31 kids at UConn Danbury “paint party” taken to hospital for acute alcohol poisoning. “Advance planning was key” officials say. You’d think the best kind of advance planning would have been the cancellation of this event, since everyone knew what was coming. Love the euphemism “a patient-producing event”.
The concert was billed as “The World’s Largest Paint Party,” and featured a mix of high-energy electronic music, dancing and cannons that deliver paint blasts into the audience.
Matthew Cassavechia, the director of emergency medical services for Danbury Hospital, a division of the Western Connecticut Health Network, said that during routine special events planning, he did a historical analysis of Dayglow concerts and discovered that they were “patient-producing” events.
Cassavechia said he traveled to a recent Dayglow concert in Hartford, where he said more than 40 patients had to be taken to the hospital.
“Upon the discovery that it was a patient-producing event, we developed a comprehensive plan to make sure that while concert attendees have fun, they are also safe and well cared for,” Cassavechia said.
That plan included the deployment of a mobile field hospital on loan from the state Department of Public Health. The preparations, he said, allowed the patients to be cared for while not overwhelming the city’s or the hospital’s emergency services.
“There was a lot of planning that went into this,” Cassavechia said. “No matter what event comes to the city, we have to make sure we are prepared. That’s what the public expects of us.”
Cassavechia declined to comment on specific medical conditions that arose during Friday’s concert at WestConn, citing privacy laws. He did say there was some “substance abuse” at the show.
Paul Estefan, Danbury’s emergency management director, said the advance planning was “well worth the effort.”
Steinmetz said alcohol was not sold during the event, and that those attending were checked before entering the building.
Mayor Mark Boughton said that while binge drinking “sometimes goes hand in hand with an event like this, it “crosses the line” when dozens of people need medical assistance.
“The university may want to re-evaluate if they are going to host this event again next year,” Boughton said.