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SXSW keeps local EMS, hospitals busy

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South by Southwest partiers are keeping EMS and local hospitals busy. And they say alcohol has a lot to do with it.

The EMS crews are working 12 hour shifts right now to keep up with the call volume.

Last night things started picking up at 9 p.m. Their last call was at 3:15 a.m. this morning. In all, they responded to 35 calls and took 20 people to the hospital. Last night, about the same. Compare that to a non-SXSW night and it's less than five. More like one or two calls.

They expect tonight to be the worst because of all the people who are in town.

FOX 7 spoke to the medical director at UMC Brackenridge who says if you want to stay out of the ER, don't overdo it with alcohol. They are seeing a lot of alcohol-related trauma including people falling, twisting an ankle, maybe cutting or bruising themselves, dehydration and run-ins with cars.

"Also, silly things, stepping out not noticing whether a light's red or green or have a walk signal and stepping out into traffic," said UMC Brackenridge Medical Director Chris Ziebell.

The doctor recommends taking a pedicab or taxi. EMS crews are using alternate transportation too. To weave through the crowds, they are relying on Polaris vehicles and motorcycles

Another issue that has come up is motorcycle wrecks. The ER doc thinks maybe that's also because of alcohol.

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