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The proliferation of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technology has the potential to change the situational awareness of medical incident commanders’ (ICs’) scene assessment of mass gatherings. Mass gatherings occur frequently and the potential for injury at these events is considered higher than the general population. These events have generated mass-casualty incidents (MCIs) in the past. The aim of this study was to compare UAV technology to standard practice (SP) in scene assessment using paramedic students during a mass-gathering event (MGE).
This study was conducted in two phases. Phase One consisted of validation of the videos and accompanying data collection tool. Phase One was completed by 11 experienced paramedics from a provincial Emergency Medical Services (EMS) service. Phase Two was a randomized comparison with 47 paramedic students from the Holland College Paramedicine Program (Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada) of the two scene assessment systems. For Phase Two, the paramedic students were randomized into a UAV or a SP group. The data collection tool consisted of two board categories: primary importance with 20 variables and secondary importance with 25 variables. After a brief narrative, participants were either shown UAV footage or the ground footage depending on their study group. After completion of the videos, study participants completed the data collection tool.
The Phase One validation showed good consensus in answers to most questions (average 79%; range 55%-100%). For Phase Two, a Fisher’s exact test was used to compare each variable from the UAV and SP groups using a P value of .05. Phase Two demonstrated a significant difference between the SP and UAV groups in four of 20 primary variables. Additionally, significant differences were found for seven out of 25 secondary variables.
This study demonstrated the accurate, safe, and feasible use of a UAV as a tool for scene assessment by paramedic students at an MGE. No observed statistical difference was noted in a majority of both primary and secondary variables using a UAV for scene assessment versus SP.
Without a robust evidence base to support recommendations for medical services at mass gatherings (MGs), levels of care will continue to vary and preventable morbidity and mortality will exist. Accordingly, researchers and clinicians publish case reports and case series to capture and explain some of the health interventions, health outcomes, and host community impacts of MGs. Streamlining and standardizing post-event reporting for MG medical services and associated health outcomes could improve inter-event comparability, thereby supporting and promoting growth of the evidence base for this discipline. The present paper is focused on theory building, proposing a set of domains for data that may support increasingly comprehensive, yet lean, reporting on the health outcomes of MGs. This paper is paired with another presenting a proposal for a post-event reporting template.
The conceptual categories of data presented are based on a textual analysis of 54 published post-event medical case reports and a comparison of the features of published data models for MG health outcomes.
A comparison of existing data models illustrates that none of the models are explicitly informed by a conceptual lens. Based on an analysis of the literature reviewed, four data domains emerged. These included: (i) the Event Domain, (ii) the Hazard and Risk Domain, (iii) the Capacity Domain, and (iv) the Clinical Domain. These domains mapped to 16 sub-domains.
Data modelling for the health outcomes related to MGs is currently in its infancy. The proposed illustration is a set of operationally relevant data domains that apply equally to small, medium, and large-sized events. Further development of these domains could move the MG community forward and shift post-event health outcomes reporting in the direction of increasing consistency and comprehensiveness.
Currently, data collection and analysis related to understanding health outcomes arising from MGs is not informed by robust conceptual models. This paper is part of a series of nested papers focused on the future state of post-event medical reporting.
Without a robust evidence base to support recommendations for first aid, health, and medical services at mass gatherings (MGs), levels of care will continue to vary. Streamlining and standardizing post-event reporting for MG medical services could improve inter-event comparability, and prospectively influence event safety and planning through the application of a research template, thereby supporting and promoting growth of the evidence base and the operational safety of this discipline. Understanding the relationships between categories of variables is key. The present paper is focused on theory building, providing an evolving conceptual model, laying the groundwork for exploring the relationships between categories of variables pertaining the health outcomes of MGs.
A content analysis of 54 published post-event medical case reports, including a comparison of the features of published data models for MG health outcomes.
A layered model of essential conceptual components for post-event medical reporting is presented as the Data Reporting, Evaluation, & Analysis for Mass-Gathering Medicine (DREAM) model. This model is relational and embeds data domains, organized operationally, into “inputs,” “modifiers,” “actuals,” and “outputs” and organized temporally into pre-, during, post-event, and reporting phases.
Situating the DREAM model in relation to existing models for data collection vis a vis health outcomes, the authors provide a detailed discussion on similarities and points of difference.
Currently, data collection and analysis related to understanding health outcomes arising from MGs is not informed by robust conceptual models. This paper is part of a series of nested papers focused on the future state of post-event medical reporting.
