Hangover bus: Is Rolling Revival safe?

Rolling Revival "hangover bus"

AUSTIN (KXAN) — One new Austin business promises to stick it to you … and your hangover, but is it safe?

Heather Gordon’s night of drinking with friends soon spilled over into her work day.  She found the remedy for her lethargy and agony in an old airport shuttle van parked on South 1st Street. “I just felt really dehydrated. I don’t think Motrin would’ve fixed that.”

“Party like a rockstar tonight. Feel like a celebrity tomorrow.”
— Motto: Rolling Revival

For Heather, the mobile hydration clinic’s motto makes sense. “I’ve thought about doing it before cause I’ve definitely seen the van around. It was good timing and worked out today.”

The Rolling Revival bus travels around town for events like Austin City Limits or busy watering holes like 6th Street.  Owners say they can get rid of your hangover in less than an hour by hooking you up to an IV filled with saline.

But they’re not just out to help those experiencing over-indulgence symptoms.  This bus is also for athletes.  Joe McCellon trains five days a week and had just finished an eight-mile run when he decided to stop by the bus.

“I’m down for three or four hours before I can really get out and be productive,” McCellon said. “So I’m really just looking to get out and be productive and go right away.”

Is it safe?

The owners say it is completely safe. Dr. Shirat Ling is the medical director and board certified in family medicine.

“I used to do this when I did family medicine,” she said. “If you get diarrhea, vomiting, the flu and if you cant keep the stuff down, it’ll totally rehydrate you.”

Dr. Chris Ziebell is the head of the emergency department at UMC Brackenridge and he said the bus is really no different than an ambulance as long as the person sticking you with an IV is a trained professional.

“The standards they’re applying as they clean the area and start the IV and all of that look very similar to what we do here in the hospital,” Ziebell said.

“It’s the same kind of procedures, the same precautions we take in an office setting. Are they doing anything wrong? Is this safe? Everything I saw looks very safe,”
— Dr. Chris Ziebell

On board you’ll find a registered nurse, a doctor certified in family medicine and a physician’s assistant. They’ll take your blood pressure and get some background information before inserting the needle, but what are the risks involved in an operation like Rolling Revival?

Jessica Baig is a registered nurse and also one of the co-founders.

“There are chances of an allergic reaction,” Baig said. “There are risks with any procedure, as you know, as with anything you introduce into your body, but we do everything we can to keep it sterile.”

The various health agencies KXAN contacted for this story say as of now, Rolling Revival doesn’t need a license to operate in the city, and so far no area hospitals have reported any problems related to rolling revival.

Rolling Revival is registered as a business with the Secretary of State, and owners say sometimes they have to get temporary permits depending on where they want to set up.

How much does it cost?
Vitamin B12 shots – $2o
Standard Package – $99
Athlete’s Package – $119
Premium Package – $129Find a full breakdown of the services here.

One of a Kind?

This business is a first for Austin but not an original. The concept came from a place called Hangover Heaven in Las Vegas which rolled into town two years ago. Miami and Chicago also have hydration clinics but they aren’t on wheels.

A spokesperson for Hangover Heaven says like Austin’s bus, they also have a board certified doctor on board, but they must also have permits issued the by the city and also a business license.

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