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Prehospital care
The Villa Park experience: crowd consultations at an English Premiership football stadium, season 2007–8
  1. Aneel Bhangu1,
  2. Catherine Agar2,
  3. Lucy Pickard2,
  4. Alison Leary3
  1. 1St John Ambulance, West Midlands, UK
  2. 2University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, West Midlands, UK
  3. 3England and the Islands St John Ambulance, UK
  1. Correspondence to Aneel Bhangu, Medical Officer, St John Ambulance, West Midlands Division, 100 Lionel Street, Birmingham B3 1DG, UK; aneelbhangu{at}


Objectives The Football Licensing Authority has expressed concern that crowd injury rates in British football stadiums may be increasing. This study aims to provide modern data regarding crowd consultation patterns from an English Premiership football stadium.

Design Retrospective case mix analysis.

Setting 21 matches played by Aston Villa FC at Villa Park (season 2007–8; capacity 42 640 spectators).

Patients 78 patients produced a median consultation rate of four per match (incidence of 1.0 per 10 000 spectators).

Results New conditions on match day formed 67% of contacts, including minor trauma (41%) and new general medical conditions (27%). The remaining 33% of presentations were unrelated to new injury or illness in spectators on match day, including exacerbations of pre-existing illness (17%), opportunistic presentations of existing stable problems (10%) and stadium staff injuries (6%). There were no critical illnesses or major incidents. Seven injuries were attributed to stadium infrastructure. Alcohol was deemed to be the causative factor in just two cases.

Conclusion Crowd consultation rates at a large modern sports stadium are low. Many spectators use medical services for conditions unrelated to new injury or illness on match day. More data are needed from British football stadiums to be able to plan event cover safely and efficiently.

  • Management
  • risk management
  • nursing
  • pre-hospital
  • prehospital care
  • major incident/planning
  • poisoning
  • mass incidents

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethics approval This study was conducted with the approval of the retrospective case note review only; there was no direct patient contact.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; not externally peer reviewed.