Hardmission Festival | Credit: Official Facebook

Eight People Critical After Melbourne Dance Festival

Eight people are fighting for life in the ICU after suffering suspected drug overdoses at a rave in Melbourne at the weekend.

Their conditions have all been listed as critical, with seven of the patients placed into induced comas and fitted with breathing tubes on site before being rushed to hospital, after reportedly taking a dodgy batch of MDMA at the Hardmission Festival at Flemington Racecourse on Saturday night.

“Quite rare that we would see this amount of people needing such aggressive treatment.”

Paramedics were reportedly forced to call for back-up at the event, to deal with an influx of more than 30 punters requiring urgent first aid.

“What appears to have happened is quite a number of people have overdosed or had a reaction to an MDMA derivative drug,” Victorian Ambulance Union secretary Danny Hill told the ABC.

“It’s quite a high-level treatment that our paramedics perform and it’s reserved for our most time-critical patients and patients in life-threatening health conditions,” he continued.

“It’s probably quite rare that we would see this amount of people needing such aggressive treatment.”

Ambulance Victoria regional and clinical operations director Vanessa Gorman added that the patients were all suffering from a potentially deadly condition called “serotonin syndrome”.

“They all had very high temperatures over 40C and presented with acute cardiac symptoms which is why they all needed that life saving support through the intubation and transport through to hospital,” she told The Herald Sun.

Police and state poison authorities are investigating the incident, which has meanwhile sparked renewed calls to implement pill testing at Victorian music festivals as a strategy to minimise drug harm.

The Greens currently have a bill before the state parliament that, if supported, would see pill testing introduced in Victoria in time for the next summer festival season, but at this stage it doesn’t look like either the government or the opposition are keen to back it.

Further Reading

Queensland Government to Introduce Pill Testing Sites for “Harm Minimisation”

More Australians Now In Favour Of Pill Testing & Legalising Weed, According To New Survey

It Would Cost Just $3.8 Million For A Two Year Pill Testing Trial In Victoria

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