SportsEvents Magazine

NOV 2017

SportsEvents is edited for those who plan tournaments or other sports events.

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Page 12 of 59 November 2017 13 t GAME Plan her from worrying about cell reception or depending on landlines or internet for criti- cal communication. Nelson's most recent event was the Kansas City Marathon presented by Garmin, which had 9,000 runners in the 5K, 10K, half and full marathon in October. "Maintaining an incredible relationship with local police, fire and first responders is crucial," Nelson said. And at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, paramedics are on site to provide medical care during ath- letic events. "Expect that medical emergencies will happen because they will," said Keith McMullen, paramedic (NREMT-P) and AHA-certified BLS/ACLS/PALS instruc- tor, one part of a four-crew team that attend to medical emergencies that may arise at University of Southern Mississippi football games. He stressed that being prepared is the key to maintaining order during a medi- cal emergency. "Panic equals mass chaos," he said, and in the 36,000-capacity M.M. Roberts Stadium, that could mean disaster. McMullen is also a Mississippi-certified firefighter and HAZMAT technician, and is no stranger to disaster planning and pre- paredness. McMullen's day job is corporate safety director at Hol-Mac, a Mississippi steel fabrication company. He reinforces these steps to being prepared for planners facing medical emergencies: Begin Today: If you do not have a written, published plan for medical emergencies, starting can be as simple as publishing the emergency medical contact information, buying life-sustaining equipment or part- nering with local EMTs and fire depart- ments. If you already have a plan in place, evaluate and add to the plan today. Enable Others: Share the written action plan and emergency protocol with desig- nated response personnel or volunteers, the local police department and first responders, managers, volunteers and other involved parties. Recognize Problem Areas: Know and scan your venue for potential trip-and fall-areas; plan for extreme heat/cold in the area; and address weaknesses in current response protocol. Early Response Is Key: Event staff should be able to recognize and address a medical emergency in the first moments following the issue and should be familiar with the chain of survival. The chain consists of the following "links": • Early recognition. Early recognition that a cardiac arrest has occurred is key to survival. For every 60 seconds a patient stays in cardiac arrest, their chances of survival drop by roughly 10 percent. • Early CPR. By keeping the brain sup- plied with oxygenated blood through chest compressions, chances of neuro- logical damage are decreased. • Early defibrillation. Defibrillation is only effective when it is administered within the first few minutes of a Sud- den Cardiac Arrest (SCA) episode. • Early advanced care. After the heart has been restarted from a cardiac arrest, the victim needs to be stabilized and transported to the hospital for additional care. If one or more links in the chain are missing or delayed, then the chances of survival drop significantly, McMullen said. AED (automated external defibrillator) support is crucial: An AED is a portable electronic device that automatically diag- noses a life-threatening cardiac issue and is able to treat the issue through defibril- lation—the application of electrical ther- apy—allowing the heart to reestablish an effective rhythm. These devices are becom- ing more available and are completely automated, with attachment diagrams and easy instructions on the device. In the U.S., the AED includes a voice prompt that pro- vides step-by-step instructions for the user. Designated Response Area: Having a designated response area that can be refer- enced throughout the event and marked on event maps can shorten response time and get those who need help to the best area for care quickly. This central location can help volunteers and event staff synergize for higher-volume emergencies as well. Yearly Updates: Update your emergency plans often, at least yearly, to account for changes to staff, protocol and updated prac- tices. Consider adding new threat protocols that may have been omitted from previous plans. Active shooter, escalating situation, national emergency, suspicious package, bomb threat, civil disorder and chemical spill are among the topics to consider add- ing to the emergency action plan, if not included already. Being ready for the next medical emer- gency means having a better chance to improve outcomes for participants, staff, spectators and the host organization. Planning for the unexpected in today's sport-intensive society will equip planners and staff to be more prepared for a medical crisis. n Kansas City Sports maintains volunteer emergency instruction sessions to enable a large number of people to activate immedi- ately in the event of an emergency.

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