Heat of the day, not battle, sidelines some

September 13, 1997


Staff Writer

The majority of the more than 100 patients treated Saturday in the first-aid tent at the 135th Commemoration of the Battle of Antietam event were suffering heat-related problems, according to medical personnel.

The temperature rose as high as 77 degrees.

Treatment ranged from giving them fluids, to using ice packs, to the intravenous treatment given to between 20 and 30 of the victims, said Alan Matheny, emergency medical services coordinator for the Halfway Volunteer Fire Co.

One re-enactor collapsed from a heat-related problem during the afternoon battle re-enactment and had to be taken to Washington County Hospital, he said


Two people suffered apparent heart attacks during the day, Maheny said. One of them was a re-enactor, who fell ill during the battle, he said. He said the man was admitted into the hospital.

An artillery re-enactor was sent to the hospital for stitches after a wire cut a gash down his face during the re-enactment, said Chris Cottingham, a registered nurse working at the first-aid tent this weekend.

The first-aid tent sent about 10 people to Washington County Hospital on Saturday, Matheny said.

Other problems included seizures, a dislocated knee and asthma attacks, he said.

Conditions were not available because patients' names were not released.

Matheny said the elaborate first-aid tent - manned with more than 30 doctors, nurses, paramedics and emergency medical technicians at peak times - was set up to take some of the event-related burden off Washington County Hospital.

"We're sort of a MASH unit here," he said.

Two people came to the hospital emergency room on Friday for treatment, according to Ruth Gallion, night patient care supervisor at Washington County Hospital. Both were released, she said.

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