Medical support at a large-scale motorsports mass-gathering event: The inaugural formula one united states grand prix in Austin, Texas

John P. Sabra, José G. Cabañas, John Bedolla, Shirley Borgmann, James Hawley, Kevin Craven, Carlos Brown, Chris Ziebell, Steve Olvey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Introduction Formula One returned to the United States on November 16-18, 2012, with the inaugural United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas. Medical preparedness for motorsports events represents a unique challenge due to the potential for a high number of spectators seeking medical attention, and the possibility for a mass-casualty situation. Adequate preparation requires close collaboration across public safety agencies and hospital networks to minimize impact on Emergency Medical Services (EMS) resources. Hypothesis/Problem To report the details of preparation for an inaugural mass-gathering motorsports event, and to describe the details of the medical care rendered during the 3-day event. Methods A retrospective analysis was completed utilizing postevent summaries, provided by the medical planning committee, by the Federation Internationale de L'Automobile (FIA), and Austin Travis County Emergency Medical Services (ATCEMS). Patient data were collected from standardized patient care records for descriptive analysis. Medical usage rates (MURs) are reported as a rate of patients per 10,000 (PPTT) participants. Results A total of 566 patients received medical care over the 3-day period with the on-site care rate of 95%. Overall, MUR was 21.3 PPTT attendees. Most patients had minor problems, and there were no driver injuries or deaths. Conclusion This mass-gathering motorsport event had a moderate number of patients requiring medical attention. The preparedness plan was implemented successfully with minimal impact on EMS resources and local medical facilities. This medical preparedness plan may serve as a model to other cities preparing for an inaugural motorsports event.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)392-398
Number of pages7
JournalPrehospital and disaster medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014


  • event medicine
  • mass gathering
  • motorsports
  • preparedness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Emergency


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