Event Director Survey: Help Develop Best Practices for Medical Teams

Guest PostStephen Mears, PhD
Dr. Mears earned his PhD (2012) at Loughborough University in the United Kingdom by examining fluid intake behaviours in the workplace and following high intensity exercise. Following his PhD, Mears worked for Powerade as a Sports Scientist at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. He then returned to Loughborough first as a technician and then to work on a project examining medical care at endurance events around the world.

Dr. Mears is a middle distance runner competing for Charnwood AC and Harrow AC over 800m and 1500m, as well as a regular tennis player, golfer and skier (and sometimes cyclist).


Setting up medical care at a race can be a difficult experience with lots of “what ifs?” What if the weather is warmer than usual? What if there is a cardiac arrest? What if the water for the runners isn’t delivered? What if we don’t have an ice immersion tub?

All of these scenarios and more have occurred and could occur at races in the future.  Even with the most careful and meticulous planning some scenarios just can’t be predicted.  However, with each passing year, organization of medical care improves as lessons are learned and changes are implemented to improve the medical set up.

Many races have been held for several years, while others are just starting out.  As a collective, event directors can help each other by sharing their race practices, from their best advice to what they would like to see implemented in the future.

On the medical side, this is especially important. For example, treatment of exertional heat stroke will vary depending on the equipment available. If immersion tubs are not available, what is the next best method? Event directors can provide their experiences of dealing with this situation to help other races set up and deal with the incident when and if it occurs.  No matter the size or experience of the event, it is likely that some participants will require medical attention and therefore treatment needs to be as effective as possible.

The International Institute for Race Medicine (IIRM) is attempting to collate information on the medical set up at road races around the world. By asking event directors about their medical set up, it is hoped the IIRM can develop an understanding of current race practices.  The ultimate goal is to use this information to advise races about their medical set ups and produce educational resources that races can easily access.

A survey has been created by the IIRM for event directors to complete. Results of this survey will contribute to better understanding of current medical set up practices and help medical teams set up in the future.

Contribute your knowledge and help develop needed educational resources for races worldwide! GO TO THE SURVEY (it should only take 15-20 minutes to complete).

If you have any questions about the survey or the IIRM, please contact Dr. Mears at s.a.mears@lboro.ac.uk

See more at: http://www.activeendurance.com/blog/2014/06/11/iirm-event-director-survey/#sthash.AMj1p4SJ.dpuf