Treating the World: VCU Health at the UCI Championships

Treating the World: VCU Health at the UCI Championships


(tentative music) (march-like music) – [Voiceover] What is the human spirit? Where is the human spirit? It’s in the legs. In the arms. In the eyes. It’s whatever it is that drives us. The human spirit exists
in the determination to blaze a trail for six hours reaching speeds of 30 miles an hour. It’s in the bold idea that at the end of the week you could earn the title Best in the World. Human spirit race through Richmond, like no other phenomenon
in its long history, estimates were that more
than 600 thousand people lined the streets to watch these athletes from every corner of the planet reveal Richmond, Virginia to the world. 300 million people watching on television now know Richmond as a welcoming example of what is truly the human spirit. And right in the thick
of it all was a group of doctors, nurses, pharmacists, physical therapists, and EMTs set up in two, 18 by 25 foot tents ready to take on the painful injuries that come from wrecking in a crowd at 30 miles an hour. (music) (lighthearted music) – [Voiceover] It was somewhat shocking that Richmond, of all places, won the right to be the first
American city since 1986 to host the World Championships of the Union Cycliste Internationale, better known as UCI. When the shock wore off, the leadership of VCU
Health saw an opportunity – We didn’t make the decision
right away, first of all, but as we reflected on the opportunity, we recognized that We weren’t talking about a local event or a regional event but, really, it’s an international event. It’s the world coming to Richmond. You have to prepare for
all of the infrastructure hospitals, restaurants,
hotels, public safety. And that level of planning, knowing what we know
about the world today, has to be thorough, has to be methodical, and has to be achieved
at the highest level. And so, were we the right
organization for the task as it came to being a medical sponsor? Absolutely. – [Voiceover] With these
sobering goals in mind, the plan did come together. Set VCU Health up as the
main medical provider to the bike race. Injuries, traumas, mass casualties would all be the responsibility of this level one trauma center. It was, to say the least, a daunting task. Even for an academic medical center. The emergency department, at the time undergoing significant
expansion and renovation, would still have to
handle serious injuries all the while maintaining
normal hospital operations. From the beginning the
leadership team made it clear that VCU Health would not
turn away a single patient. It was a bold plan that called for unprecedented preperation, and the very best of the human spirit. – [John] When you look at our role as a level one trauma center, and all the activities that support that, all the elements of the organization that support that level one status and our role in the EMS community, what it really did was bring, essentially, every element of this
health system together to ensure we were coordinated at the highest achievable level. – [Voiceover] Tasked coordinating
this large undertaking was Robin Manke, the Director of Emergency
Management Support Services and planning for VCU. Her job, to bring together a coalition of emergency services personell, police, fire, and rescue, to prepare for everything from the slightest bruise, to a mass casualty event in front of the world. – I sat in a meeting
this morning where the org chart was so huge
it took up a whole wall, and you couldn’t even read
the names that were so tiny because there were so many people who had put up so much time to
make this event successful. – [Voiceover] Leading the
medical team was Steven Miller, an emergency department physician and VCU Health’s Director of
the Patient Transfer Center. – So, I’m driving down the road, MPR is on, and all of the sudden I hear, “International UCI Bike
Race Richmond, VA,” and my ears perk up and then they say, “Projected 300, 400 thousand spectators coming into the city,” and all of the sudden
my mind starts racing. What did I sign up for? (bomb) – [Voiceover] The Boston
Marathon bombing in 2013 came to the minds of a lot of people. – [Robin] When John Duvall
first asked me about this that was the first thing
that went through my mind. It wasn’t the excitement, it was what could go wrong or how could we stop that from happening and where we sat. I think that that’s
probably my biggest concern. I know it’s not going to be perfect. Hopefully, you know, every good plan is changing constantly and we’ll be able to
adapt and move forward. – [Voiceover] One of the
first things the team did was to ask caregivers in Boston to talk about the handling
of wounded spectators and athletes in that attack. – [Steven] Just hearing their story their preparation that they had, what they wish they would’ve had. So we took it, again, step-wise. We saw what we have in place and then what we felt like we needed. We needed resources. Putting together a plan of if something, God forbid, were to happen on that scale, how would communication work? Who would be in charge of it? And, how would the flow of patients receiving them from EMS or even if they had to
