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Altogether more than 1700 medical cases during the entire period of the 17th FINA World Championships

Almost seven hundred interventions and treatments were carried out by the medical team during the entire period of the 17th FINA World Championships. As Prof. Dr. Béla Merkely, Head of the Medical Team of the Championships and Vice-Rector for Clinical Affairs explained, in the framework of the Masters phase, 10 000 senior athletes between the age of 30-100 were competing. Since they were not doing sports actively and were not under continuous medical supervision before the competitions, this Masters phase meant a greater challenge for the medical team as well.

According to Prof. Dr. Merkely, during the two weeks of the Masters phase, the most serious cases were three cardiac attacks, three abdominal surgical operations and a seizure. 83 patients were hospitalized, out of which 30 people needed a traumatic treatment. Except for high diving, every other sport events were being organized, therefore the Masters phase required a similar presence from the medical team just as during the championship of the active sportsmen during the phase organized between July 14-30.

The most serious case happened to a Spanish swimmer, who had a sudden cardiac attack right after his swimming competition in the practice pool. The members of the medical team have immediately removed the swimmer from the pool and they started the resuscitation within 30 seconds. Since the cardiovascular system could not have been stabilized, the patient in critical state was taken to the Heart and Vascular Centre of Semmelweis University. The 65-year-old swimmer was put on an artificial heart and was medically treated because of a serious coronary artery disease. During four days the patient was operated several times, and even though the artificial heart kept the person alive, yet all the other organs stopped functioning one by one. Despite the highest technology and the excellent and rapid treatment, the life of the patient unfortunately could not be saved.

The 6 patients (1 seizure, 2 cardiac attacks, 3 abdominal surgical operations) are doing well, they have all left the hospital.

Prof. Dr. Béla Merkely also participated in the Masters Championships as a sportsman: with his team called Happy Hippos, out of 16 teams, they won the silver medal at the 50+ FINA Masters Water Polo Championships. Prof. Dr. Merkely contributed to the ranking with two goals. In the finals, the gold medal was awarded to the Russian team, Dynamo Masters, in which five Russian champions are playing. The results of the final were 8:7.

“The medical care services related to the 17th FINA World Championships were ensured by Semmelweis Ltd., which is the property of Semmelweis University. The medical care team (500 members) mostly consisted of the physicians, health care specialists and medical students of Semmelweis University, but sport loving representatives of other hospitals also strengthened the crew. The medical care team had members from three other medical universities, as well as from Tirgu Mures (Marosvásárhely). The team was working in strong cooperation with the National Ambulance Sevice and the Water Rescue Services.”, emphasized Dr. Béla Merkely, Head of the Medical Team of the 17th FINA World Championships.

During the first phase of the championships, in which almost 2500 professional athletes were competing, the medical team also had a lot of work to do. They had to perform almost 1040 interventions or treatments, out of which there were 500 physiotherapy treatments. Please find more details by clicking here.

Directorate of Communication and Event Management
Photo: Attila Kovács, Semmelweis University; Facebook 
Translation: Katalin Illés-Romhányi

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