Temperatures and medals for American athletes were running above average at the Olympic Games in Atlanta last week. But the demand for hospital emergency services has been lower than expected.
"We are seeing about the same volume of patients we normally see in our emergency department," said Debra Bloom, a spokeswoman for Crawford Long Hospital of Emory University in Atlanta. "They have more visitors with them, but it hasn't been the dramatic increase we anticipated."
Crawford Long is one of three hospitals designated as primary Olympic referral centers. Nine other hospitals, including Gwinett Medical Center in Lawrenceville, Ga., also are part of the emergency hospital network.
"It's boring," said Debbie Kozeny, trauma case manager at Gwinett. "(Emergency medical services) tells us everything is normal around Atlanta except in the Olympic ring."
Bloom said the 150 medical stations at the Olympic venues are treating most visitors with heat-related ailments.
"Most don't require hospital interventions," she said. "We have treated a few cardiac cases and broken bones."
During the first week of the Olympics, about 60 patients per day have been treated at the Olympic medical stations for minor injuries and heat-related problems, said an official with the Atlanta Committee of the Olympic Games.