In the past year, most deaths and major toxicity at music festivals has been due to stimulant induced hyperthermia which can rapidly cause organ damage when body temperature exceeds 40oC. Late presentation to medical services has been identified as an important contributor to adverse outcomes. While fever is a significant marker of toxicity from amphetamine analogues and new psychoactive substances (NPS) users are not aware or symptomatic with body temperature rises to 38oC the threshold for further assessment and early intervention. We hypothesise that early detection of fever using wearable thermometers (coupled with prompt and appropriate care) will disrupt the progression of intoxication to severe toxicity.
In a series of studies, we aim to (1) test which inexpensive wearable thermometer is the most accurate at detecting fever, (2) determine whether wearable thermometers are feasible and acceptable, and (3) develop appropriate messaging that prompts the user to seek medical attention if fever is detected.
In Study 1, we will recruit inpatients who present with fever at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. We will trial 3 wearable thermometers on the forehead, chest, and wrist of the patient to determine which is most sensitive and accurate (compared to hospital-grade thermometer) and which body sites offer accurate readings.
In Study 2, we will recruit young adults outside a popular Sydney nightclub and ask them to wear a thermometer while in the club. We will measure accuracy and use surveys to assess feasibility and acceptability of the thermometer.
In Study 3, we will pair with DanceWize (who aim to minimize drug related harms at events) to pilot the to present to chillout areas and/or medical services if fever is detected or participants are symptomatic. We will test feasibility and acceptability of the wearables as well as the effectiveness of the messaging.
The outcome of this project will be the development of inexpensive resources to help prevent stimulant toxicity during music festivals. It has potential to be adopted into usual care due to the low cost of the wearables (<$1 each).
Prof. Andrew Dawson, Primary investigator
University of Sydney, NSW Poisons Information Centre, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Clinical Toxicology Service.
Dr Benjamin. C. Riordan, Investigator
University of Sydney, Discipline of Addiction Medicine, Central Clinical School, Faculty of Medicine and Health
Prof Paul Haber AM, Investigator
Clinical Director, Drug Health Service, Sydney Local Health District
Dr Jonathan Brett, Investigator
St. Vincent’s Hospital Sydney
Dr Jacques Raubenheimer, Statistician
University of Sydney
Dr Nazila Jamshidi, medical support
Sydney Local Health District Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Drug Health Service (RPAH-DHS)
Ms Sue Anderson, Research nurse
Sydney Local Health District, RPAH-DHS
Mr Martin O’Donnell, Engagement of harm minimization services
Sydney Local Health District
Ms Erica Franklin, Consultation, engagement with harm minimization services
Sydney Local Health District, Redfern Harm Minimisation Service