Cardinal Fever – at the ballpark with Dr. Tan

November 1, 2011

We caught up with Dr. David Tan, who is the chief of the EMS Section of the Department of Emergency Medicine here at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. You may have seen him and members of the department at the Cardinals Games, treating fans on-site or preparing them for a trip to the hospital.  We were curious as to what goes into preparing to treat emergencies and how the Rally Squirrel might help or hinder that treatment. *

What is a typical Cardinal game like for you?
Well, there is no “typical” game.  Many factors determine the type and number of patients we see with the AccuCare Medical staff at Busch including time of year, prevailing weather conditions, type of game (regular season vs. post-season), age of patient, and even the time of first pitch.  Generally, we arrive about an hour before game time, check in with the medical staff, and make sure everything is set for anticipated medical threats to our guests.   We also stay after the last inning for up to an hour until everyone pretty much clears out.


Dr. David Tan, standing with emergency gear near Gate #2, Busch Stadium

How is the World Series different from a typical game?

We check-in two hours early and there is a lot more Security in place.  Particularly when dignitaries visit, we all have to make sure we’re on our “A-game!”

Dr. David Tan, Game 6 of the World Series

What happens during an emergency? (walk me through the process)
Emergencies can happen anywhere in the stadium and at any time.  We have the capability of responding out on a specially outfitted medical cart with advanced life support equipment on it or patients can be brought (or dragged!) to us at the First Aid station.  Patients can be anyone from spectators, vendors, staff members, and sometimes even family members of the players.  There are two aid stations: one on the main concourse and one on the top deck.   The physicians work very closely with the EMTs, paramedics, and nurses to evaluate and stabilize anything from minor bumps and bruises to broken bones and full cardiac arrests.  In partnership with Abbott EMS, patients are then picked up and transported to the hospital.

Rally Squirrel on the scoreboard

*No squirrels, Rally or other, were hurt or interfered in the writing of this post.

-Mary Williams

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Category: Classes & Events, Emergency Medicine, Our Staff, Safety

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