Members of GRHealth Sports Medicine and the hospital’s Emergency Department staffed the medical tent Sunday at the IRONMAN 70.3 event. More than 3,000 men and women competed in this intense test of athleticism that included a 1.2-mile swim, a 56-mile bike ride and a 13.1-mile run through downtown Augusta.
“It’s a coordinated effort with our medical teams, Richmond County Fire, local EMS, Capitol City EMS, and various agencies in Augusta and the CSRA,” said Tim McLane, who served as medical director at the tent, alongside Jane Williams, ED charge nurse. “We all work together to ensure the wellness and safety of competitors, spectators, and all those who support the event.”
Two physicians, a nurse practitioner and six athletic trainers from Sports Medicine, along with 40 high school athletic training students, 14 emergency nurses and one emergency physician provided care for nearly 12 hours, working from 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
About 250 people were treated at the medical tent for blisters, abrasions, respiratory issues, sprains and strains. Some of the more severe ailments included dehydration (requiring IV fluids), fractures, and even one cardiac arrest patient.
In all, about eight patients were transferred to Georgia Regents Medical Center for further treatment.
“We put a tremendous amount of time, supplies, manpower and preparation into events like these,” McLane said. “This is where the rubber really meets the road for us. Providing quality onsite event medicine is a great example of the many ways that GRHealth supports the community.”