From concerts to Minnesota Wild hockey games, Regions Hospital EMS Event Medicine is on site in case of an emergency. The team was needed earlier this month when a fan attended his first Wild game. He had not been feeling well that day. He was nauseous and light-headed, and he passed out walking up the bleachers. The event medicine team was called to help and the fan had to spend the entire game in the First Aid Center getting an IV and other treatment.

The patient, who also happened to be a doctor visiting from out of state, wrote a thank you letter to both the Minnesota Wild and Regions Hospital.

“The guys and gals working the game were very sincere, attentive and compassionate. Thank you for making my experience a reasonably positive one.”

The fan is one of about 2,200 patients treated each year at the Regions Hospital First Aid Center. The station is located in the main level concourse near the concessions across from section 105. The Xcel Energy Center holds about 240 events a year. As many as two paramedics, 10 EMTs and two physicians are working at any given event.

“Ninety percent of our job is giving out Tylenol, band aids or treating other minor conditions, and 10 percent are more critical cases. It’s important that we are always prepared for that 10 percent,” said Brian Fisher, Regions EMS Event Medicine Supervisor. “It’s not just first aid.”

The center is fully equipped to start IVs for people who are dehydrated or over-intoxicated. Stocked with everything from antacids to EpiPens and other life-saving medications and equipment, Brian and his team do the job of an EMS agency plus a little more.

“We are ambassadors of Regions Hospital,” he said. “We treat to a certain level, and then either send the patient on their way, or we send them on to the hospital.”

The EMS Event Medicine team at Xcel Energy Center is an extension of Regions that most people don’t think about. Brian and his team staff hockey games, concerts, trade shows and more. But concerts usually see the most medical attention.

“Working in event medicine at Xcel gives us a sense of ownership to the Regions brand, and allows us to extend the hospitals great service in the out-of-hospital environment.”

“People tend not to know their drinking limits, and we see an increase in intoxicated patients and related fall injuries,” said Brian. “Sometimes the pyrotechnics and concert lighting can even make people sick. Many of the guests at hockey games are season ticket holders or attend games regularly, so they know their limit and their way around the venue since. It isn’t their first time at that location.”

Brian mentions that one of the goals of event medicine is to reduce the impact on local fire departments and first-responder agencies so they can tend to their normal 911 demands. The team also reduces hospital transports, urgent care visits and frees up emergency department beds for really sick people.

This patient thank you letter wasn’t the first that Brian and his team have received. But getting something so thoughtful reminds them to not lose sight of where they work and why they work there.

In addition to the Xcel Energy Center, the team also staffs the St. Paul RiverCentre, Roy Wilkins Auditorium, Minnesota State Fairgrounds, CHS Field(St. Paul Saints), Twin Cities Marathon and the Summer Set Music Festival. In 2016, the Regions Hospital EMS Event Medicine Team staffed 345 events tending to over 7,400 patients across the Twin Cities and Western Wisconsin.

In addition to the TRIA team physicians, Regions also provides emergency medicine physicians behind the team bench to respond to any emergency situations for players or coaches.

“And to hear more about what it’s like to be a paramedic in St. Paul, as well as details on the city’s EMS Academy, check out a recent episode of the Off the Charts podcast where Josh Garubanda and Nela Kurtic talk with hosts Dr. Kari Haley and Dr. Steven Jackson.”