Loading…
Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Current Weather
Loading Current Weather....
HomeNewsMedical
Published: Tuesday, 4/24/2012 - Updated: 2 years ago

Relief rolls to revelers, for a fee

Hangover treatment bus makes debut in Las Vegas

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Emergency medical technician Debra Lund, right, prepares to hang an IV bag as co-worker Stacey Kreitlow, center, inserts an IV catheter into the arm of a patient in Las Vegas. Emergency medical technician Debra Lund, right, prepares to hang an IV bag as co-worker Stacey Kreitlow, center, inserts an IV catheter into the arm of a patient in Las Vegas.
ASSOCIATED PRESS Enlarge

LAS VEGAS — He had a Las Vegas wedding to attend, but Bryan Dalia was hung over from marathon partying the night before.

"I did two bachelor parties, back to back," Mr. Dalia said, putting his hand to his forehead as he recalled steins of beer and shots of alcohol the previous afternoon, then gambling, dining, and drinking martinis.

He remembered "getting a little lost and finding myself on the floor of the Paris" hotel-casino, then "a few more martinis as I gambled my life away."

"How are you doing now?" medical technician Debra Lund asked.

Mr. Dalia looked at Ms. Lund, swaying with the gentle rocking of a bus named Hangover Heaven as it rolled down Las Vegas Boulevard.

Ms. Lund checked an intravenous-fluid bag hung from the ceiling, dripping a saline and vitamin solution into Mr. Dalia's left arm.

"Better," he replied. "My palms aren't sweating anymore. I don't have that, like, cold sweat feeling anymore."

Mr. Dalia, from Caldwell, N.J., was one of the first patients on the rollout day of a mobile treatment center for tourists who spent the night before drinking in all the nightlife Las Vegas has to offer.

For a fee, they get a quick morning-after way to rehydrate, rejuvenate, and resume their revelry.

"I'm starting to feel great," Mr. Dalia said. "This is really very cool."

Dr. Jason Burke checks the flow of an IV bag for a patient while working on his Hangover Heaven bus. Dr. Jason Burke checks the flow of an IV bag for a patient while working on his Hangover Heaven bus.
ASSOCIATED PRESS Enlarge

Dr. Jason Burke, a board-certified anesthesiologist, calls his fledgling business a medical practice on wheels, analogous to a physician with an RV offering X-rays, MRIs, or mammograms, a mobile dentist, or a blood-bank bus set up in an office-building parking lot.

The idea, Dr. Burke said, is to bring relief to tourists with stomach-churning wooziness, headaches, and body pains — symptoms that could ruin an entire day.

"Many people come to Las Vegas with the intent to drink and have a good time," Dr. Burke said as he moved between patients seated on plush benches in the retrofitted full-sized tour bus.

"I don't think that Hangover Heaven is promoting drinking. I'm not eliminating hangovers," Dr. Burke said. "The goal of the business is to get people back to their vacation. I'm decreasing the length of time they're going to be hung over."

Dr. Burke said his goal is to arrive within an hour at the caller's hotel.

Once a patient is on the bus, treatment can take less than an hour for a $90 basic IV of saline solution, B vitamins, and vitamin C.

A premium package, $150, includes two bags. For an extra fee, Dr. Burke will bring treatment to a tourist's hotel room.

Dr. Burke administers the prescription anti-inflammatory Ketorolac or Toradol for pain and Zofran, also known as Ondansetron, for nausea.

Acid heartburn can be treated with over-the-counter ranitidine. Patients get a shot of the anesthetic Lidocaine to numb the skin before the IV needle is inserted.

"For the most part, it sounds safe," said Dr. Daliah Wachs, a family practice physician and national satellite radio medical talk show host based in Las Vegas. "But this is kind of gutsy. He's taking a risk."

A patient could have an allergic reaction, Dr. Wachs said, or fail to fully report medical history. For people with pre-existing conditions, Toradol can affect the kidneys, she said, and Zofran can trigger abnormal heart rhythm. There could also be complications for people with esophageal or stomach ailments from chronic alcohol abuse.

Still, Dr. Wachs said, emergency room physicians and clinic doctors have for decades provided hangover sufferers with IV drip "banana bags" — named for their yellow color.

"I think many doctors are kicking themselves because they didn't think of this first," she added.



Guidelines: Please keep your comments smart and civil. Don't attack other readers personally, and keep your language decent. If a comment violates these standards or our privacy statement or visitor's agreement, click the "X" in the upper right corner of the comment box to report abuse. To post comments, you must be a Facebook member. To find out more, please visit the FAQ.

Related stories