Volunteer medical staff are treating injuries head to toe on the Canada Games.
But regardless of the ailment, the young athletes competing on the Games on Prince Edward Island know medical staff have their backs.
About 150 doctors, nurses and therapists are volunteering their time, including 50 from off-Island who’ve special expertise in sports medicine.
The essential clinic, on the University of Prince Edward Island campus, is treating about 70 patients a day. There are also “field of play medical services” offering on-the-spot first aid at 16 athletic venues across the Island, particularly essential for high-contact sports equivalent to hockey, wheelchair basketball and so-called combat sports like boxing, judo and karate.
“Joint injuries, knees, ankles … just a few viral infections … and concussions are quite distinguished in a few of these sports,” said Dr. Kristy Newson, Canada Games chief medical officer, listing a day’s typical challenges.
“Thankfully, it hasn’t been that severe … we have not had to make use of the X-ray department an excessive amount of at QEH [Queen Elizabeth Hospital],” she said, adding: “Now we have had some injuries that required athletes to be sent home early.”
Hunter Annis, a Nova Scotian competing in judo, got some on-the-spot care when he suffered a bloody nose on Wednesday.
“I needed to — obviously — get that fixed. So I went over to the medical skilled there. She took this cube-looking thing and she or he stuck it right up my nose. Blood went away immediately … I used to be capable of fight the complete fight, and I used to be good….
“It feels pretty good to know you are in good hands here on the Games.”
Marya Phan is an authorized athletic therapist who travelled from Quebec to volunteer on the Games. She has been stationed on the judo venue.
“You walk in, often athletes are waiting for us for taping,” she said when asked to explain a typical day.
“Judo is a troublesome sport on the joints, a really tough sport on the body. Most of them, they fight with injuries, so that they need taping,” she said.
“You desire to stabilize, but not an excessive amount of because they still wish to find a way to maneuver. So that you got to search out that balance after which type of go along with them…
“After which when their matches start, we sit and we wait for a referee to call us on [the mat], if there’s an injury — mostly bleeding.”
Phan and her counterparts also check for concussions after head hits that result in nose bleeds, checking for signs of neurological injury.
If standard medical nose plugs don’t fit athletes with greater or smaller nasal passages than usual, the medical staff will cut a tampon in two or three pieces to staunch the bleeding.
You’ve gotten to improvise. You gotta be ready for the worst, hope for the perfect.— Marya Phan
“It’s an art,” Phan said. “You’ve gotten to improvise. You gotta be ready for the worst, hope for the perfect.”
Newson, whose team put in two years of planning for the Games, said being a part of the motion feels pretty good for the care-givers.
“Just being here within the energy of the Games, [seeing] the fervour that these sports medicine physicians and therapists have for his or her.work — it’s just been inspiring.
“Personally I believe we have developed a number of recent skills for physicians and nurses and physiotherapists on P.E.I., and I hope that brings more national events to P.E.I.,” said Newson.