BROWNSVILLE, Texas (KVEO) — Emergency rooms are experiencing fewer visits this year during Spring Break, as the number of college-aged visitors partying on South Padre Island is lower.
“At least to this point, haven’t been to the level that we’re seeing any of the typical Spring Break issues for people coming in,” said Dr. Andrew Escamilla, an ER doctor at Valley Regional Medical Center in Brownsville.
Usually, Cameron County will have a medical tent and mobile medical unit on South Padre Island to make treating patients easier.
The county doesn’t have the usual medical tent set up on the island this year because they expected fewer Spring Breakers.
Even though they don’t have the mobile unit in use, Escamilla said that health officials are still keeping an eye on the size of the crowds, “to keep an eye on and monitor the volumes and the situation going on in the event that we do need to get people closer to the island.”
He said that Valley Regional Medical Center does expect the number of students on the island to increase this weekend due to some concerts taking place.
Escamilla encouraged everyone who would be out having a good time on the beach to watch out for signs of alcohol poisoning, one of the main reasons Spring Breakers have to visit the ER.
“If somebody is really just not waking up for you, not responding, if they’re starting to become lethargic so those are kind of the biggest warning symptoms,” he said.
Some underage people might be concerned that if they call medical services for someone in need, they or the person they called for could get in trouble.
Escamilla said that won’t be the case.
“There won’t be any repercussions, the police won’t be involved and everything is strictly confidential when someone comes here to the emergency room,” said Escamilla.
When asked, Escamilla said that people who were involved in golf cart crashes were often the worst cases during his time working ER during Spring Break.
“Typically, it involves a lot of kids in a small golf cart and sometimes people aren’t restrained and so those can be really bad,” he said.