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Texting After Fainting a Good Sign
Date:2/12/2009

Study notes it means a teenaged victim has recovered from the blackout

THURSDAY, Feb. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Teenagers who fiendishly text their friends apparently are more than just obsessive, compulsive, annoying and just plain incomprehensible to older generations.

In certain situations -- after fainting or panicking, for instance -- texting can be a medical indication that the patient is recovering.

"The ability to text if nothing else is medically wrong may shows that the patient has recovered from the faint or panic attack," said Dr. Mike Sinclair, pit crew coordinator for Festival Medical Services, a British organization that supplies medical professionals to handle emergencies at music festivals. "Of course, if you break a leg, you are still able to text, but we use it as a sign in young people that have fainted or had a panic attack that they have recovered."

Sinclair is co-author of a paper on the topic, originally published in the December issue of BMJ and also reported in the February issue of Pediatrics.

Two years ago, Festival Medical Services started using the method after noticing that most of the individuals fainting or panicking were teenagers, and they started sending messages on their cell phones as soon as humanly possible after an episode.

When the resuscitation tent located at the side of the stages is especially busy (sometimes up to two patients each minute), this "monitoring" system can be especially useful.

At last August's Reading Festival, the medical team treated 142 patients in less than an hour during the performance by Bloc Party, and 130 patients in an hour-and-a-half while Rage Against the Machine performed, Sinclair noted.

The Reading Festival draws a crowd of about 100,000, and the Glastonbury Festival in June, which Festival Medical Services also covers, draws about twice that, including festival workers.

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