Case reports are commonly used to report the health outcomes of mass gatherings (MGs), and many published reports of MGs demonstrate substantial heterogeneity of included descriptors. As such, it is challenging to perform rigorous comparisons of health services and outcomes between similar and dissimilar events. The degree of variation in published reports has not yet been investigated.
Examine patterns of post-event medical reporting in the existing literature and identify inconsistencies in reporting.
A systematic review of case reports was conducted. Included were English studies, published between January 2009 and December 2018, in Prehospital and Disaster Medicine (PDM) or Current Sports Medicine Reports (CSMR). Analysis of each paper was used to develop a list of 27 categories of data.
Seventy-five studies were initially reviewed with 54 publications meeting the inclusion criteria. Forty-two were full case reports (78%) and 12 were conference proceedings (22%). Of the 27 categories of data studied, only 13 were consistently reported in more than 50% of publications. Reporting patterns included inconsistent use of terminology/language and variable retrievability of reports. Reporting on event descriptors, hazard and risk analysis, and clinical outcomes were also inconsistent.
Case reports are essential tools for researchers and event team members such as medical directors and event producers. The authors found that current case reports, in addition to being inconsistent in content, were generally descriptive rather than explanatory; that is, focused on describing the outcomes as opposed to exploring possible connections between context and health outcomes.
This paper quantifies and demonstrates the current state of heterogeneity in MG event reporting. This heterogeneity is a significant impediment to the functional use of published reports to further the science of MG planning and to improve health outcomes. Future work based on the insights gained from this analysis will aim to align and standardize reporting to improve the quality and value of event reporting.
Standardizing and systematizing the reporting of health outcomes from mass gatherings (MGs) will improve the quality of data being reported. Setting minimum standards for case reporting is an important strategy for improving data quality. This paper is one of a series of papers focused on understanding the current state, and shaping the future state, of post-event case reporting.
Multiple data sources were used in creating a lean, yet comprehensive list of essential reporting fields, including a: (1) literature synthesis drawn from analysis of 54 post-event case reports; (2) comparison of existing data models for MGs; (3) qualitative analysis of gaps in current case reports; and (4) set of data domains developed based on the preceding sources.
Existing literature fails to consistently report variables that may be essential for not only describing the health outcomes of a given event, but also for explaining those outcomes. In the context of current and future state reporting, 25 essential variables were identified. The essential variables were organized according to four domains, including: (i) Event Domain; (ii) Hazard and Risk Domain; (iii) Capacity Domain; and (iv) Clinical Domain.
The authors propose a first-generation template for post-event medical reporting. This template standardizes the reporting of 25 essential variables. An accompanying data dictionary provides background and standardization for each of the essential variables. Of note, this template is lean and will develop over time, with input from the international MG community. In the future, additional groups of variables may be helpful as “overlays,” depending on the event category and type.
This paper presents a template for post-event medical reporting. It is hoped that consistent reporting of essential variables will improve both data collection and the ability to make comparisons between events so that the science underpinning MG health can continue to advance.
This review discusses the need for consistency in mass-gathering research and evaluation from a psychosocial perspective.
Mass gatherings occur frequently throughout the world. Having an understanding of the complexities of mass gatherings is important to determine required health resources. Factors within the environmental, psychosocial, and biomedical domains influence the usage of health services at mass gatherings. A standardized approach to data collection is important to identify a consistent reporting standard for the psychosocial domain.
This research used an integrative literature review design. Manuscripts were collected using keyword searches from databases and journal content pages from 2003 through 2018. Data were analyzed and categorized using the existing minimum data set as a framework.
In total, 31 manuscripts met the inclusion criteria. The main variables identified were use of alcohol or drugs, crowd behavior, crowd mood, rationale, and length of stay.
Upon interrogating the literature, the authors have determined that the variables fall under the categories of alcohol or drugs; maladaptive and adaptive behaviors; crowd behavior, crowd culture, and crowd mood; reason for attending event (motivation); duration; and crowd demographics. In collecting psychosocial data from mass gatherings, an agreed-upon set of variables that can be used to collect de-identified psychosocial variables for the purpose of making comparisons across societies for mass-gathering events (MGEs) would be invaluable to researchers and event clinicians.
This paper discusses the need for consistency in mass-gathering research and evaluation from an environmental reporting perspective.
Mass gatherings occur frequently throughout the world. Having an understanding of the complexities of mass gatherings is important to inform health services about the possible required health resources. Factors within the environmental, psychosocial, and biomedical domains influence the usage of health services at mass gatherings. A minimum data set (MDS) has been proposed to standardize collection of biomedical data across various mass gatherings, and there is a need for an environmental component. The environmental domain includes factors such as the nature of the event, availability of drugs or alcohol, venue characteristics, and meteorological factors.
