An overview of Chicago (Illinois USA) marathon prehospital care demographics, patient care operations, and injury patterns

Jennifer Lisa Chan*, Valentino Constantinou, Jennifer Fokas, Sarah B Van Deusen Phillips, George Chiampas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: Large-scale mass-sporting events are increasingly requiring greater prehospital event planning and preparation to address inherent event-associated medical conditions in addition to incidents that may be unexpected. The Bank of America Chicago Marathon (Chicago, Illinois USA) is one of the largest marathons in the world, and with the improvement of technology, the use of historical patient and event data, in conjunction with environmental conditions, can provide organizers and public safety officials a way to plan based on injury patterns and patient demands for care by predicting the placement and timing of needed medical support and resources.Problem: During large-scale events, disaster planning and preparedness between event organizers, Emergency Medical Services (EMS), and local, state, and federal agencies is critical to ensure participant and public safety.Methods: This study looked at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, a significant endurance event, and took a unique approach of reviewing digital runner data retrospectively over a five-year period to establish patterns of medical demand geographically, temporally, and by the presenting diagnoses. Most medical complaints were musculoskeletal in nature; however, there were life-threatening conditions such as hyperthermia and cardiac incidents that highlight the need for detailed planning, coordination, and communication to ensure a safe and secure event.Conclusions: The Chicago Marathon is one of the largest marathons in the world, and this study identified an equal number of participants requiring care on-course and at the finish line. Most medical complaints were musculoskeletal in nature; however, there were life-threatening conditions such as hyperthermia and cardiac incidents that highlight the need for detailed planning, multi-disciplined coordination, and communication to ensure a safe and secure event. As technology has evolved, the use, analysis, and implementation of historical digital data with various environmental conditions can provide organizers and public safety officials a map to plan injury patterns and patient demands by predicting the placement and timing of needed medical support, personnel, and resources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)308-316
Number of pages9
JournalPrehospital and disaster medicine
Volume34
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2019

Keywords

  • Emergency Medical Services
  • athletic injuries
  • information systems
  • prehospital emergency care
  • running
  • sports medicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Emergency

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