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Sometimes the simplest observations in life prove to be the most pertinent and interesting. This paper is of interest to all of us who provide medical cover at sporting events in Britain. Following the three major disasters in British Football and the official reports that resulted, questions have been asked about the method of appointment and qualifications of club doctors1 and the level of medical cover at sporting events.2 This paper from the medical team for Glasgow Celtic Football Club emphasises the exceptional expertise of the team, their organisation for crowd control, and the type of casualties seen.
They illustrate the increasing diversity of casualties and the opportunistic nature of those seen, and comment on the rise in female and child casualties, which we hope is a reflection of the increasing numbers attending outwith the traditional adult male spectators.
Of most interest was the significant impact of alcohol intoxication on their workload, with almost one quarter of the casualties having alcohol as a contributory factor.
As sport becomes increasingly “professional” with spiralling financial rewards, sports governing bodies and clubs must ensure that those of us providing medical support do so with appropriate levels of training and experience. It is imperative that they provide the financial back up for this training and the provision of the medical cover that is recommended.
The days of unpaid and untrained medical support provided by doctors for the “love of the game” should be in the past—for our own sake as well as our patients.
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