With all the celebration that go on throughout our Coachella Valley during festival season, comes some dangers, leading to many festival attendees taking trips to hospitals.
During both Coachella Fest weekends, JFK Memorial hospital saw almost 200 festival go-ers, visiting for several different reasons.
“I guess a wide variety of things we have, we get a lot of people with drug overdoses or with drug related illnesses, including heat exhaustion from the drugs, so they’re taking a lot of drugs, you end up not really drinking enough water and you get exhausted.” says Dr. Andrew Kassinove, the Medical Director of the Emergency Department at JFK Memorial.
Weekend two saw temps in the 90s. Weekend one it was the wind.
“One of the things that on the hotter weekends, the dusty weekends, what we get is we get a lot of asthma and a lot of allergies as well, so this the second weekend was a lot hotter, and a lot more dusty and windy, so asthma and allergies picked up as well.” Dr. Kassinove says.
The third element, drugs.
Year after year, the hospital sees many patients for drug-related issues.
“So Ketamine, we saw GHB, we saw poppers, we saw Ecstasy, Cocaine. We saw Fentanyl. I think that’s a pretty good representation of what we saw.”
Some staying the day after the festival ends.
“We are and we do every year, we do see patients who are still kind of recovering from the festival or participating in the fun of the festival kind of trickling in, you know, on that Monday after.”
He has this reminder.
“One other thing I would mention to the community is that we’re open 24/7 365 days a year. I don’t want the community to think that they have to stay away during the festivals because we’re here we’re here for the community. The festival goers don’t overwhelm us. We’re here and we’re ready for it, and there’s plenty of our staff ready to take care of the people in the community with their needs as well.”
With more festivals this season, Dr. Kassinove wants to remind attendees to use caution, come prepared with any medications they might need, and to stay hydrated.