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Festival goers can be discharged after fainting or panic attacks if they can use text messages

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The ability to text may be a sign that festival-goers have recovered sufficiently after a fainting or panic attack episode to be discharged, according to research.

Findings in a report by Mike Sinclair, a retired consultant anaesthetist who runs a pit crew with the charity Festival Medical Services, said that a triage system where festival-goers were discharged when they were able to text worked well.

Texting requires a Glasgow coma scale score of 15 (fully conscious), an adequately functioning executive system in the frontal lobes of the brain and high manual dexterity and psychomotor coordination, authors wrote.

Mr Sinclair wrote: ‘This year at the Reading festival, we managed, with only one consultant anaesthetist, two accident and emergency nurses, one operating department practitioner and two to four first aiders, to treat 142 patients in less than 60 minutes during the performance by Bloc Party and 130 patients over 90 minutes during the performance by Rage Against the Machine.’

BMJ 2008;337:a2723

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