Special Considerations in Medical Screening for Participants in Remote Endurance Events

Sports Med. 2015 Aug;45(8):1121-31. doi: 10.1007/s40279-015-0342-7.


As participation at remote endurance events increases, so does the need to screen participants for potentially problematic medical conditions, but this process has been ill-defined to date. This article aims to outline a general approach to screening and discusses common or important medical conditions that may need consideration in the screening process. Medical conditions that are considered low risk may translate to high-risk conditions in the setting of a remote and austere location. Medical directors of remote endurance events should have a familiarity with assessing risks and applying informed consent principles to participation. While there are no specific standards on medical disqualification from an event based on medical history alone, several systematic considerations should be made that allow for an assessment of risk to an individual for a specific event. The medical director and event director, in discussion with the athlete and treating clinician when appropriate, should come to a consensus on participation when high-risk medical conditions become apparent during the screening process. Both modifications and accommodations to participation may be used to mitigate both clinical and medicolegal risk and allow for participation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acute Kidney Injury / diagnosis
  • Altitude Sickness / diagnosis
  • Anaphylaxis / diagnosis
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / diagnosis
  • Diabetes Mellitus / diagnosis
  • Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage / diagnosis
  • Heat Stroke / diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity / diagnosis
  • Hyponatremia / diagnosis
  • Mass Screening / methods*
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis
  • Physical Endurance*
  • Physical Examination*
  • Risk Assessment / methods*
  • Seizures / diagnosis
  • Sports / physiology*