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Medical encounters (including injury and illness) at mass community-based endurance sports events: an international consensus statement on definitions and methods of data recording and reporting
  1. Martin Schwellnus1,2,
  2. Courtney Kipps3,
  3. William O Roberts4,
  4. Jonathan A Drezner5,
  5. Pierre D’Hemecourt6,
  6. Chris Troyanos7,
  7. Dina Christina Janse van Rensburg8,
  8. Jannelene Killops9,
  9. Jill Borresen10,
  10. Mark Harrast11,
  11. Paolo E Adami12,
  12. Stéphane Bermon13,
  13. Xavier Bigard14,
  14. Sergio Migliorini15,
  15. Esme Jordaan16,
  16. Mats Borjesson17,18
  1. 1 Faculty of Health Sciences, Sport, Exercise Medicine and Lifestyle Institute (SEMLI), University of Pretoria, Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa
  2. 2 Director, IOC Research Centre of South Africa, Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa
  3. 3 ISEH, University College London, London, UK
  4. 4 Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, University of Minnesota, St Paul, Minnesota, USA
  5. 5 Family Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA
  6. 6 Sports Medicine, Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  7. 7 International Institute for Race Medicine (IIRM), Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  8. 8 Section Sports Medicine and Sport, Exercise Medicine and Lifestyle Institute (SEMLI), University of Pretoria, Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa
  9. 9 Section Sports Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, Sport, Exercise Medicine and Lifestyle Institute (SEMLI), University of Pretoria, Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa
  10. 10 Sport, Exercise Medicine and Lifestyle Institute, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa
  11. 11 Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA
  12. 12 IAAF Health and Science Department, International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), Rome, Italy
  13. 13 Department of Health and Science, IAAF, Monte Carlo, Monaco
  14. 14 Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), Aigle, Switzerland
  15. 15 International Triathlon Union (ITU), Novara, Italy
  16. 16 Biostatistics Unit, Medical Research Council, Parow, South Africa
  17. 17 Neuosciences and Physiology, Goteborgs Universitet Sahlgrenska Akademin, Goteborg, Sweden
  18. 18 Ostra Sjukhuset, Goteborg, Sweden
  1. Correspondence to Professor Martin Schwellnus, Faculty of Health Sciences, Sport, Exercise Medicine and Lifestyle Institute (SEMLI), University of Pretoria, Pretoria 0002, South Africa; mschwell{at}iafrica.com

Abstract

Mass participation endurance sports events are popular but a large number of participants are older and may be at risk of medical complications during events. Medical encounters (defined fully in the statement) include those traditionally considered ‘musculoskeletal’ (eg, strains) and those due to ‘illness’ (eg, cardiac, respiratory, endocrine). The rate of sudden death during mass endurance events (running, cycling and triathlon) is between 0.4 and 3.3 per 100 000 entrants. The rate of other serious medical encounters (eg, exertional heat stroke, hyponatraemia) is rarely reported; in runners it can be up to 100 times higher than that of sudden death, that is, between 16 and 155 per 100 000 race entrants. This consensus statement has two goals. It (1) defines terms for injury and illness-related medical encounters, severity and timing of medical encounters, and diagnostic categories of medical encounters, and (2) describes the methods for recording data at mass participation endurance sports events and reporting results to authorities and for publication. This unifying consensus statement will allow data from various events to be compared and aggregated. This will inform athlete/patient management, and thus make endurance events safer.

  • sport
  • endurance
  • medical encounters
  • epidemiology
  • methodology
  • running
  • cycling
  • swimming
  • triathlon
  • illness
  • injury
  • SAFER
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Footnotes

  • Contributors MS: responsible for the overall content as the consensus statement guarantor, consensus concept, manuscript planning, search strategy, search and data interpretation, manuscript (first draft), manuscript editing, facilitating funding. CK, WOR, JAD, DCJvR, MH: consensus concept, manuscript planning, manuscript editing. PDH: consensus concept, manuscript editing. CT, JK: manuscript planning, manuscript editing. JB: search strategy, search and data interpretation, manuscript (first draft), manuscript editing. PEA, SB, XB, SM: manuscript editing. EJ: manuscript editing (data collection and reporting). MB: consensus concept, manuscript planning, search strategy, search and data interpretation, manuscript (first draft), manuscript editing.

  • Funding Partial funding for generating the consensus was received from two IOC Research Grants: (1) IOC Research Center grant to the University of Pretoria and (2) IOC Grant for study entitled: ’Reducing Medical Complications and Injuries at Endurance Sports Events: A 20-year Longitudinal Study (2008–2027). INTERNATIONAL MILLION+ ATHLETE PROJECT-SAFER (IMAPS)'.

  • Disclaimer The funding agency did not influence the content of the consensus statement.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement No additional data are available.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

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