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Prehospital Severity Scoring at Major Rock Concert Events

  • Timothy B. Erickson (a1) (a2), Max Koenigsberg (a1) (a3), E. Bradshaw Bunney (a1), Brian Schurgin (a4), Paul Levy (a5), Jacob Willens (a6) and Logan Tanner (a6)...



Rock and contemporary music concerts are popular, recurrent events requiring on-site medical staffing.

Study objective:

To describe a novel severity score used to stratify the level of acuity of patients presenting to first-aid stations at these events.


Retrospective review of charts generated at the first-aid stations of five major rock concerts within a 60,000 spectator capacity, outdoor, professional sports stadium. Participants included all concert patrons presenting to the stadiums first-aid stations as patients. Data were collected on patient demographics, history of drug or ethanol usage while at the concert event, first-aid station time, treatment rendered, diagnosis, and disposition. All patients evaluated were retrospectively assigned a “DRUG-ROCK” Injury Severity Score (DRISS) to stratify their level of acuity. Individual concert events and patient dispositions were compared statistically using chi-square, Fisher's exact, and the ANOVA Mean tests.


Approximately 250,000 spectators attended the five concert events. First-aid stations evaluated 308 patients (utilization rate of 1.2 per 1,000 patrons). The most common diagnosis was minor trauma (130; 42%), followed in frequency by ethanol/illicit drug intoxication (98; 32%). The average time in the first-aid station was 23.5±22.5 minutes (± standard deviation; range: 5–150 minutes). Disposition of patients included 100 (32.5%) who were treated and released; 98 (32%) were transported by paramedics to emergency departments (EDs); and 110 (35.5%) signed-out against medical advise (AMA), refusing transport. The mean DRISS was 4.1 (±2.65). Two-thirds (67%) of the study population were ranked as mild by DRISS criteria (score = 1–4), with 27% rated as moderate (score = 5–9), and 6% severe (score >10). The average of severity scores was highest (6.5) for patients transported to hospitals, and statistically different from the scores of the average of the treated and released and AMA groups (p <0.005).


The DRISS was useful in stratifying the acuity level of this patient population. This severity score may serve as a potential triage mechanism for future mass gatherings such as rock concerts.


Corresponding author

University of IllinoisDepartment of Emergency Medicine CMW Rm 618 (M/C 724) 1819 Polk Street Chicago, IL 60612USA


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Prehospital Severity Scoring at Major Rock Concert Events

  • Timothy B. Erickson (a1) (a2), Max Koenigsberg (a1) (a3), E. Bradshaw Bunney (a1), Brian Schurgin (a4), Paul Levy (a5), Jacob Willens (a6) and Logan Tanner (a6)...


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