Nov. 11--On its sixth annual visit to Orlando last week, the Electric Daisy Carnival for the first time got its own hospital -- an upgrade that could be why there were no critical cases this year, officials said.
More than 230 festival-goers visited the field hospital during the two-day explosion of color and electronic dance music in Tinker Field.
"It was quite an experience," said Dr. Christopher Hunter, director of Orange County health services, who helped set up the hospital. "We think it worked well and we prevented [hospital] transports that didn't need to take place."
Still, seventy-one patients had to be transported to ORMC. That's compared with 65 transports last year, but Orlando Fire Department's Deputy Chief of Operations Keith Maddox said that number could have been higher absent the hospital set-up, because the festival grew by 15,000 attendees to 68,000 this year.
The city approached Orange County health services last year, shortly after the festival had wrapped up, to come up with a better solution for taking care of festival-goers.
The two agencies collaborated with Insomniac, a Los Angeles-based company that promotes the event, and Central Florida Disaster Medical Coalition to set up a 30-cot field hospital, staffed with more than 100 medical volunteers and at least 10 doctors.
The county has set up field hospitals before, during other events such as the Disney Marathon, but "it's the first time we've done it on this scale," said Hunter. "It was a great experience for residents, medical students and nursing and paramedic students."
Patients walked in -- or were brought in -- with a range of complaints, from a twisted ankle, to dehydration or intoxication with alcohol, LSD and MDMA.
"A section was for people who needed to rest and some people just sat toward the front to take a break from the crowd," Hunter said. There were no fatalities.
The hospital complemented two first aid tents and two EMS rooms set up in the field.
"It's a unique setting to be in the field hospital," Hunter said. Not mention that the festival itself "is a visual spectacle. Everyone had a good time."