Context Mass gatherings such as the Youth Olympic Games require medical services for large populations with special needs specific to elite competitive youth athletes. The location of the Games in a heavily populated city with dispersed competition venues provides unique challenges.
Objective To describe the planning and delivery of medical services and to provide data for future planning.
Setting Singapore. One large multipurpose clinic was set up in the Games Village as well as medical posts at competitive venues for 26 sports for onsite coverage. Period of coverage: 10 August 2010 to 28 August 2010.
Participants A total of 1,337 medical encounters ranging from athletes to officials and volunteers who received medical care from a spectrum of medical professionals.
Major outcome measures Number of cases attended to at the Games Village medical centres and the medical posts at the competition venues, utilisation of medical services, and the pattern of these injuries and referral patterns to hospitals.
Results Medical encounters for non-athletes represented 40.9% of the total medical encounters. The rate of heat illnesses was low for athletes at 1.7% (N = 13). The total hospitalisation rate was low at 1.7% (n = 23). Utilisation of onsite pharmacy and physiotherapy services were high at 45.2% (n = 887) and 37.8% (n = 743), respectively, of the encounters for all support services.
Conclusion The dispersed nature of the Games venues provided challenges to the organisation of medical cover for the participants. Organisers in future Games can make use of the data to plan for future Games of a similar nature.
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Competing interests None.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.