This August up to 30,000 people per day are expected to gather at The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island for the 2012 PGA Championship, and late summer in Charleston, S.C., means fans and players will be feeling the heat.
PGA officials have worked closely with Roper St. Francis Healthcare's emergency services team to develop a safe and effective medical plan for heat-related and other illnesses during the large-scale event Aug. 6-12.
"Roper St. Francis is honored and proud to be the medical services provider of the 2012 PGA Championship," said David Dunlap, president and CEO, Roper St. Francis Healthcare. This tournament is a premier global sporting event, and we were thrilled when the PGA of America asked us to again work with them."
PGA officials are anticipating more than 200,000 spectators throughout the week-long event (including practice rounds) that will draw the top names in world golf to Charleston.
"We have been planning for the PGA Championship, which will likely be played in temperatures upwards of 90 degrees, for many months," said Wanda Brockmeyer, director of emergency services, Roper St. Francis Healthcare. "There will be three treatment locations on The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Resort, with approximately 40 emergency services professionals there at any given time."
In all Roper St. Francis will have more than 25 board certified emergency medicine doctors, its sports medicine team, and close to 100 RNs, technicians and paramedics scheduled to work or on standby.
"Our hope is that we only have to give out a few bandages and water bottles but that’s not realistic," said Jerry Flury, the RSFH medical branch director for the tournament’s on-site services. "All five of the Roper St. Francis emergency rooms in the area will be ready to receive patients if medical needs extend beyond what we can treat at the course."
Typical ailments seen during past tournament include:
• Bug bites
• Chest pain
• Complex dehydration
• Heat exhaustion
• Orthopedic injuries
Roper St. Francis Healthcare has previously provided medical care for the Ryder Cup, World Cup of Golf and the Senior PGA Championship, all of which were held at The Ocean Course.
"We will be ready again, and on a bigger scale, with roving walking units for basic first aid. Also, each medical station on the course will be equipped as a mini-version of an emergency department," Brockmeyer said.