Background There are few data on medical encounters, including deaths during mass-participation cycling events.
Objective To determine the incidence and nature of medical encounters during a community-based mass-participation cycling event.
Design Cross-sectional study across three annual events.
Setting 2012–2014 Cape Town Cycle Tour (109 km), South Africa.
Participants 102 251 race starters (male=80 354, female=21 897).
Methods Medical encounters (moderate, serious life-threatening, sudden cardiac arrest/death), using the 2019 international consensus definitions, were recorded on race day for 3 years as incidence rates (IR per 1000 starters; 95% CI). Overall illness-related (by organ system) or injury-related (by anatomical region) encounters, and severity were recorded.
Results We recorded 539 medical encounters (IR 5.3; 4.8 to 5.7). The IR was 3.2 for injuries (2.9 to 3.6), 2.1 for illnesses (1.0 to 2.4) and 0.5 for serious life-threatening medical encounters (0.4 to 0.7). In the 3-year study, we encountered three cardiac arrests and one death (2.9 and 1.0 per 100 000 starters, respectively). Injury IRs included upper limb (1.9; 1.6 to 2.1), lower limb (1.0; 0.8 to 1.0) and head/neck (0.8; 0.6 to 1.0). Illness IRs included fluid/electrolyte abnormalities (0.6; 0.5 to 0.8) and the cardiovascular system (0.5; 0.4 to 0.6).
Conclusion In a 109 km community-based mass-participation cycling event, medical encounters (moderate to severe) occurred in about 1 in 200 cyclists. Injury-related (1/300 cyclists) encounters were higher than illness-related medical encounters (1 in about 500). Serious life-threatening medical encounters occurred in 1/2000 cyclists. These data allow race organisers to anticipate the medical services required and the approximate extent of demand.
- endurance sports
- medical encounters
- sudden cardiac death
- safer study
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.