INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - While hundreds of thousands of race fans prepare for the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500 this weekend, dozens of doctors and nurses are prepping as well.
“We can initially evaluate and stabilize just about anything here," IMS Medical Director Dr. Geoffy Billows said. "And we’ve seen a lot. We’ve seen heart attacks, cardiac arrests, strokes...we see pretty much anything you’d expect to see in a city the size of 400,000 people.”
Dr. Billows is the man in charge of the IU Health Emergency Infield Medical Center. On race day, he'll be tasked with supervising eight emergency room doctors, 12 registered nurses, a neurosurgeon and a trauma doctor.
The center has 18 beds and is divided into two sections, one for fans and one for drivers.
"We do that because if the drivers if they crash and come in and are being treated, the last thing that we want is for spectators to come in and to try and get autographs," Dr. Billows said.
Last year, the medical center and 15 first aid stations across the track saw nearly 1,000 patients. This year, Billows expects his team will aide between 600 and 800 people.
He explained the vast majority of those patients come in for heat related issues.
“You want to avoid things that cause you to become dehydrated like caffeine containing beverages and alcohol containing beverages," Dr. Billows said. "Kind of slow down on those."
If you like to find the closest first aid station to where you're sitting this year you can click here.
If you're experiencing an emergency at the track you can always going to someone wearing a yellow shirt and they should be able to radio for help.