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Lack of Proper Emergency Access during the Run Led To the Death of Four Runners

by Medindia Content Team on June 10, 2006 at 12:27 PM
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Lack of Proper Emergency Access during the Run Led To the Death of Four Runners

In the Great North Run which was held last year to mark the 25th anniversary led to the death of four competitors. The complaints were that the deaths were due to the lack of proper medical facilities. The coroner was very confident as this was main reason of their deaths because the victims who died were all physically fit. They died due to over-exertion as they approached the end of the 13.1 mile race.

Terrence Carney, the Gateshead and South Tyneside Coroner, said that the organizers should have been careful in providing emergency access to the runners during the final stages. He said that the victims died within 55 minutes of one another but at separate points between 10 and 13 miles into the race. The race was conducted through the streets of Newcastle, Gateshead and South Shields. The victims were Phil Lewis, 52, a deputy head teacher, from Chester-le-Street, Co Durham; David Mahaffey, 43, a civil engineer, from York; Kieran Patching, 34, a businessman from Chatham, Kent and Reuben Wilson, 28, a building company director, from Leeds. The inquiry in to their deaths led to the fact that there was a delay in the ambulance service of about 45 minutes.

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In this time volunteers and helpers fought to keep the men alive. Nigel Gough, the race director, said that they had been very careful in organizing the event and had 500 medical staff in attendance, with a fully equipped field hospital, 19 ambulances and two motorbike paramedics as well as St John Ambulance and the Red Cross. The Run was organized by Nova International and Dr Russell Curtis, a local GP criticized the lack of proper medical cover at the critical final stage of the race. But recorded narrative verdicts, said that all four men had died very soon after collapsing and delays in the ambulance did not contribute to their deaths.

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