Photo by Michael Chien / The Daily Pennsylvanian
Spring Fling is practically synonymous with marathon substance abuse and reckless behavior. Most students take the artificially-prolonged weekend as an opportunity to abandon all responsibility, but a brave few volunteer their time and sobriety to clean up the mess. While everyone else was busy designing fling tanks and cultivating enough mass to fill them out, Penn's Medical Emergency Response Team, better known as MERT, spent the past several weeks devising a new triage protocol designed specifically to address the medical disaster that is Fling.
Under the Button got a firsthand look at how MERT plans to prioritize injuries from their post in the medical tent if—well, when—the Quad becomes the scene of a mass casualty situation.
Red Tag — High Priority
Patients will be coded with a red tag if they present with blood alcohol concentration (BAC) exceeding 0.200, the standard level for alcohol poisoning, in combination with an absurd injury. Injuries may range anywhere from appendage loss to fractured bones to lacerations and other ailments resulting from ill-advised keg stands, unreasonably passionate moshing, or general clumsiness.
Yellow Tag — Medium Priority
Patients will be coded with a yellow tag if they present with third-degree burns due to either prolonged sun exposure or severe skin lesions. Victims of these injuries are generally frat stars chanting "SUNS OUT GUNS OUT" and sorority girls who succumb to the terrors of Fanny Pack Rash, respectively. Patients coded as yellow will be treated by removing irritating items of clothing and applying ice to affected areas.
Green Tag — Low Priority
Patients will be coded with a green tag if they wander into the tent reporting symptoms such as "My face is literally...oh my god my face is falling off of my face," and mumbling phrases such as "where did my hands g—oh shit, wait, never mind" and "Has anyone ever died from smoking weed? Can that happen?" These cases almost always turn out to be freshmen who have never used marijuana products before ingesting six hash brownies at 10am on the Friday of Fling. Patients of this kind are only experiencing a panic attack, and thus require no medical serious attention other than a glass of water and a shiny object on which to fixate their attention.
White Tag — No Care Required
Patients will be coded with a white tag and escorted from the tent if they present with paper cuts, eye strain, migraines, or delusions due to intense studying. Patients of this kind will be advised to chug a beer, smoke a spliff, and chill the fuck out.
Black Tag — Oh, He Dead
Patients will be coded with a black tag and will not receive care if they have passed out from exhaustion. Patients of this kind cannot handle the rigorous demands of the Fling celebration and are therefore considered "expectant" to go home and sleep through the remainder of the weekend. No medical attention is required.