Over 60 doctors ready for comrades

By Drum Digital
30 May 2012

More than 60 doctors and 25 nurses will be on duty at this year's Comrade's Marathon, The Witness online reported on Wednesday.

“In 1979, the medical tent at the finish was the size of a lounge in an ordinary-sized house. This year we have 110 beds, with 65 doctors, 25 nurses and some interns on duty,” said Jeremy Boulter, medical director of the Comrades Marathon Association.

The tent is 750 square metres in size, and with the St John Ambulance tent, an assessment area and an intensive care unit facility, there is almost one square kilometre under canvas for medical purposes.

Eight physiotherapists and eight first-aid stations are also along the route on race day -- Sunday -- and Netcare ambulances patrol the route.

“Eighty to 85 percent of the field finish after 3 pm. We start getting busy from 4.30pm, and from 5.30 to 6.30pm it's hectic," Boulter said.

They usually have about 300 patients in a field of 14,500 athletes.

Most are dehydrated, but all are examined, and they also receive a blood test sponsored by Ampath.

Six people have died in the history of the marathon, first run in 1921.

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