PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Hospitals in Philadelphia have geared up to handle any medical issues that happen during the Eagles’ victory celebration.
With the huge crowds expected Thursday, it’s going to be tricky getting to patients and then getting them to a hospital, but the city says everyone who needs help will get it, and that hospitals will be ready.
Hahnemann is the closest hospital to the parade – ground zero for injuries that might happen during the Super Bowl parade.
“The sickest people get taken care of first,” said Dr. Eric Stander.
Stander said the hospital’s emergency department is already crowded with flu cases, but like hospitals all over the city, they’re ready for additional patients.
The cold weather is the biggest medical concern. There are a variety of ways to treat hypothermia, including heated IV fluid to raise the body temperature.
“As your body temp starts to drop you get more sluggish, inimically you’re just going to feel tired and out of it, but you can still think as your temp starts to get lower you start to lose ability to reason appropriately,” said Stander. “It can become dangerous, you can get dangerous heart arrhythmia.
It’s important to dress in warm layers, paying special attention to feet, hands and ears to prevent frostbite, and most important, your head.
“Hats help prevent heat loss,” said Stander. “A Large percent of body heat goes out through the head.”
The other medical concern is people drinking too much.
“Alcohol actually impedes your ability to handle the cold, tends to zap some warmth out of you,” said Stander. “The biggest dangers are going to be injury because people don’t have all the same protective mechanisms — they fall, hit their head, we worry about bleeding in the brain. In addition, it’s a cardiac toxin.”
With Eagles fans crowded together for the parade, what about spreading the flu?
Experts say it’s no more likely than in any other public location, but it’s still important to wash your hands when you can, or maybe bring hand sanitizer.