With the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon slated for this Sunday, additional preparations have been made this year to ensure immediate medical aid is extended to the runners on the 42 km stretch from CST station till Bandra. Over 42,000 people are expected to participate in the marathon, a rise from over 20,000 participants 13 years ago.
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In a first, 60 people have been trained in Basic Cardiac Life Support, an American College of Cardiology certification that equips a person to give complete CPR to a heart attack patient.
From eight first-aid stations along the route, this year 11 such stations will be set up, along with over 200 medical staff and seven mobile medical bikes. The number of ambulances has increased from nine to 11 this year with advanced cardio-vascular support. Near CST station, two medical camps will be set up with 60 beds for runners suffering from cramps, muscle pain, dehydration and exhaustion.
“Because the weather is cool and the marathon is expected to start early, we hope cases of dehydration that are maximum will reduce this time,” said Dr Vijay D’Silva, director of critical care at Asian Heart Institute.
With the recent death of laparoscopic surgeon Dr Rakesh Sinha due to a sudden cardiac arrest, cardiac experts have pointed towards the need for stress test and electrocardiogram to detect any blockages in heart. “Running can lead to a rise in heartbeats and blockages may rupture heart vessels,” D’Silva added.
Additionally, 1,000 Mumbai policemen have also been been trained on giving CPR. To tackle any case of heart attack, volunteers and police officers took part in a three hour training session on massaging the patient and reviving him or her in cases of cardiac arrest. “Revival can help save life a runner’s life. The first few minutes are critical,” said D’silva.
In 2016, 18 marathon runners had to be hospitalised for dehydration and muscle pain. In 2015, a 52-year-old runner had suffered cardiac arrest and four other runners required hospitalisation. In most cases, while resting for some time helps the runners, few have to be administered intravenous therapy. In 2014, a 39-year-old banker had suffered a cardiac stroke and died after being in a comatose state for nine months.
Realising that runners require medical aid the most in the final 1.5 km stretch before the finishing line, senior physiotherapists, doctors and cardiologists will be spanned along the route. “They will spot any runner who shows signs of distress and immediately help,” said Dr Nilesh Gautam, interventional cardiologist.
Meanwhile, eight major hospitals have been roped in to provide medical aid to the runners.