Analysis of pre-hospital consultations with crowd medical services at Premier League football club Fulham

Ruth Bird
Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Background:Craven Cottage has seen plans approved for a new riverside stand to expand capacity within the stadium from 26 000 to over 30 0000.Aims and Method:In order to anticipate any increase in use of medical services during match days, this study aimed to review nine seasons of medical data for Fulham Football Club. We examined the usage of crowd medical services to see if the number of injuries/illnesses requiring medical assistance at each match had any correlation to the crowd numbers in attendance. A retrospective data analysis was done on injury location, type of injury, whether the patient required transporting to hospital or whether follow up was recommended. The aim being to assess whether increased capacity would impact on local emergency services and primary care.Results:Between 2004–2013, there were 830 presentations to medical services, 43 patients were transported to hospital (5.18%) with 32 (3.85%) being advised to see their GP. Of these, 512 were new injuries/trauma and 318 medical presentations. There was one fatal non-traumatic cardiac arrest and 19 assaults. The data showed total crowd attendances of 4 157 597 over the 10-year period, with mean crowd numbers per game of 18 878. From these total crowd attendances there was a consultation rate per 10 000 gate admissions of 1.97. This is comparable to previously published Premiership data. Analysis of the location of accidental injuries showed no statistical differences in injury patterns; however, regarding mechanism of injury, more assaults occurred in areas where fans mix, irrespective of capacity per match.Conclusions:This study has shown no significant differences or trends in trauma, medical cases or consultations per 10 000 gate admission. Plans to increase capacity should not affect provision of medical cover, though will be accounted for in major incident planning in the number of medical staff required to attend matches to cover for extra ticket sales. GP and A&E services should not be stretched by the increased capacity.

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