If i were you, I would find out what you can legally do. You're a med student, not a doctor. Reading a book about athletic injuries is WAY different from seeing/treating. It's takes experience. I'd get an experienced PT by your side to show you how to tape, ect. you don't just read about taping. it takes practice.
- Freddie Fu's sports injuries text has several chapters that could be helpful. I always try to read that before I cover an event
- I know that Greg Strock and some others from Indiana wrote a chapter on this for Rehab Clin of North America recently. I haven't read the chapter, but Greg is an extremely bright guy and competitive triathlete, so it probably has some good pearls in it. The reference is:
Strock GA, Cottrell ER, Lohman JM
Triathlon. [Journal Article, Review]
Phys Med Rehabil Clin N Am 2006 Aug; 17(3) :553-64.
- Tim Noakes has written extensively about hydration issues for endurance events. You didn't say anything about the length of the triathlon. For a sprint, hyponatremia is less likely to be a concern, but for a longer triathlon, it can be a huge deal. I would suggest reading one of his articles- a good one would be:
Dale B Speedy, Timothy D Noakes, Claudia Schneider (2001)
Exercise-associated hyponatremia: A review
Emergency Medicine Australasia 13 (1), 1727.
- The textbook of running medicine by Francis O'Connor and Bob Wilder has a lot of useful pearls that would apply just as much to triathlon as running.
IMO, there are several classes of medical issues that you should be prepared for in dealing with a triathlon
- MSK bumps and bruises- important to be able to know the red flags so that you don't miss, for example, a high ankle sprain or a talar dome fracture when you think you are just looking at a sprained ankle. I wouldn't worry too much about things like taping- your job isn't to treat their MSK problems. Your job is to triage people to make sure that people who need further medical attention go to the needed resources (e.g., ER for x-rays for a suspected fracture)
- Medical issues- these are the big things- what do you do for a downed athlete. you need familiarity with what to do with an athlete who collapses- and know how to work through the differential of cardiac v. hyopnatremia v. heat stroke, etc. Paul Lento wrote an article about the downed runner that would be worth reading:
The downed runner. Phys Med Rehabil Clin N Am. 2005 Aug;16(3):831-49. Lento PH, Sullivan WJ.
- Medical planning- I don't know if you are helping out or are the race director. If you are just helping out, it is sufficient to know the treatment algorithms. If you are the race director, you have to plan a bunch of other things- recruitment of other people for your medical tent, developing protocols for how you want certain medical issues addressed so you have a uniform policy (e.g., I would advise that nobody gets an IV without a serum sodium level), talking with the community resources so you know what capacity for health care is available (e.g., what the expected load will be at he local ER's and whether they have staff to handle the increased volume, are there enough ambulances to handle the race). This all depends on the size of the race- you obviously need more support for a large race like the Chicago Marathon, where there is a large expected burden on the health care system, but you don't need to worry as much about a sprint triathlon with 200 participants (although you still need to check beforehand).
I'm looking to buy a Sports/MSK text that I hope to use as my primary book for this topic during residency. I combed through the FAQ lists and prior threads and the list below is what I came up with. Any opinions on deciding between them or other suggestions would be appreciated.