to get her a chair. We moved her to a nearby bench, and she was able to be moved into a nearby air conditioned building. She was the first one in the building, and within 10 minutes, there were about 20 others in there -- five of those people (including my mom) looked like they could use EMS help. None of the people in that building saw an EMS worker, though there were several DPD officers in there.

    Fortunately, the ice and the bottle of water mom had helped cool and rehydrate her enough that we were able to take her home in the middle of the third quarter. She's doing fine now.

    Just from the number of people that we had to pass while helping my mom -- I'm not sure that Duke could have anticipated the need.

    From here on out, night games through September get my vote!

    (And that, Cathy, is the reason why I didn't find you during halftime!)

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Skinker-DeBaliviere, Saint Louis
    The only day games Duke or any Southern school should ever have are those after Nov 15.

    That said, it's hard to turn down the TV money especially when you're us.

    I've been to grotesquely hot games even the first weekend in November at Wade. And Carter-Finley. And Davis-Wade in Starkville.

    A movie is not about what it's about; it's about how it's about it.
    ---Roger Ebert


    Some questions cannot be answered
    Who’s gonna bury who
    We need a love like Johnny, Johnny and June
    ---Over the Rhine

  15. #15
    When the police arrived, what sort of help did you expect that " usually happens" ? Are you referring to medical attention? Do you want untrained police officers providing medical services?

  16. #16
    It was hot today, no question. But it was definitely warmer at a game or two last year. I'm not sure why so many more people were being affected by the heat today, but there's no question that people were going down all over the stadium.

    I'm not sure that this large a number of people needing help could be anticipated by the university.

  17. #17
    I've never figured how lawsuits help in issues like this. If the judge held the guilty party for only what they were responsible for (in this case, medical expenses maybe) then I would be fine with them. Now they are little more than cash grabs for unscrupulous attorneys.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Skinker-DeBaliviere, Saint Louis
    Quote Originally Posted by gvtucker View Post
    It was hot today, no question. But it was definitely warmer at a game or two last year. I'm not sure why so many more people were being affected by the heat today, but there's no question that people were going down all over the stadium.

    I'm not sure that this large a number of people needing help could be anticipated by the university.
    The gross dewpoint in the 70s. That's why.

    A movie is not about what it's about; it's about how it's about it.
    ---Roger Ebert


    Some questions cannot be answered
    Who’s gonna bury who
    We need a love like Johnny, Johnny and June
    ---Over the Rhine

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    The Triangle
    I covered the game from the stands today and made my way around to a lot of areas. At one point I saw and elderly couple at the very top of the close horsehoe section and they were unhealthy looking hot. The husband had an umbrella and the wife was trying to get under it, but it didn't seem to work. She then went out to get something and returned. At that point I took it upon myself to deliver them some water and she was greatly appreciative. I kept a close eye on them, but at halftime both ended up at the EMS station after walking out to cool off. In all honesty, I saw twenty more people I wanted to buy a water or two for. The bottom line is I saw firsthand and extreme overload on the EMS services and a bunch and I do mean bunch of people being helped in evey way possible. In the third quarter alone, one station had an ambulance come and go six times. I felt concerned and helpless. I am sure the unexpected overload made the EMS feel overwhelmed as well. Everywhere you looked up top, people were suffering from the heat. One last thing, I saw one EMS worker go from person to person to person in the tent and each one needed his attention. I will admit, fans and more space were needed today, but to blame the EMS guys is wrong.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Tampa
    Quote Originally Posted by gvtucker View Post
    It was hot today, no question. But it was definitely warmer at a game or two last year. I'm not sure why so many more people were being affected by the heat today, but there's no question that people were going down all over the stadium.

    I'm not sure that this large a number of people needing help could be anticipated by the university.
    I was thinking the same thing, it was hotter or as hot at a number of games in the last few years.

    I don't mean any disrespect to anyone that had a problem far from it, but people need to take some personal responsibility here to maintain hydration and to get out of the heat if necessary. If your health is not good then you don't goto a game with a heat index near 100 period. I was shocked at some of the parents, and stories of parents around the stadium that were not, in my opinion taking the right steps with their kids to keep them hydrated. A kid in front of us was not doing well and ended up losing his lunch.

    I believe that our new found competitiveness on the field had some of us using bad judgment for how much heat we could take today. I pray that no one has any lasting issues from the heat today and I am proud of all of our fans and the Navy fans that did not hesitate to help others.

    We could use some more shade in the stadium, maybe some huge tents over areas of the concourse. Do other schools have this many issues when the heat index is near 100 and how many EMS teams per 10,000 fans is the right number?

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