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Upstate physicians, nurses, and other medical staff treat more than 600 at NYS Fair infirmary this year

The New York State Fair Infirmary had its second busiest year, treating 653 patients during the fair’s 12-day run, which ended Sept. 1, according to the infirmary’s medical director, Jeremy Joslin, MD, an emergency medicine physician at Upstate University Hospital. The infirmary is staffed by Upstate emergency medicine nurses and physicians.

At this year’s fair, the infirmary treated 653 individuals; that’s up from 575 individuals treated in 2013. The largest number treated at the infirmary was 762 in 2012. The infirmary opened in 2005.

Heat-related illness was among the most common reason for visiting the fair infirmary this year, especially in the closing days of the fair, when temperatures reached into the 80s.

Treatment for heat-related illness usually included a drink of water or Gatorade and a chance to put up your feet, take a timeout and sit in the air-conditioned infirmary.

Physicians also saw the usual insect bits, asthma attacks, abnormal blood sugar levels, dehydration and cuts and scrapes.  Most conditions can be treated at the infirmary, but ambulances are on stand-by in case hospital treatment is necessary.

The infirmary, which is staffed by Upstate medical experts, operated from about 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., during the fair, though emergency medical treatment was available 24 hours a day. The facility treats not only fairgoers, but also those who work at the fair’s concessions, rides and other attractions.

Located behind the Horticulture building, the infirmary is about 20,000 square feet, and includes a waiting room, triage area and 22 beds.

In addition to being staffed by Upstate attending physicians, Upstate offers opportunities to work at the infirmary for its emergency medicine residents and individuals in its paramedic-training program.

Upstate officials say the infirmary is akin to a small hospital for a community that averages about 70,000 citizens a day.

Infirmary visits during the New York State Fair:

2014: 653
2013: 575
2012: 762
2011: 620
2010: 595
2009: 457
2008: 430
2007: 591
2006: 351
2005: 456
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