302 suffer from heat related illness during concert Saturday

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The extreme heat took its toll on the crowd at the Luke Bryan concert Saturday night.

Vanderbilt LifeFlight Event Medicine reported 15 people were transported to the hospital due to heat-related illnesses.

Officials said as many as 302 concert goers were treated for heat-related illnesses, including heat exhaustion and heat stroke, and people started appearing at the medical area as soon as the doors opened at Vanderbilt Stadium.

The number of patients treated Saturday was greater than at the CMA Music Festival or at Nashville’s Fourth of July celebration downtown, according to the Vanderbilt Event Medicine.

“[Saturday] was hotter, more humid, and there wasn’t much of a breeze. Those three things and a large crowd can spell trouble,” said Dr. Corey Slovis, Chairman of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Vanderbilt Medical Center.

According to Vanderbilt’s website, people were not allowed to bring water or beverages of any kind into the stadium.

Though there are water fountains throughout the concourse, bottles of water reportedly cost $4 and no free cups of water were offered.

Although alcohol is prohibited within Vanderbilt Stadium, many fans were tailgating before the concert.  Dr. Slovis told News 2, “The problem with alcohol is although it might make you feel better temporarily, it’s a vasodilator.  So, more blood goes to the skin surface, and if you’re out in the sun, it heats you up even faster.”

To stay safe in the heat, Dr. Slovis said, “Take frequent breaks; realize it’s not a normal day. Go slower, do less. Try to wear light, loose-fitting clothing if you’re going to be outside. If you’re working, go slower. If you’re working, drink lots more fluids.”

Slovis later added a statement on animals in the heat:

Dogs do even worse than humans in really hot weather and should not be out running at all during the hottest parts of the day. Their first signs of heat related illness may be to collapse, seizures or death.  They get sick quickly and the subtle signs of heat illness may not be obvious until it’s too late.  Dogs should be rapidly cooled by getting them out of the heat and putting them in a cool, air conditioned area. If possible run water from a garden hose over more severely affected dogs, and get them to a veterinarian if they do not return to normal or are worsening.”

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