This research used an integrative literature review design. Manuscripts were collected using keyword searches from databases and journal content pages from 2003 through 2018. Data were analyzed and categorized using the existing MDS as a framework.
In total, 39 manuscripts were identified that met the inclusion criteria.
In collecting environmental data from mass gatherings, there must be an agreed-upon MDS. A set of variables can be used to collect de-identified environmental variables for the purpose of making comparisons across societies for mass-gathering events (MGEs).
Music and sporting events are mass gatherings with unique risks related to participation. “All-ages” events, which include participants below the age of majority (18 in many jurisdictions), have been observed to have an over-representation of patient presentations in the youth category. Peer helpers may lower the barrier to seeking on-site care. Youth (peer-aged) volunteerism provides opportunities for exposure to new environments, skills, and mentorship. Medical volunteerism may promote personal satisfaction through prosocial behavior (i.e., helping others), community engagement and immersion into a potential health professions career path.
We conducted an observational pilot feasibility study with feedback forms and semi-structured interviews. The pilot program paired youth with parents/guardians/responsible adults as health care volunteers at special events.
Youth/adult dyads volunteered for a variety of events in Canada during the 2018 event season. All participants in the “Juniors Program” completed at least a Standard First Aid course, including orientation to personal safety and confidentiality. Each pair worked in one of two areas: first aid or Festival Health (the harm reduction space at music events) providing peer-to-peer and “all-ages” support. Post-event feedback from the dyads revealed many positive experiences and universally called for more opportunities.
A strong volunteer base is an asset to any community. In this pilot study, the volunteer experiences were supervised by a team of credentialed health care professionals. The authors report on qualitative feedback in themes based on patient perspective, volunteer perspective, team perspective, and event management perspective. More research is needed to measure the outcomes of the Junior’s Program. More Investigation is needed to determine not only the long-term benefits of participation on event medical teams, but also to identify factors that shape a positive experience for youth, their parents, and the event participants that they support.
Research on events and mass gatherings is hampered by a lack of standardized and central reporting of event data and metrics. While there is work currently being done on report standardization, this will require a plan for recording, storing, and safeguarding a repository of event data. A global event data registry would further the work of standardized reporting by allowing for the collection and comparison of events on a larger scale.
To characterize the considerations, challenges, and potential solutions to the implementation of a global event data registry.
A review of the academic and grey literature on the current understanding and practical considerations in the creation of data registries, with a specific focus on an application to mass gathering events.
Findings were grouped under the following domains: (1) stakeholder identification and consultation, (2) research goals and clinical objectives, (3) technological requirements (ie hosting, format, maintenance), (4) funding (budget, affiliations, sponsorships), (5) ethics (privacy, protection, jurisdictions), (5) contribution facilitation (advertising, support), and (6) data stewardship and registry access for researchers.
This work outlines key considerations for undertaking and implementing an event data registry in the mass gathering space, and compliments ongoing work on the standardization of data collected at mass gathering events. If practical and ethical considerations are appropriately identified and managed, the creation of an event data registry has the potential to make a major impact on our understanding of events and mass gatherings.
Music festivals are globally attended events that bring together performers and fans for a defined period of time. These festivals often have onsite medical care to help reduce the impact on local healthcare systems. Historically, the literature suggests that patient transfers offsite are frequently related to complications of substance use. However, there is a gap in understanding as to why patients are transferred to a hospital when an onsite medical team, providing a higher level of care (HLC), is present.
To better understand the causes that necessitate patient transportation to the hospital during festivals that have onsite physician-led coverage.
De-identified patient data from a convenience sample of four, large-scale Canadian festivals (over two years) were extracted. Patient encounters that resulted in transfers to hospital, by ambulance, non-emergency transport vehicle (NETV), or self-transportation were analyzed for this study.
Each festival had an onsite medical team that included physicians, nurses, and paramedics. During 34 event days, there were 10,406 patient encounters, resulting in 156 patients requiring transfer to a hospital. A patient presentation rate of 16.5/1,000 was observed. The ambulance transfer rate was 0.12/1,000 of attendees. The most common reason for transport was musculoskeletal injuries (54%) that required imaging.
The presence of onsite teams capable of treating and releasing patients impacted the case mix of patients transferred to a hospital, and may reduce the number of transfers for intoxication. Confounding preconceptions, patients in the present study were transferred largely for injuries that required imaging. Results suggest that a better understanding of the specific effects onsite medical teams have on avoiding off-site transfers will aid in improving planning for music festivals. Findings also identify areas for further improvement in care, such as onsite radiology, which could potentially further reduce the impact of music festivals on local health services.
