Medical boss ‘believed he was prepared’ for festival where two died

9News

The head of the medical company contracted the night two people died at Sydney’s Defqon 1 music festival said he believed they were prepared for the event, which attracted 30,000 people.

Mike Hammond runs EMS, a company that provides medical care at large events and was there the night Diana Nguyen, 21, and Joseph Pham, 23, died from adverse reactions to drugs in 2018 at the Penrith festival.

(Nine)

Mr Hammond was questioned at an inquest into the dance party deaths about the number and qualifications of medical staff he employed on the night.

He engaged one senior doctor and one junior doctor, as well as lead a team of intensive care paramedics and nursing staff to attend the event.

He said this decision was based on his experience the previous year, when only one patient had to be transported to hospital, suffering an acute drug overdose.

Asked if he believed he was prepared in the lead up to the event he replied; “I believe we were. On reflection we probably weren’t”. 

Nguyen and Pham presented at the festival’s medical tent within a few minutes of each other.

Joseph Phan died after taking drugs at Defqon Festival in Sydney. (Supplied)

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The senior doctor on the night, Dr Sean Wing, travelled with Nguyen to Nepean Hospital, leaving Pham in the care of less experienced doctor, Dr Andrew Beshara. 

Mr Hammond also admitted they didn’t have adequate stock of the drug rocuronium, a paralysing medication used to intubate patients. 

On the night, only one dose was available.

Mike Hammond runs EMS, a company that provides medical care at large events and was there the night Diana Nguyen, 21, and Joseph Pham, 23, died from adverse reactions to drugs in 2018 at the Penrith festival. (Nine)

Since the fatalities, EMS has changed its practices, and the senior doctor would now be required to provide a minimum of 40 vials for an event of that size. 

Diana Nguyen died at the Sydney festival in 2018.
Diana Nguyen died at the Sydney festival in 2018. (Supplied)

But, when asked if he was “disappointed with the level of care given to Joseph and Diana on the night”, he replied; “No, I’m not.”

“The care that was given was the best we could do, with what we had on site,” he said.

The inquest continues. 

© Nine Digital Pty Ltd 2019