A Guide to Handling Common Medical Emergencies at Events

Catapult Services

Events, whether it is a bustling music festival or corporate conference, bring people together for shared experiences. Whilst these gatherings are meant to be enjoyable, unforeseen medical emergencies can arise, requiring swift and effective responses from both event organisers and attendees. In this blog, we will explore common medical emergencies at events and provide essential tips on how to handle them, ensuring the safety and well-being of everyone involved.

Heat-Related Illnesses

Outdoor events, especially during the warmer months, can lead to heat-related illnesses such as heat exhaustion and heatstroke. Recognising the symptoms, which may include excessive sweating, weakness, nausea, and confusion, is crucial. Attendees and event organisers need to stay hydrated, find shade, and wear appropriate clothing. Having an appropriate medical event cover team equipped to handle heat-related emergencies is essential.

Cardiac Emergencies

Heart attacks and cardiac events can occur unexpectedly. Having a medical event cover team equipped with automated external defibrillators (AEDs) and wider kit such as the ability to carry out ECGs and the use of oxygen and efficient airway management techniques will ensure the highest chance of survival can make all the difference. Event organisers should have their team trained in basic CPR techniques and ensure that emergency medical services can quickly access the site if needed. Attendees at events should familiarise themselves with the location of AEDs and know how to seek immediate help.

Allergic Reactions

Food allergies and insect bites can lead to severe allergic reactions. Event organisers should communicate allergen information for food vendors and have a designated medical team covering the event whom carry and are ready to administer, allergy medication. Attendees with known allergies should carry their medications and inform those around them. Immediate medical attention is crucial in the event of an anaphylactic reaction.

Trauma and Injuries

Sporting events and large gatherings can sometimes result in accidents, leading to injuries such as sprains, fractures, or cuts. Event organisers should have a well-equipped first aid station which is manned by an appropriate medical event cover team. Attendees should be cautious, follow safety guidelines, and report any incidents promptly. A clear communication plan for reporting injuries and summoning medical assistance is essential.

Respiratory Distress

Crowded spaces and poor air quality can contribute to respiratory issues, especially for individuals with pre-existing conditions. Event organisers should monitor air quality and have a medical event cover team working on their behalf to address respiratory distress if required. Attendees with respiratory conditions should carry necessary medications and be aware of designated medical areas.


Seizures can happen without warning, and it is essential for event organisers and attendees to respond calmly. Clear pathways and safe spaces should be maintained to prevent injury during a seizure. Event staff should procure the services of a professional medical event cover team who will be able to recognise and assist individuals having a seizure. Attendees should be aware of the protocol and seek help if they witness someone experiencing a seizure.

Intoxication and Substance Abuse

Large events may involve alcohol consumption and, in some cases, substance abuse. Event organisers should implement responsible drinking policies, provide access to water, and have a security plan in place. Attendees should drink responsibly and be aware of the risks associated with substance abuse. If someone appears severely intoxicated or shows signs of drug overdose, immediate medical attention is necessary and having a professional medical event cover team working at the event will ensure that attendees receive both swift and appropriate treatment.

Tips for Event Organisers on Handling Medical Emergencies

If you are organising an event, here are a few tips on how to best prepare for any medical emergencies that may occur;

1. Pre-event Planning

Conduct a thorough risk assessment and establish a comprehensive emergency response plan. Ensure that all staff and volunteers in the team are trained in basic first aid and emergency procedures. Procure the medical services of a professional medical event cover team to provide the best and most appropriate medical cover for your event. If a Safety Advisory Group (SAG) needs to be consulted, ensure this takes place in plenty of time prior to the event, to ensure that any actions arising from the SAG can be adhered to prior to the event,

2. Communication

Implement clear communication channels for reporting emergencies and summoning medical assistance. Use signage and announcements to guide attendees to medical stations, the medical event cover team and emergency exits.

3. Medical Facilities

Set up well-equipped medical stations for the medical event cover team(s) strategically throughout the venue and ensure that medical personnel have easy access to necessary equipment and resources.

4. Collaboration with Local Emergency Services

Establish a collaboration with local emergency services to ensure a swift response in case of severe emergencies. Know the location of the nearest medical facilities and have transportation arrangements in place. Ensure good communication with the medical event cover team to ensure that egress is clear and protocols are followed and understood between all parties.

Require Medical Event Cover?

Here at Catapult Services, we specialise in providing personalised Medical Event Cover designed to meet the unique needs of our clients. Committed to prioritising health and safety, our dedicated team is available 24/7, offering professional services at events across the UK and internationally.

Our staff, fully insured and regulated by the Care Quality Commission, are easily recognisable in branded medical wear. We pride ourselves on crafting bespoke packages for a wide range of events, from sporting tournaments to TV and film productions, catering to diverse client requirements.

Our services span from single clinicians to comprehensive packages featuring specialist vehicles and treatment stations. From initial planning to post-event reporting, we adhere to industry best practices and current health and safety guidelines, delivering a holistic medical cover package.

Contact us to discuss your unique event needs and ensure the safety and well-being of your attendees. You can reach us by phone on 0203 384 7876 or email us at info@catapultservices.co.uk.