walk up to the hospital. All those things have been considered, and it takes a team effort. – [Voiceover] To that end, VCU team even practiced setting up an area of the hospital to treat patients exposed to radiation. – [Female Doctor] Monitor again. (monitor beeps) – [Voiceover] Over the course
of two years of preparation, hundreds of caregivers
in every classification gathered in small groups and larger conferences to prepare for every possible
outcome of the event. The goal was to
methodically train in a way that would permanently
elevate the skill level of every single member of this team. – [Michel] We have to get up every day at the top of our game. And, the only way you can do this is by preparing both
physically and mentally in regard to this. – Typical day, we’re going to have several teams deployed. We’re going to have a team that specifically dedicated to the course with additional staffing. And then we’re going to
have additional staffing in the emergency department. – [Voiceover] The biggest
advantage the team had, going into the race, was relevant experience. One year earlier, Richmond hosted the USA Cycling Collegiate Road
National Championships. – [Steven] Building on the experience of those that had worked
the collegiate race, or had just background in
big event preparedness. So I think that at least
gave us a feeling of, on a smaller scale, we’ve
done a portion of this. – [Voiceover] As the
countdown to the race dwindled from years, to months, to
weeks, and then to days, the reality of this awesome undertaking was impossible to avoid. – We are 16 days and 10 hours out from the event, and no one is sleeping that’s working on this team right now. We wake up in the middle of the night and we have to make little
lists and post-it notes to make sure we remember
it the next morning. – [Voiceover] Three days
before the start of the races, representatives from all
the public safety agencies convened at the unified command center to test out all its systems. – [Robin] This is the place
where all the decisions are made. This is where we’ll call the race if a bad event happens. The people sitting in here will be able to do all of those decisions. It is probably the biggest
regional collaboration that Central Virginia has ever seen. (lively music) – [Voiceover] The day
before bikes were to start rambling through town, Richmond, Virginia was
undergoing a transformation. The greatest cyclists in
the world were coming, and the world was watching. Moving with the swiftness
of an experienced Army M.A.S.H. unit, Flight EVAC Nurse David Murray, and Logistic Specialist Jen Kamerman led a team of movers, doctors, nurses, and physical therapists as they turned an empty
block of broad street into a full capable emergency department. (lighthearted music) – [Voiceover] Just a
couple of blocks away, bike race support teams
from across the world descended on Richmond to begin their own preparation for the UCI World Championships. Together there was passion, expertise, and intense focus as everyone worked to be ready by the time of the start of the first race in less than 24 hours. – A lot of us, we got to
know each other at collegiate and we became comfortable with each other and we trust each others skills and we just know that we
can rely on each other. You have to. When a bunch of people come in, You have to forget that you’re a PT. You have to treat the patient. If we base it on what
we saw at collegiate, we’ll see lot of road rash, we’ll see blisters, we’ll see some cramps, muscle cramps, and we’ll do some stretching. But a lot of it was wound care. – [Voiceover] Within a
span of just half a day, the tent and the team are ready. The athletes and their teams were ready. It was time to race. (cheering and clapping) – [Voiceover] Day one of
the UCI World Championships was a team training day. Curious Richmond fans of the
Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens got their first look at
these world class athletes and liked what they saw. On this day, the athletes were riding
in teams of cyclists that set a course for the
eventual leader of the team to try to make a charge
at the end of the race. It takes extraordinary control
to ride in these tight groups without touching wheels and wrecking. It didn’t take long to test the team in the VCU Heath tent. Within an hour of the
start of these time trials, a multi-bike wreck left several athletes with wounds, cuts, and bruises. The medical tent sprung to life. – [Medical team member]
So were you turning right, turning left, being passed, at an intersection, going straight? Okay. – [Voiceover] On day one, two years of preparation showed. – [Cyclist] Now that
was the most organized medical treatment I’ve
ever had after a race. Got everything treated, all the stuff, second skin, things you don’t really get in medical, it’s pretty awesome. I even got a little goodie bag of stuff. (laughs) – [Voiceover] This is considered
a successful first day. With some important
reminders to each other for the days ahead, including keeping a sharp
eye out for concussions, a not easily diagnosed condition. – So my personal opinion is, we should feed all of them because if they start puking on us we know there’s a problem. Because that’s one of the criteria, nausea and vomiting, but if you have an empty stomach they may not throw up until they get home and eat something. – Are you okay with just crackers? – Yes. – Alright so, everybody
