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Physicians call for end to raves after scores of drug cases: L.A.Times

LOS ANGELES, June 29 — Several emergency room physicians Monday called for an end to raves at the Los Angeles Coliseum and Exposition Park as a massive weekend event sent scores of teenagers and young adults to hospitals, mostly for drug intoxication, the Los Angeles Times reported on its website.

The 2010 Electric Daisy Carnival attracted 185,000 on June 25-26 at the Coliseum, which is just south of downtown Los Angeles.

During the event, at least two people were sent to intensive care units for drug intoxication at the California Hospital Medical Center.

A comatose minor was rushed to the Good Samaritan Hospital, as the minor had drunk from another attendee's water bottle without realizing it had been laced with drugs.

"This is basically a government-encouraged … drug feast. That's the wrong message," said Dr. Brian Johnston, director of the emergency room at White Memorial Medical Center. "It's putting people at risk unnecessarily. It's putting people's health at risk."

The Coliseum, built on state land, is operating by a joint city, county and state commission. It is financially independent, without any taxpayer subsidy. It is expected to earn well over six figures from the weekend rave, said Pat Lynch, its general manager.

An annual electronic dance festival was held over the last weekend of June in Southern California. The rave was touted by organizers as the largest in North America. More than 80 groups of artists have performed at the event to the acclaims of mad fans.

It was first held in 1996 and features multiple stages full of a variety of electronic dance music, talented performance artists and visual delights.

Paramedics had to send some 120 people to local hospitals for treatment. The number does not include patients who went to emergency rooms on their own or were taken by friends, the Los Angeles Times reported citing the county emergency medical services agency.

Dr. Philip Fagan Jr., medical director of Good Samaritan's emergency department, said some youths were unconscious for eight hours before waking up and recalling what had happened. Raves "should never be held any longer at the Coliseum," Fagan said.

Cathy Chidester, director of the county emergency medical services agency, said officials treat raves at the Coliseum as a "multi-casualty incident," which she said was similar to planning for a disaster like the Chatsworth Metrolink train crash, which killed 25 and injured more than 130 others. (PNA/Xinhua)


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