From July 1-2, the Morzine ski resort in Savoy, France hosted the Spartan Race, an obstacle course open to all physical abilities and all levels. Competitors from all over Europe took part in the event.
With cold temperatures (54°F [12°C]), mud, rain, and a glacial river, the competition lived up to its formidable reputation and in this type of race, competitors are put through the mill and injuries are common. When it comes to providing first aid to competitors, it pays to come prepared.
Dr. Mourad Bensalah practises medicine in the Intensive Care Unit at St. Anne military hospital in Toulon and served as the Spartan Race emergency physician. He requested a Fujifilm Sonosite M-Turbo portable ultrasound to help him provide better care to the Spartan competitors.
"Portable ultrasound is a highly-usable, non-invasive tool that is increasingly becoming an extra eye, ear and hand for doctors,” explained Dr. Bensalah. “This is especially true in isolated situations wheredoctors do not have fast access to the most precise imaging tools.”
The Spartan Race definitely qualifies as an isolated situation. Potential dangers include 16 ft. falls, and cardiovascular issues associated with heavy physician exertion and fractured bones.
Point-of-care ultrasound is typically used by physicians to rule out (or verify) a life-threatening injury, like internal bleeding.
Having these answers at a doctor’s fingertips can mean the difference between a simple discharge of an overtired competitor, and a long trip to a regional hospital where a patient can be treated.
“For example,” says Dr. Bensalah, “with thoracic and costal injuries, ruling out pleural effusion (gas or liquid) may allow the athlete to be discharged with a simple analgesic treatment. The presence of an effusion would lead to equipped monitoring at the field hospital while awaiting medical evacuation, or emergency treatment if the clinical situation deteriorates (exsufflation or pleural drainage).”
“Portable ultrasound machines play an important role in medical surveillance at sporting events that can cause potentially serious accidents,” says Dr. Bensalah.
Learn More About the Sonosite M-Turbo
Sonosite ultrasound machines were originally built for military use, so battle-grade durability was a must. The M-Turbo is drop tested at 3 feet and has a splash resistant user interface, so learn more the M-Turbo, our most versatile system for abdominal, nerve, vascular, cardiac, venous access, pelvic, and superficial imaging.