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Medical services at the 2017 Sapporo Asian winter games: injury and illness epidemiology at a 34-nation multisport event


Objectives We describe the medical services provided and report the injuries and illnesses that occurred at the eighth Asian Winter Games 2017.

Methods A total of 2010 athletes and team officials from 32 National Olympic Committees and 2 guest countries attended this event; medical services were provided for 16 days. Medical data (medical care and physiotherapy) were collected for the same period by the organising committee for athletes and non-athletes (team officials, workforce, media and spectators) and recorded on the electronic medical record system at the medical rooms in the venues and the team residences.

Results We recorded 745 medical encounters (medical care, 443; physiotherapy, 302), of which 549 (74%) were among athletes. There were 214 injuries as well as 144 illnesses and other medical conditions. Of the 1164 athletes, 549 (47%) utilised the services. Ice hockey, snowboarding and alpine skiing had high rate of medical encounters. More than half of the delegations were not accompanied by team doctor, and rate of medical encounters was high in these teams. The vast majority of patients transferred to hospital for further care were mostly athletes (n=36 out of 41), mostly alpine skiers and ice hockey players.

Conclusion Injuries and illnesses varied depending on NOC medical staffing and sport events. These data will serve organisers of medical and physiotherapy services in the Asian Winter Games and similar large events.

  • sports injury
  • medical service
  • epidemiology
  • surveillance
  • illness

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