Marshfield Clinic Partners with Birkebeiner Races
Friday, February 14th, 2014 -- 10:02 am
Posted by Riley Hebert-News Director
-Ice-scratched corneas, frostbite, a heart attack and an occasional broken bone are just a few of the things Marshfield Clinic medical professionals have treated during past American Birkebeiner races.
This year, the Clinic team, led by sports medicine physician Adam Atkins, will again partner with arguably the most legendary cross-country ski race in the U.S. Feb. 22 to ensure the thousands of racers stay healthy.
The Clinic team, which has provided health care for the race for the past four years, knows it has to expect the unexpected. Three years ago, doctors treated about 250 people, many for frostbite, during one of the coldest races in Birkie history, according to Clinic Administrator Tom Schwab, who coordinates the Clinic’s race staff with Rice Lake Center Manager Barb Siverling.
Last year, the medical team had a relatively quiet year, treating about a dozen racers for minor issues such as cuts, sprains and cramps. This year, race organizers estimate that more than 10,000 skiers from around the world will be on hand, meaning an adequate medical team needs to be available for any health issues that arise.