Sports Medicine Physicians Play Multifaceted Role When Disaster Strikes Disaster Preparedness for Team Physicians One Year after the 2013 Boston Marathon
By AMSSM member Laura Goldberg, MD
NEW ORLEANS, La. – Once a large-scale emergency occurs, as a first responder, physicians are required to make critical decisions to mobilize participants to safe areas and for appropriate level of medical care. When disaster struck at the 2013 Boston Marathon last year, sports medicine physician members of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM) were called upon to provide the best medical care in the most challenging of situations. Due to their extensive training and leadership, AMSSM members Fred Brennan, DO, Pierre Rouzier, MD and Aaron Rubin, MD were able to provide life-saving care to victims of the bombing.
Almost exactly one year later, these same physicians will present a session entitled, “When Disaster Strikes: Role of the Team Physician as a First Responder” during the 2014 AMSSM Annual Meeting at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans, focusing on the multifaceted role of the sports medicine physician when disaster strikes.
Dr. Brennan, deputy commander in the New Hampshire Air National Guard and sports medicine physician at Seacoast Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, was the physician in charge of Med Tent B, one block from the finish line during the marathon bombings. He emphasized that sports medicine providers should be psychologically, physically and technically ready to assist the emergency medical system during a mass casualty incident if and when they are providing routine medical coverage. Disaster preparedness requires physicians to extend their clinical skills beyond the medical tents. Preparation for all types of emergencies requires coordination with local and regional emergency services, as well as security and police forces.
Dr. Rouzier, who has staffed the medical tent at the Boston Marathon for the past five years, commented on the importance of the effective triage that occurred in last year’s bombings. “The physicians and volunteers that were involved successfully processed the disaster as it occurred allowing for them to provide life-saving care,” he stated.
“Few, however, realized how long it would take to process the experience afterwards. For many, this year’s Boston Marathon will provide ongoing healing,” said Dr. Rouzier, who is an assistant professor of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Massachusetts School of Medicine and team physician at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Dr. Rubin will share his experience providing life-saving medical care during a chaotic event. He is director of the Sports Medicine Fellowship at Kaiser Permanente in Fontana, Calif., also serves as the team physician for Rubidoux High School and the University of California, Riverside. He volunteers with the San Bernardino Sheriff Air Medics and the Medical Reserve Corps of San Bernardino County Medical Society.
About the AMSSM Annual Meeting: More than 1,400 sports medicine physicians from the United States and abroad come together to address advances and challenges in sports medicine through lectures and research. Learn more at https://www.amssm.org/ConferencesDetails.php?IDconf=58&Past=.
About the AMSSM: AMSSM is a multi-disciplinary organization of 2,500 sports medicine physicians dedicated to education, research, advocacy and the care of athletes of all ages. The majority of AMSSM members are primary care physicians with fellowship training and added qualification in sports medicine who then combine their practice of sports medicine with their primary specialty. AMSSM includes members who specialize solely in non-surgical sports medicine and serve as team physicians at the youth level, NCAA, NFL, MLB, NBA, WNBA, MLS and NHL, as well as with Olympic teams. By nature of their training and experience, sports medicine physicians are ideally suited to provide comprehensive medical care for athletes, sports teams or active individuals who are simply looking to maintain a healthy lifestyle. www.amssm.org