gets crackers and Gatorade. – So we need to make sure were giving good discharge instructions too. So we’re telling all of them to come wash their wounds in the shower, and then come back to us and
we’ll redress in the morning. Or, we’re giving them
goodie bags of the dressings and say if, like our girl said, “I know how to dress it if
you just give me the stuff.” So we just gave her an
ice bag full of supplies. – So tomorrow morning, the race first starts at 11, or something? It’s later in the morning. So, tomorrow morning we may have a rush like we did last year of… – [Voiceover] The next two days the medical team got a front row seat to watch these champions go to work. (active music) (cheering and clapping) (active music) – [Medica team member] It’s tremendous. I mean, these athletes are top notch. I mean , they come in and
there’s no stopping them. They get cut up, scraped up, and they just go right
back on their bikes and go. (cheering) (action music) – [Voiceover] To attempt
an endeavor on this scale, there are many people who
have to be at full speed, well before dawn, every single day. The team at the hospital
command center at VCU Health is already two cups of coffee
into their pre-dawn ritual. – [Robin] 15 in the medical tent starting out this morning. Three in doctors cars, we’ll also have a motorcycle on course. – So everybody will go to the
tent – we’re at 4th and Broad, alright. Then we’ll give you your assignments. – [Voiceover] While the
medical team in the tent treated the cyclists. The team in the hospital command center made sure every department in the hospital worked seamlessly. – We are making certain that we have appropriate beds, appropriate rescourses, supplies, equipment. We are ready for any
emergency that could happen. – [Voiceover] Less than a mile away the unified command center set up at the Main Street Library, is buzzing with activity. This multi-agency task force is looking in every direction, leaving no area of the race uncovered. Today was the men’s junior time trials. No pelotons, but a lot of speed. Later in the afternoon
Hungary’s David Kovach took a nasty spill and
found his way to the tent. – [David] I was really going to fast and I lost control of my bike. I’m not happy with the result because I was not expecting a crash in this race. – [Medical team member]
This is blood inside, hematoma they call it. – [Voiceover] Kovach
suffered a deep hand wound. He also scraped an arm that had been in the process of healing
from another injury. He was in pain and concerned about whether he’d be ready to
race again in three days. Within minutes the team
cleaned his wounds, and applied a healing bandage, called a second skin on his hand, Easing the pain and protecting to wound so it would heal faster. – [Medical team member] Saturday morning, you can come in and we’ll
redress if you need to. – [Voiceover] As he
headed out of the tent, there was little question
that Kovach would race again. The crowds, at this time, began to truly swell in anticipation of the bigger races ahead. Little did anyone among the thousands who were gathered outside
the hospital know, the VCU Health transplant team was in the process of
making a critical decision. Tuwanda Crider, who had been living with
kidney disease for years needed a transplant to rid her life of dialysis treatments. Suddenly, in the middle of it all, a donor kidney was available. The donor kidney was on
the way from Baltimore. It could not be out of the donors body for more than 24 hours. With major arteries into downtown Richmond blocked by race traffic, everything had to be orchestrated down to the last minute. – When we found out about the bike race, the first thing there were a lot of emails chain, going around. What are we going to do? How are we going to do this? We talked to John Hopkins and said this is going on. It might delay, at least
for two or three hours easy. So we decided, let’s bypass the traffic. Let’s go by air. And it was decided well before they came to the hospital. Tuwanda’s sister Artice had offered to donate
her kidney to Tuwanda, but they were not a match. Yet she donated a kidney in a swap, that made it possible for Tuwanda to get her kidney. – This is my sister, I would do anything for my sister. There was never a question of should I, should I not do it. It was more of a question of how soon can we do it. – [Voiceover] Within three hours, hundreds of cyclists
raced through Richmond, tens of thousands of fans
gathered to watch them, and Tuwanda Crider received a new kidney. – Once I got the kidney I was like, “Oh! I didn’t realize how much I was feeling bad.” But I feel wonderful now. (lighthearted music) (gentle music) – [Voiceover] As the medical
team entered the tent early on the morning of day six, predictions of heat and
humidity were on their minds. – [Alan] I think the weather for today is going to be a high 80 and sunny, so suntan lotion, hats. – [Voiceover] Before the racing began, UCI Medical Director Ton Zasada rode the course with Steven Miller to look out for the most dangerous areas. – [Interviewer] What are
some things that you’d be looking for in the course? – The high risk spots. we have to pay special attention in the section with the cobble stones. The technical mistake of rider and total peloton crashes. – [Voiceover] And that’s
