Emergency rooms prepare to see hundreds of patients over Derby w - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Emergency rooms prepare to see hundreds of patients over Derby weekend

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Thousands of people will be visiting Louisville for the Kentucky Derby, and with that comes the need for local emergency rooms.

Norton Audubon's Emergency Department expects to see 400 patients over the next few days, which is 100 more than a typical long weekend.

Renee Cecil, an ER nurse manager, says they treat a variety of conditions like dehydration and the over-consumption of alcohol.

“It’s very weather-dependent," Cecil said. "Sometimes if it’s real hot. it could be stokes, heart attacks, things like that ... people getting overheated. With the rain that’s expected. we might see some slips, trips, falls.”

The hospital brought in more staff, put additional beds in the hallways and stocked up on supplies. 

“Not that this is a mass casualty event, but we kind of train like that,” Cecil said.

With the skyrocketing number of heroin overdoses in Louisville over the past year, the ER is fully stocked up on Naloxone, a drug that can reverse the effects.

“Obviously, we do see a lot of overdoses anyways on a regular (day)," Cecil said. "I do anticipate we’ll be seeing probably some more over the weekend as well."

The ER is in constant communication with EMS crews at the track. Doctors have even treated jockeys so they could be back in time for the race.

Nurses say for the average spectator, some good old common sense goes a long way.

“Definitely stay hydrated," Cecil said. "Even though it’s not going to be as hot as it has been, definitely you want to alternate maybe a Mint Julep with a water."

Norton Healthcare also has a doctor stationed at the track to treat patients.

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