Oktoberfest Revelers Treated Every 10 Minutes

Hospitals overrun with beer-related accidents

Munich hospitals treat Oktoberfest drinkers every 10 minutes during the festival.

The Munich University Hospital is decorated with bunting and paper beer steins in honor of Oktoberfest, which will be the source of many of the hospital's visitors while the festival is underway.

"This time of year the city's accident and emergency departments become, for some, just another tent at the festival," according to The Local, which says that Munich hospitals treat a drunken Oktoberfest reveler every 10 minutes.

Hospital staff say they don't love the extra Oktoberfest patients, because they tend to vomit everywhere and come in such numbers that they take up space that might be needed to deal with actual emergencies. When the main unit inevitably fills up on the biggest Oktoberfest days, some staff members said, the hospital maintains two extra rooms full of mattresses on the floor for drunk people to sleep on, so they don't roll off of the hospital's regular-height beds.

"Do you have any wheat beer?" asked one elderly patient who seemed more concerned with getting the hospital staff to bring him more beer than he was with the large, open wound on his leg.

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Most Oktoberfest medical issues are treated at the festival's medical tent, which is staffed by two doctors, four nurses, and six security guards to keep more aggressive patients in line. The standard treatment at the tent involves salt, glucose, and an injection to treat nausea. The more serious cases are passed on to Munich hospitals, which deal with the results of drunken brawls and more serious cases of alcohol poisoning.