Friends, we are always on the lookout for medically skilled folks to join us as volunteers. If you or someone you know wants to be a part of what we do, please fill out the form linked here. Thank you! We hope to be working with you, soon.
UsagiMed’s own Cody Steavens writes:
Greetings! We’re only a few days into the new year, and after the unfortunate events at Anime LA, UsagiMed would like to remind everyone in the convention community to be proactively safe and confident while you’re at con.
You can always count on UsagiMed to provide a safe place for con-goers at every convention we staff. If you find yourself feeling uncomfortable around someone, not feeling safe, need a quite place for a minute, trust your instincts, and let us help you. UMG makes every effort to provide a safe convention place for everyone. We work closely with venue security and convention staff to keep folks safe, happy, and comfortable.
A quick reminder about this old blog we wrote some time ago. Keep your eyes peeled here for more useful information about keeping your experience safe and stellar.
This blog entry was authored by UsagiMed’s Joshua Law:
Hello to all of you out there in Con-Land! (Does that sound like the world’s most awesome amusement park, or what?) We at Usagi Medical would like to take a moment and talk about getting ready for the New Year. There are a lot of resolutions about to be made. Some will be kept. Others… well, we won’t point names, or name fingers…
But if your resolution is to be a part of a con, we would like for you to be safe about doing so. Here are a few tips for people who want to add more cons to their list, or even go to a con for the first time, in 2019:
Get your shoes early.
Having shoes that are well broken in is a thing your feet and legs will thank you for at con. Blisters can ruin a con experience, and we have had to help a lot of people, fans and family of fans alike, who would have had a much less painful time if they had just bought their shoes a month or two earlier, and taken the time to break them in before walking 2-3 miles a day at a convention.
Make sure your medications are ready and coming with you.
In all the excitement before a con, it is easy to forget to refill a prescription, or pick up that OTC allergy medication that you take daily. If you are at a con, especially if you had to cross state lines to get to it, then getting a refill, or finding that brand you like can be tough. Remove this headache entirely, by making sure 2-3 weeks before the con that you have all pharmaceutical needs covered.
Communication & Safety.
Know who you are going with, and know who you’re staying with. Check in periodically with someone who is not attending the con. All of this is for your safety.
It is important to know how much you can spend getting to the con, at the con, and with friends away from the con. It’s not fun, even for math nerds, but it is important.
If you have special dietary requirements, make sure you plan accordingly as you are getting ready for the con. Learn what restaurants in the area have food that you can eat, and which have food you cannot. If you need to bring food with you, make sure you have a way of keeping it fresh and safe to eat until 2-3 days after the convention.
We hope to see you at many cons, please come by and give us a wave as you enjoy the fandom.
In the meantime, we hope you and yours are looking forward to a 2019. Happy Holidays! See you soon!
I just wanted to take a moment to share a bit of wonderful feedback we got from a guest at Anime Weekend Atlanta:
“I was at AWA this weekend and wanted to thank everyone at UsagiMed who helped me out. I got sick from being in the heat in a hot costume and everyone who helped me was great! …I just really wanted to be able to contact someone to show my gratitude. If I were at any other con without UsagiMed I would have been so much worse off, and I probably would have gone past heat exhaustion to heat stroke. Next time, I’ll remember to drink more water! Even if it means having to wrestle with a body suit to use the restroom. Again, thank you so, so much.”
We were happy to help, of course, and we’re glad all our friends and guests made it safely back home. Usagi Medical Group wants to be available to more cons across the southeast so we can help others. Please tell your friends about us!
We’re Heading To Anime Weekend Atlanta 2018!
Usagi Medical Group has been busy planning for Anime Weekend Atlanta 2018 (AWA). With over 30,000 guests in attendance, we expect to help close to 400 people with all manner of first-aid needs, and will be doing emergency medical response throughout the convention.
UsagiMed remains an integral part of AWA crew training. In addition to general training, our personnel train AWA crew in CPR, disaster readiness, and even radio etiquette. UsagiMed works closely with convention public safety, and venue personnel. These things help define the convention’s professional culture and commitment to the guest experience.
How Do You Find UsagiMed?
Affectionately known as “The Hutch,” we are located in the Library over in the Waverly. You can find us under the First Aid sign, across from the Registration windows.
