Hangover Bus Gets Rolling in Vegas

on Tuesday, 24 April 2012. Posted in Breaking News, Alcohol

Hangover Bus

One doctor gets his hangover bus rolling in Vegas, hoping to relieve tourists of some of the burdens of a hefty hangover after a night of drinking. According to CBS News, doctor and board-certified anesthesiologist Jason Burke calls his fledgling business a medical practice on wheels. The idea behind this mobile medical unit is not to test for illness or write prescriptions, but instead Burke hopes to bring relief to tourists from their sometimes crippling hangovers that could lead to an entire ruined vacation day.

Burke said, "Many people come to Las Vegas with the intent to drink and have a good time. I don't think Hangover Heaven is promoting drinking. I'm not eliminating hangovers. The goal of the business is to get people back on their vacation. I'm decreasing the length of time they're going to be hungover."

Jason Burke claims one of his goals is to arrive within an hour to the caller's hotel. The bus is equipped with plush Vegas-style interior complete with a nurse in a daring uniform. Once on the bus, the treatment can take less than an hour. For $90, the patient gets the basic package that contains an IV of saline solution, B vitamins, and vitamin C. The premium package includes two bags of the solution and costs $150, but for an extra fee Burke will even come to the room. He also administers the prescription anti-inflammatory Ketorlac or Toradol for pain and Zofran, also known as Ondansetron, for nausea. Acid heartburn is treated with over-the-counter ranitidine. Patients also get a shot of the anesthetic Lidocaine to numb the skin before the IV needle is inserted.

Although many doctors would think that this may sound safe, they also acknowledge that this seems very risky. A patient could have an allergic reaction, or fail to fully report their medical history. Both Toradol and Zofran can trigger problems in people with certain pre-existing conditions. At the same, ER doctors have been treating people with hangovers with IV drip bags, termed "banana bags," because of their yellow color, for years.

Jason Burke compared Toradol to over-the-counter Ibuprofen. He also said, "This is a professional medical practice. We take medical history. I'm not a cowboy. I'm not going to grab someone off the street…without knowing their medical history. If they do have something that might be complicated, I'll refer them to an emergency room or tailor their treatment to avoid anything that might cause problems." Prospective customers are advised that they should not drink alcohol for 2 hours before the treatment, and they cannot arrive drunk. Walk-ups are turned away. Pregnant females are also declined. Burke said, "If they are pregnant, they should not be drinking in excess in the first place." Burke also claims he is capable and qualified to use a "hospital crash cart," which is on the bus, in case of emergency.

Read the full story here. I am not really sure how comfortable I feel about this hangover helping bus. I guess coming from the side of recovery, I worry about all the alcoholics that may use this service, thus perpetuating their addiction. I think that by eliminating some of the consequences of heavy drinking, we are, in essence, encouraging that behavior.

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