Medics discuss safety measures for Carnival, first aid stations along routes

Medics discuss safety measures for Carnival, first aid stations along routes
First responders announce safety tips and first aid stations along parade routes. (Source: FOX 8)

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - As Carnival season gets into full swing, first responders remind parade goers to have fun, safely.

Every year, emergency medical responders say they receive over 3,000 calls during Carnival.

"Injuries from cuts or beads that may have struck someone in the face. People have strains and sprains from uneven terrain along the parade route, and then some certainly overindulgence during this time of year, particularly in alcohol," EMS Director Dr. Emily Nichols said.

There will be eight tents set up at various intersections along the parade route.

"All staff are trained in CPR, first aid, and other life-saving skills. Parade goers are encouraged to go to a first aid station if in need of any medical assistance," New Orleans Health Dept. Director, Dr. Jennifer Avegno said.

A station is added at Poydras and St. Charles due to route changes from the Hard Rock site.

"For the Endymion parade, we have two additional stations at Orleans and North Hennessy, as well as North Carrollton and Bienville," Avegno said.

Public health experts say the flu is also a big concern.

They say this is the height of flu season, with 10,000 deaths nationally, and a high number of local cases.

"Get your flu shot if you haven't. If you have, you can still protect yourself. Make sure you bring hand sanitizer to the parade, you have a place to wash your hands. If you are sick, you can miss this parade, it's ok there's gonna be another one. don't go out and infect other people," Avegno said.

While there is no threat of Coronavirus locally, medics say they are ready if any cases appear.

“There have been no cases and no persons under investigation in Louisiana. We continue to work very closely with the state and the CDC just to keep abreast of the latest, but right now, we do not see that being a threat,” Avegno said.

"Our emergency departments have been drilled in asking appropriate questions and we do have processes set up, so if somebody is identified, we can respond appropriately, put them in the negative pressure room and screen them," Dr. Jay Kaplan, LCMC Health Medical Director of Care Transformation said.

Last but not least, medical experts say the key to having a fun and safe Carnival, is through preparation.

"Certainly have a plan with your family. Have a rally point if you're going to separate at any time, check the weather also," Nichols said.

First responders say more than 800 people sought medical help at the stations last year.

The stations are marked by Red Cross vehicles along the routes.

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