There is currently no standardized approach to collecting mass gathering health data, which makes comparisons across or between events challenging. From 2013 onward, an international team of researchers from Australia and Canada collaborated to develop a Minimum Data Set (MDS) for Mass Gathering Health (MGH).
The process of developing the MDS has been reported on previously at the 2015 and 2017 World Congresses on Disaster and Emergency Medicine, and this presentation will present a final MDS on MGH.
This study drew from literature, including the 2015 Public Health for Mass Gatherings key considerations, previous event/patient registry development, expert input, and the results of the team’s work. The authors developed an MDS framework with the aim to create an online MGH data repository. The framework was populated with an initial list of data elements using a modified Delphi technique.
The MDS includes the 41 data elements in the following domains: community characteristics, event characteristics, venue characteristics, crowd characteristics, event safety considerations, public health considerations, and health services. Also included are definitions and preliminary metadata.
The development of an MGH-MDS can grow the science underpinning this emerging field. Future input from the international community is essential to ensure that the proposed MDS is fit-for-purpose, i.e., systematic, comprehensive, and rigorous, while remaining fluid and relevant for various users and contexts.
This poster will document the environmental domain variables of a mass gathering. They include factors such as the nature of the event, availability of drugs or alcohol, venue characteristics and meteorological factors.
Method: A systematic literature was used to develop a set of variables and evaluation regarding environmental factors that contribute to patient presentation rates.
Findings were grouped pragmatically into factors of crowd attendance, crowd density, venue, type of event, mobility, and meteorological factors.
This poster will outline a set of environmental variables for collecting data at mass gathering events. The authors have suggested that in addition to commonly used variables, air quality, wind speed, dew point, and precipitation could be considered as a data points to be added to the minimum standards for data collection.
The use of recreational substances is a contributor to the risk of morbidity and mortality at music festivals. One of the aims of onsite medical services is to mitigate substance-related harms. It is known that attendees’ perceptions of risk can shape their planned substance use; however, it is unclear how attendees perceive the presence of onsite medical services in evaluating the risk associated with substance use at music festivals.
A questionnaire was administered to a random sample of attendees entering a multi-day electronic dance music festival.
There were 630 attendees approached and 587 attendees completed the 19 item questionnaire. Many confirmed their intent to use alcohol (48%, n=280), cannabis (78%, n=453), and recreational substances other than alcohol and cannabis (93%, n=541) while attending the festival. The majority (60%, n=343) stated they would still have attended the event if there were no onsite medical services available. Some attendees agreed that the absence of medical services would have reduced their intended use of alcohol (30%, n=174) and recreational substances other than alcohol and cannabis (46%, n=266).
In the context of a music festival, plans for recreational substance use appear to be substantially altered by attendees’ knowledge about the presence or absence of onsite medical services. This contradicts our initial hypothesis that medical services are independent of planned substance use and serve solely to reduce any associated harms. Additional exploration and characterization of this phenomenon at various events would further clarify the understanding of perceived risks surrounding substance use and the presence of onsite medical services.
The literature on mass gatherings has expanded over the last decade. However, no readily accessible curriculum exists to prepare and support event medical leaders. Such a curriculum has the potential to align event medical professionals on improving event safety, standardizing emergency response, and reducing community impacts.
We organized collaborative expert focus groups on the proposed “core curriculum” and “electives.”
Key features of a mass gathering medical curriculum include operations-focused, evidence-informed, best-known practices offered via low barrier, modular, flexible formats with interactive options, and a multi-national focus.
Event Medical Planning - “The Seven Steps” - (1.) Assessment and Environmental Scan - Event Emergency Action Plan, (2.) Human Resources, (3.) Equipment/Supplies, (4.) Infrastructure/Logistics, (5.) Transportation (To, On, From), (6.)
Communication (Pre, During, Post), and (7.) Administration/Medical Direction
Event After-Action Reporting
Electives mirror Core outline and serve as expanded case-studies of specific event categories. Initially proposed electives include:
Obstacle Adventure Courses
Staged Wilderness Courses
Political Gatherings & Orations
Religious Gatherings & Pilgrimages
Community Gatherings (e.g., Parades, Fireworks, etc.)
Complex team learning to standardize real-world approaches has been accomplished in other medical domains (e.g., ACLS, AHLS, ATLS, PALS, etc.). A course for event medicine should not re-teach medical content (i.e. first aid, paramedicine, nursing, medicine); it should make available a commonly understood, systematic approach to planning, execution, and post-event evaluation vis a vis health services at events. A ‘train the trainer’ model will be required, with business operations support for sustainable course delivery. The author team seeks community feedback at WCDEM 2019 in creating ‘the ACLS’ of Event Medicine.
