Providing Care at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships

Posted 1/18/2013 by UNMC Physicians

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When the best figure skaters in the country arrive in Omaha this weekend for the 2013 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships, they will have a world-class health care team backing them up. Whenever any skater is on the ice, at least four medical professionals from UNMC Physicians, The Nebraska Medical Center and the University of Nebraska Medical Center will be ready to help.

Last June, many of the same experts provided care during the U.S. Olympic Swim Trials. Cases from the ice will probably be much different than what they saw at the pool.

“Common injuries in skating are strains and sprains, cuts from skate blades and head injuries from falls on the ice,” said Mark Dietrich, MD, an orthopaedic surgeon at the medical center. “We certainly hope every skater gets off the ice uninjured, but if accidents do happen, our team will be right there and willing to help.”

Perhaps the most common ailment sometimes happens right before a skater takes the ice: an upset stomach because of nerves.

Dr. Mark Dietrich
Mark Dietrich, MD, an orthopaedic surgeon at the medical center and key coordinator of care at the Figure Skating Championships
Between four and six medical professionals will be rinkside during skating, and additional staff will be ready at The Nebraska Medical Center should any serious injuries occur.

The skating championships will be held at Omaha’s Century Link Center Jan. 20-27 and will be televised nationally on NBC Jan. 25-27. Every session of the skating championships can be seen live at www.icenetwork.com.

The highlight events are the Championship-level athletes competing in the Ladies, Men's, Pairs and Ice Dancing competitions scheduled for Jan. 24 through 27. The very best figure skaters in the nation will be vying for the crown of U.S. champion and join the long list of past champions whose names include Kristi Yamaguchi, Scott Hamilton, Brian Boitano and Michelle Kwan.

“It’s such an honor for us to be part of such a great event,” said Rusty McKune, coordinator of the sports medicine program at The Nebraska Medical Center. “We have a very talented team of orthopaedic surgeons, primary care physicians, physical therapists, certified athletic trainers, registered nurses, nurse practitioners and pharmacists all there to provide care for the skaters.”

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    I didn't realize that figure skating required that much medical staff available on the sidelines.

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