just what happened. After a multi-bike wreck, several cyclists came
into the medical tent. The combination of speed and pavement left several of these atheletes with significant and
painful cuts and abrasions. Jutatip Maneephan, a champion
cyclist from Thailand, suffered some of the
toughest looking scars of the race this far. – [Medical team member]
Let’s get this for over here. Let’s use the Sensi-care. It’s going to be cold, okay? Cold. (sprays) To protect it. – [Medical team member]
When do you race, tomorrow? – [Jutatip] Saturday. – [Medical team member] Saturday. If you want to come see us tomorrow and Saturday morning, we’ll get you ready for your race. – Okay, so tomorrow come back to clean again and then before the race starts. Yeah, it’s just bad luck. She just touched the wheels and crashed. – [Voiceover] Then a second rider came in, writhing in pain after
colliding with a car. With each patient, the
medical team went to work. First assessing whether
the rider needed to head to the emergency department, or continue riding at all. – Look towards me, chin to the chest, all the way back. Does that hurt? Now bend. Bend. Does that hurt? – No. – Anything like that hurt? – No. – [Rohit] In a helmeted patient, a neck injury… an occult neck injury
would be our big concern. – I’m going to give you some
of this to take with you, so you can spray that again later. But we will be here all day until seven, – We saw minor abrasions over her, I guess, bony points that landed. She was found to have struck a car and flipped over her handlebars. There was no life threatening injuries that we were able to immediately assess. So I think were able to stabilize her and send her back out to compete. – [Nathan] So an important
part of our assessment, obviously, is to not only look at what the superficial injuries are but to assess whether or not there could be a cervical
spine injury for example, or an itracranial injury,
or and intradominal injury. And fortunately she didn’t seem to have any of those signs to suggest that at all. – [Interviewer] Are you going
to be able to race again? – I think so, tomorrow I have a race if everything will be okay
I start of course. – [Robin] Today is the
25th, it’s the big day. The team has done a
phenomenal job all week. But, today is probably
going to be our busiest day. Including up until this evening, especially if it starts to rain. We will be doing the junior womens and men under 23 today. Conquer the Cobble Stones
with start at seven. Fold-a-bike will start at six after they fold their bikes and build their bikes they will begin into the Conquer the Cobble Stones. This is a quiet group. Get ready to work today. (laughs) – [Voiceover] Once again, before the break of dawn the medical team walk the
seven blocks to the tent knowing their day would not come to an end for another 15 hours. From the international races, to the locally run Conquer the Cobbles, from professionals, to amateurs. It was remarkable how
few injuries there were. Still, the team inside the tent treated some of the most painful, and unusual ailments. (radio beeps) – This is medical tent, go ahead. (radio feedback) – [Voiceover] She’s got
some minor road rash to her right elbow, her right knee, no deformities. – Medical tent confirmed,
we’re ready for her. (tense music) – She had injuries of
abrasions, road rash, but also had some concerning areas in her shoulder and hip that we wanted to check out a bit further, so we transported her to
the emergency department. And they’re ready to receive her, and we’ll probably get a few
x-rays and go from there. – [Voiceover] Meanwhile,
Jutatip Maneephan returned for follow-up wound care. The wounds were healing, but more work needed to be done to ensure she could race the next day. – I’m going to do this loose so you can still bend your knee. Her wounds are looking
like they’re healing well, but she’s wanted a dressing change. And she was having a hard time, one of the dressings, I guess, she had put on too tight. So it was hard for her to bend her knee. So, today we just covered
it with the second skin and put some flexible tape across it so that she can bend her knee a little more easily when she’s riding her bike. – [Voiceover] Then the unexpected. Three riders came into
the tent with some sort of gastrointestinal ailment. They suffered from incapacitating nausea. – [Voiceover] This is
where the language barrier added complication. With no visible bruises or abrasions, communication was the best way to find out just what happened. From Google translator, to
translation graphic symbols, to coaches who could also speak english, the team gathered evidence
and went into treatment. – [Medical team member]
Normal resting heart rate? What his heart rate is normally? – Normally? for… – For him. (Speaking in a different language) – [Medical team member] 60? – [Coach] 50? – [Medical team member] 60, okay. – [Medical team member] Any stomach pain? – [Voiceover] The medical team determined, since they were staying
at different hotels, it’s possible a bug got
around some of the cyclists causing their illness. (upbeat music) – [Voiceover] Later in the evening, as fans took to the
course for Brompton and Conquer the Cobbles races, the medical team got their first chance to help some locals as the longest day of the
