Objective: To determine the incidence and type of requests for medical assistance and the treatment required in 21 sports at the 1994 Star of the North Summer Games and to develop a plan, based on these findings, for efficient allocation of medical supplies and staff.
Design: We reviewed our experience with a large multisport amateur athletic event and analyzed the pattern of injuries for participants in the various sports.
Material and methods: Injury evaluation forms and medical supply kits were given to the health-care volunteers, who received preliminary instructions on classifications and definitions of injuries and on appropriate completion of the forms. When a medical contact occurred, an evaluation form was completed. The data from these forms were subsequently compiled and analyzed.
Results: Of 6,243 athletes who participated in the 1994 Star of the North Summer Games, 55 (0.88%) received medical attention (2 officials also required medical assistance). The sports with the greatest number of medical contacts were soccer and track and field--31 and 16 contacts for medical assistance, respectively. The lower extremities were the anatomic site most frequently involved in injury (62% of the medical contacts). The most common types of injury were contusions, strains, and sprains.
Conclusion: Because few injuries were sustained and most were of minor severity, basic medical supplies (such as ice bags and compression wraps) were sufficient. For locations with a scarcity of medical personnel, a triage system can be established in which athletic trainers or registered nurses manage the initial assessments and refer cases, as needed, to physicians for specialized care. An effective communication system can also considerably reduce volunteer hours.