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Medical crews taking extra precautions for Sunday's Pittsburgh Marathon



PITTSBURGH - The city is gearing up for Sunday’s Pittsburgh Marathon, and medical crews are finalizing plans to care for runners and spectators making their way downtown.

Although the temperature during the race is only expected to reach 60 degrees, if running in full sun it could feel like 80 degrees, Channel 11’s Trisha Pittman reported.

City of Pittsburgh marathon officials said they will have 28,000 gallons of water on hand for the crowd and 18 medical stations along the race course to treat potential health issues that include dehydration, muscle cramps, overheating and heat exhaustion.

“If their body temperature starts to elevate, we have these dunk tanks. So we'll actually dunk the person's body in the ice immersion,” said marathon medical director Kathleen Nachazel.

Around 3 percent of runners typically suffer from race-related injuries, but Pittsburgh EMS workers are taking extra precautions in light of the Boston Marathon bombings, they said.

Emergency crews have been in contact with Boston EMS to gather information on what to prepare for in the event of a tragedy.

“We talked about triage and how they moved patients out, how that overwhelmed hospitals to a degree and how they prepared for those issues,” said Deputy Chief of Pittsburgh EMS Mark Bocina.

Pittman reported that UPMC will provide additional tourniquets, bandages and IV fluids to medical personnel in case of an emergency, and 400 outside volunteers, doctors, nurses and athletic trainers will be at the marathon.