championships drew to a close. (upbeat music) (energetic music) – [Voiceover] After
seven days of setting up and working all of the
preliminary training and races, the busiest and most intense race of the week was approaching along with the very real threat of rain. – In the fan zones, or wherever we actually have some rain gear. These clear ponchos, they actually work really, really well. – [Voiceover] Day 8. The forcast, early rain, the result – a lot
of skin making contact with a lot of pavement. (frenzied music) – [Voiceover] There are
at least a dozen wrecks throughout the course. And soon the medical tent
is filled with riders suffering from cuts, skin tears, and bruises. (dramatic music) – We went from not having anyone, to all of the sudden I looked around and there were four people. Two needed suturing, and the other two just had bad road rash. That looks pretty deep there. – [Voiceover] As the wrecks piled up, the medical tent began to resemble a busy M.A.S.H. unit. They came into the tent from everywhere. Ecuador, the Netherlands, Norway and Japan, whose rider Ayumu Watanabe suffered cuts, abrasions, and bruises all over his legs, shoulder, and face. A large cut had to be
stitched on the scene. Watanabe’s youthful spirit was inspiring. He appeared to enjoy
the entire experience, determined to proudly wear his scars from this international competition. – [Voiceover] During a
break between the men’s race and the women’s elite road circuit, the rain came to an end and the roads dried. While they waited for the start, Governor Terry McAuliffe stopped by to thank the team for all their work. – Thank’s everybody, good work, good job, appreciate it. Then the women took off powering down the course to the cheering throngs of spectators. While there were fewer
wrecks on the dry roads one Norwegian rider, Cecile Johnson, suffered a nasty head wound racing down Monument Avenue. Within about 15 minutes she was treated, stitched up, and able to walk out under her own power. Even at her disappointment, she was impressed with her treatment. – They responded quite fast I would say, so I’m not used to that. But normally, I’m not
used to be taken away in an ambulance either. It’s been good. (uplifting music) – [Voiceover] To anyone
witnessing the orchestration of care throughout the medical tent, it was hard to miss just
how calm everyone was. Voices never rose above
a conversational level. Riders from many nations were able to communicate where the pain was. The treatment was swift and effective. – [Rebecca] We worked well together with that many people in there. And we got a little crowded. But, we’ve been practicing for this and preparing for this and it went just as we would expect. (joyful music) – [Voiceover] On the final day of the Richmond 2015 UCI Championships, everyone in the tent, the riders, the coaches, and the fans had all come to the realization this event shined a different
kind of light on Richmond, and the people who live and work here. – [Commentator] The
riders riding out of the University of Richmond at
nine o’clock in the morning… – [Voiceover] Throughout the world, fans of this thrilling sport tuned in to see throngs of people lining the streets of Richmond, as world class athletes embarked on their highspeed, 6-hour endurance race. – [Commentator] Oh, crash here. One rider has gone down. And a Costa Rican rider has hit the deck. I’m not sure who that is. – [Voiceover] This Costa Rican rider suffered multiple abrasions, and was clearly in pain. Added to the injury was the realization his participation in the world championships would end without
crossing the finish line. (Cheering) – [Voiceover] By the time
Slovakia’s Peter Sagan celebrated his world championship, the medical team in the tent began to break down their temporary home with satisfaction of a
job more than well done. (pop, cheers) – [Voiceover] In fact,
by the time the tent was nearly cleared UCI’s cheif doctor Ton Zasada let the VCU Health team know that they set a new standard for caring for the world’s greatest cyclists. – You are the best. (cheering) – [Voiceover] When VCU embarked into this medical sponsorship, it created another legacy that will last far beyond the race. Shift for health was coined to define the institutions focus on wellness for both employees, and the community. – We tried to use it as a springboard for our own health and promotion of health and wellness. So, we’re trying to get people to take the stairs instead of the elevator and just try to have fun with it and to put it out there in front of people so people can see that it can be hard work, but it can be a lot of fun and rewarding to do it. – [Voiceover] And then, just like that, it was done. A two year marathon of preparation for an event that raced by in nine days. A new international standard had been set. The human spirit was, and is, alive and well in Richmond. – To a team that I couldn’t have done this with out, thank you so much. – The people that worked these nine days truly came together, laid it all out there, committed themselves, and this would not have
happened with out them. So this was an amazing team effort, and it was fantastic to be a part of. (uplifting music)

Eugene Islam

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