Medical Staff Prepare for the Worst at This Year's Hotter'N Hell - Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Medical Staff Prepare for the Worst at This Year's Hotter'N Hell Hundred

The Hotter'N Hell Hundred medical team is getting ready for the big day by packing supplies and setting up medical tents.

Medical Director, Dr. Keith Williamson, said about five percent of the riders this year will need some sort of medical attention.

He understands there's over 2000 square miles to cover during the Hotter'N Hell Hundred. Medical professionals are taking every precaution this year to make sure the needs of the athletes are met.

“Because there have been 6 deaths,” said Dr. Williamson. “The majority of those have been heart disease.”

There will be 18 medical tents this year in association with the main one at the finish line.

“Early on in the race we experience a lot of trauma,” said Dr. Williamson. “I think because a lot of the riders are energetic, peppy and closely packed together. They touch wheels and go down.”

He said they see a lot of broken bones, cuts and scrapes and said riders will be able to have x-rays done free of charge, but injuries are only a piece of the puzzle.

“Most years we would get into what the American College of Sports Medicine would call black flag conditions,” said Dr. Williamson.

Which is an extreme amount of heat related stress for all athletes, whether you're the Tour de France winner or just starting out.

Williamson said the two things to watch out for are heat stroke and water toxicity. He believes heat stroke is rare at the Hotter'N Hell Hundred and said many riders can drink too much water causing water intoxication.

“The problem is that this has put more people in intensive care more than any other single problem,” said Dr. Williamson

He encouraged riders to drink only when thirsty because that's the best way to monitor hydration status, even if Saturday is Hotter'N Hell.

Dr. Williamson said the estimated cost for funding the medical portion of this event is unknown because so much of the equipment is being donated by the United Regional Healthcare system.

Brody Carter, Newschannel 6
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