Posted: Wednesday, July 29, 2015, 3:38 PM
Sunday while the celebrations for the Mexico win over Jamaica in this year’s CONCACAF Gold Cup final at Lincoln Financial Field continued into the night, the work of the venue medical staff wasn’t quite done yet. We still had to conduct the doping control testing where two players from each team are required to undergo drug tests following each match. I didn’t know who had it harder, those who had to grab two players from the losing team or those who had to pull away two players from the winner’s celebration. Luckily, this was the busiest the venue medical staff would be that night.
While all teams travel with their own medical staff, each venue is required to have their own people for all of the behind-the-scenes coverage and 3B Orthopaedics had the honor to coordinate the venue medical staff for this Sunday’s big match. With good planning, most of our work was completed long before the players hit the field.
Three months prior to the tournament, Dr Arthur Bartolozzi MD (Venue Medical Director), Matt Hay PA-C, ATC (Assistant Venue Medical Director), and I had to put together the game day venue medical staff as well as local medical specialists to have on call to cover any need that may arise for both the teams and CONCACAF staff members.
The venue medical staff consists of the stretcher crews and doping control chaperones. While often times, stretcher crews are staffed with volunteers with no medical background, with the recent changes in protocols implemented by CONCACAF for head injuries, sudden cardiac events, and heat and hydration management, we wanted to make sure we had the most qualified medical staff available. Our stretcher crews consisted of athletic trainers, physical therapists, and sports medicine physicians.
Along with the stretcher crews and doping chaperones, we also coordinated stadium X-ray coverage as well as ER trauma coverage. Discussions took place prior to the match with each team’s medical staff as well as the officiating crew regarding the new protocols, emergency management plans, and when to enter the field of play for injuries. Plan for the worst and hope for the best.
We’re happy to say that everything went smoothly and we all got to sit back and watch a great soccer match. As we look forward to the CONCACAF Confederation’s Cup playoff in October between the US and Mexico, I’m excited that I’ll be able to watch it as a fan and let all of the venue medical planning be handled by the Rose Bowl staff.