Netcare 911 and Netcare hospitals are once again putting their full weight into ensuring that cyclists in the Telkom 947 Cycle Challenge, taking place this coming Sunday, will be in safe hands and receive the best possible medical care, should the unforeseen become a reality and they are involved in an accident or suffer a medical emergency on race day.
“Many cyclists probably expect that they may have to contend with sore, stiff legs or problems with cramping on race day. However, very few would spare a thought that a day meant for fun and healthy competition could take an unexpected turn and that they may be injured or suffer a medical emergency,” says Ruben Naidoo, head: business development and support services at Netcare 911.
“The Netcare 911 and Netcare hospital teams have many years of experience in providing medical assistance to participants in a number of South Africa’s major sporting events, including the Comrades Marathon. At the Telkom 947 Cycle Challenge, we will have some 150 emergency medical services (EMS) personnel and nursing staff members deployed at the event,” Naidoo added.
Emergency medical assistance along the route
Netcare 911’s emergency medical services personnel will operate eight rapid response vehicles, 16 ambulances, four motorcycles, two quad bikes and two logistics vehicles between the starting point and the finishing line, and this extensive presence will enable fast and efficient emergency medical assistance to cyclists. As in previous years, Netcare 911 will also provide emergency medical assistance to supporters along the route, if required.
“All of our Netcare 911 vehicles carry life-saving equipment, and advanced life support paramedics will use the motorcycles and quad bikes to reach and initiate treatment of injured or medically compromised cyclists or spectators in the fastest possible time, which have in the past proved to be very effective at races of this magnitude,” Naidoo says.
A Netcare 911 air ambulance helicopter will be on standby during the event for critical evacuation of patients by air. This will ensure that anyone with a life threatening injury or medical condition can be airlifted to hospital in the shortest possible time for advanced treatment.
There will also be three EMS teams on foot in the vicinity of the finishing line to look out for cyclists who may need medical attention and take them to the field hospital for treatment.
Medical stations en-route and field hospital at finishing line
Nicky Baltsoucos, national trauma coordinator at Netcare who is responsible for coordinating Netcare’s manning of the nine medical stations along the route, says that snurses from Netcare Krugersdorp, Netcare Linksfield, Netcare Linmed, Netcare Mulbarton, Netcare Olivedale, Netcare Pinehaven, Netcare Sunninghill, Netcare Sunward Park, Netcare Unitas and Netcare Waterfall City hospitals will be on duty there to assist cyclists.
“We encourage cyclists to seek assistance from the nurses if they are concerned about any aspect of their health. The stations will be in contact with Netcare 911 and can call on them for emergency medical assistance on the spot, and for evacuation to hospital of any cyclists in need of further treatment.
Rather be safe than sorry; there are always more cycling races in which to compete,” says Baltsoucos.
“The field hospital located near the finishing line will be managed by Netcare, and equipped to cater for any medical or trauma emergencies, and will even incorporate a dedicated resuscitation area. Doctors trained in emergency medicine and nurses from Netcare Milpark Hospital will take care of patients, whether critical or minor cases,” Baltsoucos added.
Netcare hospitals situated in the vicinity of the cycle challenge route will be fully prepared for cyclists or spectators either needing further treatment in the emergency department or admission to hospital for definitive treatment and care.
Presence at joint operations centre
Netcare and Netcare 911’s project leaders are an integral part of the organisers’ team who will be monitoring and managing all aspects of the race from the joint operations centre.
“To ensure effective delivery of medical services at the Telkom 947 Cycle Challenge, Netcare 911 will have a dedicated facility within the joint operations centre, manned by experienced personnel taking calls for medical assistance and dispatching EMS resources on the ground to the scene of accidents and incidents,” Naidoo explains.
Issued by: Martina Nicholson Associates (MNA) on behalf of Netcare and Netcare 911
Contact: Martina Nicholson, Graeme Swinney, Meggan Saville or Pieter Rossouw
Telephone: (011) 469 3016
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