When is Usagi Medical Group Open?
UMG has a clinic for all AWA attendees and crew during the following hours during AWA’s 2018 convention:
September 20: Noon to 8pm
September 21: 10am to 8pm
September 22: 10am to 8pm
September 23: 10am to 3pm
During this time, convention attendees can drop-in for basic first-aid, blood pressure, and over-the-counter medications. Everyone who wants to take something from the “pharmacy” must fill out a form, so that we can monitor workload, improve staffing and supplies, and limit our liability.
After these hours, people with minor medical needs may visit a local 24 hour pharmacy or call 911. The pharmacy closest to the convention center is Walgreens located at 2670 Cobb Parkway, SE, Smyrna, GA 30080.
After these posted hours, UMG “shuts the front door” and responds to emergencies only by sending a mobile team with a response bag for those who are too injured/ill to move.
Come See Us!
AWA is the place where UsagiMed was born. It’s like “going home” for the UsagiMed crew. If you’re at the con, please stop by, pick up a sticker, and say Hello!
(The reader will understand if we don’t readily illustrate this one.)
Many people know Usagi Medical Group for the great work we do helping people with first aid needs or emergency medical response in more serious circumstances. We also do a lot to address larger public health issues like avoiding con-crud, personal safety, and sexual health. That’s why you can always come by the UsagiMed station and grab a condom (male or female).
You already know that condoms are a great way to help protect against pregnancy, HIV, and other sexually transmitted diseases. However, for a condom to be effective at all, one must know how to use them properly, and they must be used every time.
Proper storage of condoms is also important to keep them from breaking while in use. Condoms should not undergo long-term storage in a high-temperature area (such as six months in your wallet). Anyone who tells you that size is an issue is lying. You can fit a condom over your entire hand (go ahead, we’ll wait while you try this out for yourself). You can even stretch a standard condom along the entire length of a broom handle.
You have tons of choices in the world of prophylactics. Do you need spermicide? Texture? Extra lubrication? It is generally advised that you DO NOT add anything to a condom before putting it on. Some lubes dissolve condoms. Oh, it is also generally advised that you determine if you have an allergy to your condoms before you actually use them.
Need a condom while you’re at con? Come see us.
At 1,500 attendees, AkaiCon may be a young con, but it has a lot of heart. We were excited to work with them at their new venue, and look forward to teaming up with them next year. A special thanks to Mark Blalock, and Devin Adkins for bringing us on board. And to Corey Finney, for making sure we had everything we needed. Thank you! See you in 2019!
We in Usagi Medical Group are generally very open minded people. Still the issue of whether or not pineapple belongs on a pizza has come to our table. We did a little research:
Pineapple provides vitamins A and C, and fiber. As well as having high amounts of manganese, which is important for antioxidant defenses, pineapples also contain high amounts of thiamin, a B vitamin that is involved in energy production. Bromelain, an enzyme found in pineapple juice, is an anti-inflammatory, and it aids with digestion. So eating pineapple is a good way to treat your immune system right, and fight off con crud.
We therefore embrace the notion that pineapple belongs on a pizza. Besides, it tastes good. For those of you who are somehow hurt by this declaration, we are reserving a band-aid for you in our UsagiMed offices. Thank you.
By now you’ve seen the image floating around social media about what to do if a Service Animal wearing its vest approaches you without its human. Some service animals are trained to go find someone if their human has a medical emergency.
So yes, knowing this is important. But please, if a Service Animal comes to you while you’re at a convention (or anywhere, really), before you follow the animal anywhere, make sure you ask another human to find UsagiMed, a Public Safety person with a radio, or even call 911 if necessary. This will allow the person needing assistance to get the right medical attention as quickly as possible.
There’s nothing wrong with being over-prepared if someone is having an emergency. Even if it turns out to be something minor, you will have done the right thing by requesting help.
But this only applies if the service animal approaches you and its human is not around. If the animal is working, and its human is present, it’s usually best to leave them alone. If you’re interested in learning more about how to interact with service animals, here’s an excellent writeup on the do’s and don’ts for behavior around a service dog team (team = a dog plus its human).
Our friends at Anime Weekend Atlanta made a small handful of UsagiMed video PSAs for use during the con last year. We want to take a moment to share them with you. Personally, this one makes me thirsty: