OR: The Glasgow Coma Scale-Revised: The Texting Sign.
Watch Killing in the Name, live at the Reading Festival 2008.
Rage Against the Machine Syncope
First we had dangerous sandwiches. Now we have dangerous concerts, as described in an article in the special Christmas edition of BMJ by Mike Sinclair and colleagues (Sinclair et al., 2008). They examined the utility of texting ability as a sign of return to consciousness after fainting or panic attack at large outdoor music festivals in the UK:
The sets by Bloc Party and Rage Against the Machine were particularly busy times. The Festival Medical Services pit crew was able to treat
Three years ago we noticed that most of the patients with faint [syncope] or panic attack were teenagers and as soon as they could they used their mobile phones to send an SMS (short message service) text message to their friends...
The ability to text, whether or not it actually makes sense, requires a Glasgow coma scale score of 15 (fully conscious), an adequately functioning "executive system" in the frontal lobes, and a high degree of manual dexterity and psychomotor coordination. It also shows a degree of common sense not always evident in teenagers.
Two years ago we decided to use this texting sign as an indication that patients had recovered from their faint or panic attack and were orientated and coordinated enough to be discharged back to the festival. At times of massive influx to the medical tent, when up to two patients a minute are triaged, this system seems to work well.
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. The texting sign needs further investigation to determine whether it is a valid criterion for recovery after faint or panic attack at festivals as well as in busy accident and emergency departments.And now you do what they told ya (11 times)...
For another music-related article from the same issue of BMJ, see Between a rock and a hard bass in Mind Hacks.Reference
M. Sinclair, D. W Pigott, K. N Carpenter (2008). Texting shows recovery after faint. BMJ, 337. DOI: 10.1136/bmj.a2723.
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