NEWS BLOG from UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences

By the numbers: The 2017 Pittsburgh Marathon

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The 2017 Dick’s Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon is Sunday.

UPMC is the official medical provider for the event. The finish line medical tent and first aid stations located throughout the course will be packed with equipment and staff.

How many supplies and people will be helping the runners?

Here is a breakdown of the medical efforts from UPMC Sports Medicine, the University of Pittsburgh Department of Emergency Medicine, City of Pittsburgh Bureau of EMS, EMS agencies from Allegheny County and across the region, the American Red Cross, and more.

By the Numbers:

  • 8,000 adhesive bandages
  • 5,000 pairs of protective rubber gloves
  • 4,800 alcohol wipe 4,000 tongue depressors
  • 4,500 ice bags
  • 2,100 lancets to treat blisters
  • 475 Ace wraps
  • 600 towels
  • 500 leads (clips) for medical monitors
  • 400+ feet of intravenous tubing (nearly 1/10 of a mile)
  • 350 elastic bandages
  • 200+ tourniquets
  • 150 nausea bags
  • 120 Red Cross-donated cots (for the finish line and aid stations)
  • 125 jars of petroleum jelly (and one sign, warning runners that not every tongue depressor contains edible goo: “Don’t eat the Vaseline”)
  • 100 sheets
  • 75 flags: five for each aid station and the finish line representing weather-condition warnings – white for risk of hypothermia, green for low risk, yellow for moderate risk, red for high risk and black for emergency/leave the course
  • 65+ physicians
  • 50+ certified athletic trainers at the finish line and along the course
  • 45+ nurses
  • 30 students from graduate schools of medicine and nursing plus athletic training programs
  • 27+ ambulances from a variety of agencies
  • 16 aid stations along the course, including one start line and two Point State Park medical tents
  • 9 motorized carts carrying EMTs, paramedics and equipment
  • 7 Red Cross liaisons in local hospitals tracking injured runners, families there
  • 6-7 City of Pittsburgh EMS units
  • 6 ice-water immersion tubs
  • 4 Wet Bulb Globe Temperature Index thermometers, to measure race conditions
  • 4 medic posts at the finish line chutes
  • 1 Medical Evacuation Rehab Vehicle (MERV)
  • 1 finish line field hospital
  • 1 to 3 percent of the runners (200 to 400) are typically treated at the race – half on the course, half at the finish line
  • Weather is the No. 1 determining factor in race injuries

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