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UPMC-Led Medical Team to Care for More Than 17,000 Participants at the 2010 Dick’s Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon

PITTSBURGH, April 29, 2010 – UPMC Sports Medicine has assembled a team of more than 350 volunteers from UPMC, the City of Pittsburgh Bureau of Emergency Medical Services and other local hospitals and EMS departments to provide medical care for more than 17,000 runners and walkers at this year’s Dick’s Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon. UPMC Sports Medicine is the official medical sponsor and medical provider for the event, as it has been since the first Pittsburgh Marathon in 1985. The UPMC Department of Emergency Medicine also is taking a lead role.

“We expect that up to 3 percent of all participants will seek or require medical team care on race day,” said Ronald Roth, M.D., the marathon’s medical director and an emergency medicine physician at UPMC. “The volume and types of injuries largely depend on weather conditions. Generally, warmer weather means a larger number of medical problems for non-elite runners not yet acclimatized to the heat,” said Dr. Roth.

Most injuries and illnesses involving marathoners are not serious. Runners’ most common problems include muscle cramping, overuse sprains and strains, blisters, stomach cramping and inadequate fluid replacement.

“The medical team is prepared with enough equipment and personnel to staff 15 medical aid stations throughout the race course and a medical tent at the finish line,” said Kathleen Nachazel, the marathon’s medical operations director and a certified athletic trainer at UPMC Sports Medicine.

The medical tent will include specialized sections for sports medicine, acute care and general medicine. Next to the medical tent will be a unit especially for the wheelchair athletes, staffed by a group of specialists from the UPMC Institute for Rehabilitation and Research.

The medical team expects to use the following supplies, provided by UPMC Sports Medicine, for runners on race day: 18,000 Mylar blankets, 4,600 alcohol wipes, 5,000 pairs of surgical gloves, 2,000 ice bags, 2,100 lancets to treat blisters, 7,600 bandages, 200 IVs, 600 towels, 150 cots, 475 Ace wraps, 250 rolls of cloth tape, 18 Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs), 47 bottles of hand sanitizer, 40 containers of antibacterial cleaning wipes and 100 jars of petroleum jelly.

Visit UPMC Sports Medicine’s marathon-running website for tips on marathon training, preparation and recovery. For additional training tips and other information about UPMC Sports Medicine’s involvement in the Pittsburgh Marathon, as well as real-time updates from the medical tent on race day, follow UPMC Sports Medicine on Twitter.

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