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'Oxygen levels drop' | Doctors explain dangers of crowd surge

Autopsies are the only way to know for sure why eight people died at Astroworld Festival, but experts say crowd surge could lead to injuries and death.

HOUSTON — Houston has hosted countless large events with massive crowds, but none like the Astroworld Festival at which eight people died and hundreds more were injured.

Authorities on Friday night said several concertgoers went into cardiac arrest.

“Cardiac arrest simply means the heart stopping,” said Dr. George Williams, a critical care anesthesiologist with UTHealth Houston and LBJ Hospital. “In a situation like that, when the lungs are squeezed like they are in a crowd situation, oxygen levels drop very quickly and because of that, the person loses consciousness and their heart is not able to function like it should.”

Doctors said being dehydrated or having an underlying condition, like asthma, can make the situation even more dangerous. On top of that, there were reports of people being trampled at the festival.

Dr. Ben Saldana is an emergency room physician with Houston Methodist.

“Anyone in a crushing injury can have traumatic asphyxiation as well,” Saldana said.

Four patients were brought to Houston Methodist after Travis Scott's concert, including one who was still in the ICU on Monday.

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