More than 15,000 people will descend on Midtown Atlanta on Sunday, March 25 to walk, run or wheelchair through the physically demanding ING Georgia Marathon events in what is predicted to be the warmest weekend of the year thus far.
Emory Healthcare is one of the event sponsors and a medical provider for the inaugural event. To ensure that each participant is provided timely and proper medical attention, a team of volunteers consisting of doctors, nurses and tech professionals from Emory and other local community hospitals will be stationed in four separate tents along the 26.2 mile course.
"An event that is as strenuous and as widely attended as the ING Georgia Marathon - whether it be the full 26.2 mile course or the 13.2 mile half-course - will absolutely demand a tremendous amount of medical resources," says Dr. Ian Greenwald, M.D., assistant professor of emergency medicine in Emory's School of Medicine and co-medical director for this year's marathon.
"We will have four separate teams, led by a physician and staffed by dedicated nursing and tech volunteers from Emory and other partner community hospitals, which will be ready to administer care for the simplest of injuries - such as a sprain or cramps, to the most serious, such as a heart attack," says Dr. Greenwald. "As the race route runs directly past both Emory University Hospital and Emory Crawford Long Hospital, the participants will have unparalleled access to quick medical care in the event of an emergency."
During the 2006 Peachtree Road Race in Atlanta, at least two participants among the more than 50,000 runners, suffered severe heart attacks, which were identified and treated quickly at Emory Crawford Long Hospital. Quick thinking and immediate access to medical professionals along the route helped to ensure these athletes will live to race another day.
"We look at our participation in this event as both a challenge to ourselves and a service to our community," says Dr. Greenwald. "While we hope no one will require our services, we definitely want the 15,000 participants and their loved ones to have the peace of mind in knowing we will be there just in case."
To set up an interview with Emory medical team members, please contact Lance M. Skelly in Public Relations at 404-686-8538 or by paging 404/686-5500 (ID # 14574).