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Journal Article


Crilly J, Ranse J, Bost N, Donnelly T, Timms J, Gilmour K, Aitken M, Johnston A. Emerg. Med. Australas. 2019; ePub(ePub): ePub.


Department of Emergency Medicine, Princess Alexandra Hospital and The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.


(Copyright © 2019, Australasian College for Emergency Medicine and Australasian Society for Emergency Medicine, Publisher John Wiley and Sons)






OBJECTIVE: To describe patient presentation characteristics and outcomes for people aged 16-18 years pre, during and post a planned youth mass gathering event (MGE): 'Schoolies week' on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia.

METHODS: This was a retrospective observational study, including patient presentations by all young adults requiring care in the ED or in-event health services (EHS) over a 21-day period in 2014. Data analysis included descriptive and inferential statistics.

RESULTS: A total of 1029 patient presentations were made by people aged 16-18 years to the ED and EHS over the 21-day study period (139 pre, 695 during [275 in ED, 420 in EHS], 195 post Schoolies week). Some ED patient characteristics and outcomes varied between the pre, during and post Schoolies periods, such as patients age (P < 0.001), usual place of residence (P < 0.001) and not waiting for treatment (P = 0.015). Of the 24 375 registered MGE attendees, 420 (1.72% [95% confidence interval 1.57-1.89], 17.2/1000) presented for in-event care. Most patients were allocated an Australasian Triage Scale category of 4 (n = 162, 65.6%), with toxicology related presentations (n = 169, 44.9%). Transportation to hospital was undertaken for seven MGE attendees (0.03% [95% confidence interval 0.01-0.06], 0.3/1000).

CONCLUSIONS: Establishment of an in-event model of care for 1 week during Schoolies served as an effective hospital avoidance strategy for a planned youth MGE. Such in-event models of care may be considered for other similar future MGE.

© 2019 Australasian College for Emergency Medicine.

Language: en


emergency department; mass gathering; pre-hospital; special event; youth


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