You can bet on it: Derby week injuries

Updated: May. 1, 2018 at 4:47 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Having a safe ending to your Derby fun is so important. The last place you want to end up is the hospital. The closest hospital to Churchill Downs, is Norton Audubon.

Norton Audubon plans for Oaks and Derby like it's a mass casualty event. It sounds extreme, but their method is based on the volume of people they see. Doctors there see the bulk of these patients who have gotten sick or hurt.

Friday and Saturday are non-stop, so Norton Audubon staff bring in extra stretchers and IV poles, along with additional staff. They see hundreds of cases of alcohol poisoning, dehydration, severe sunburn, broken bones and bruises. Even heart attacks and strokes.

"If it's cloudy and cool, we're likely to see fewer injuries and issues," Renee Cecil, R.N., nurse manager, Norton Audubon Hospital said. "But if it's warm and out. Also, and I don't know why, but Oaks Day is usually much worse than Derby Day.

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Cecil said they coordinate closely with ambulances since they are constantly going back and forth from Churchill to the hospital.

"We have a good relationship with EMS," Cecil said. "We have a connection with them Yellow EMS where they call ahead and let us know what patients are coming so we can be prepared and ready when they arrive."

Norton Audubon says while most of the patients this weekend will be spectators, It's not uncommon for the hospital to treat a few jockeys.

Cecil advises if you're heading out to the track this weekend, make sure to wear your sunscreen, drink plenty of water and don't do anything too terribly crazy.

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