The science supporting event medicine is growing rapidly. In order to improve the ability of researchers to access event data and improve the quality of publishing mass gathering cases, it would be of benefit to standardize event reports to permit the comparison of similar events across local and national boundaries. These data would support the development of practice standards across settings.
The authors propose the creation of a publication guideline to support authors seeking to publish in this field.
Method: Derivation study via analysis of published case reports using the Delphi process.
Data elements were inconsistently reported within published case reports. Categories of variables included: event demographics (descriptors of date, time, genre, activity, risks), attendance and population demographics, data related to climate and weather conditions, composition and deployment of an onsite medical team, highest level of care available onsite, patient demographics, patient presentations and measures of impact on the local health care system such as transfer to hospital rates. Of note, there was a high incidence of “missing” variables that would be of central interest to researchers.
Approaches to standardizing the collection and reporting of data are often discussed in the health care literature. The benefits of consistent, structured data collection are well understood. In the context of mass gathering event case reporting, the time is ripe for the introduction of a guideline (with accompanying guidance notes and dictionary). The proposed guideline requires the input of subject matter experts (in progress) to enhances its relevance and uptake. This work is timely as there is ongoing work on improving an international event medicine registry. If the evolution of both proceeds in lockstep, there is a good chance that access to a rigorous data set will become a reality.
Music festivals are globally attended events that bring together performers and fans for a defined period of time. These festivals often have on-site medical care to help reduce the impact on local health care systems. Historically, the literature suggests that patient transfers off-site are frequently related to complications of substance use. However, there is a gap in understanding why patients are transferred to hospital when an on-site medical team, capable of providing first aid services blended with a higher level of care (HLC) team, is present.
The purpose of this study is to better understand patterns of injuries and illnesses that necessitate transfer when physician-led HLC teams are accessible on-site.
This is a prospective, descriptive case series analyzing patient encounter documentation from four large-scale, North American, multi-day music festivals.
On-site medical teams that included HLC team members were present for the duration of each festival, so every team was able to “treat and release” when clinically appropriate. Over the course of the combined 34 event days, there were 10,406 patient encounters resulting in 156 individuals being transferred off-site for assessment, diagnostic testing, and/or treatment. A minority of patients seen were transferred off-site (1.5%). The patient presentation rate (PPR) was 16.5/1,000. The ambulance transfer rate (ATR) was 0.12/1,000 attendees, whereas the total transfer-to-hospital rate (TTHR), when factoring in non-ambulance transport, was 0.25/1,000. In contrast to existing literature on transfers from music festivals, the most common reason for transfer off-site was for musculo-skeletal (MSK) injuries (53.8%) that required imaging.
The presence of on-site HLC teams impacted the case mix of patients transferred to hospital, and may reduce the number of transfers for intoxication. Confounding preconceptions, patients in the present study were transferred largely for injuries that required specialized imaging and testing that could not be performed in an out-of-hospital setting. These results suggest that a better understanding of the specific effects on-site HLC teams have on avoiding off-site transfers will aid in improving planning for music festivals. The findings also identify areas for further improvement in on-site care, such as integrated on-site radiology, which could potentially further reduce the impact of music festivals on local health services. The role of non-emergency transport vehicles (NETVs) deserves further attention.
TurrisSA, CallaghanCW, RabbH, MunnMB, LundA. On the Way Out: An Analysis of Patient Transfers from Four Large-Scale North American Music Festivals Over Two YearsPrehosp Disaster Med. 2019;34(1):72–81.
In 2016, the authors published a paper on music festival fatalities between the years 1999 and 2014 (n=722). In this Special Report, they provide an update on fatalities reported at music festivals globally for the period 2016-2017 (n=201). Using a search strategy designed to capture grey literature and media reports of music festival fatalities, reports of the overall frequency and cause-of-death breakdown for publicly reported, festival-related deaths are recorded. This update shows an increase in the frequency of festival-related fatality reports during the new period, together with an increase in the number of deaths attributable to terror (n=60) and overdose/poisoning (n=41). Drawing conclusions about the cause of this increase is challenging given the growth in Internet use, online media reports, and number of music festivals occurring annually when compared with the previous reporting period. The authors re-emphasize the need for a uniform reporting standard and reliable epidemiological data for fatalities related to music festivals, mass gatherings, and special events.
TurrisSA, JonesT, LundA. Mortality at Music Festivals: An Update for 2016-2017 – Academic and Grey Literature for Case Finding. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2018;33(5):553–557.