Ever see someone after a marathon?
They’ll claim it’s the greatest feeling in the world… if they can talk. Usually, they’re too busy panting — and even if they manage to say they FEEL great, most of them LOOK like they’re knocking on death’s door!
If they want to torture themselves, I’m not going to stop ’em. But a new report shows how these masochists could hurt YOU even if you have nothing to do with their silly little torture runs.
Turns out the change in traffic patterns — including street closures — caused by marathons makes it tougher to get to a hospital when someone has a heart attack or other serious problem.
As a result, folks over the age of 65 who suffer a heart attack or cardiac arrest are 13 percent more likely die in the 30 days following a marathon than at any other time of year, according to researchers from the Harvard Medical School.
They believe the delays getting to the hospital mean many patients don’t get care as quickly as they need it, and that leads to worse outcomes.
So, the REAL lesson here — whether you live in Boston, New York, LA, or any other city with a marathon, bike race, or charity walk — is to NEVER drive yourself or have a family member drive you to the ER when something’s gone screwy in your body.
The study finds that nearly ALL of the increase in risk is among folks who drive or are driven to the hospital!
So, what can you do?
If you’re the paranoid sort, you can head over to the hospital and park yourself in the waiting room until the race is over.
Odds are, you’ll be fine… and while you’re there, you can watch them haul in injured runners.
But you really don’t need to go to that extreme — because an ambulance will get you there faster.
The drivers know when there are issues like a marathon, construction, or just plain bad traffic, and they can get you through it and around it faster than you ever could on your own.
And even though the new study finds that it takes ambulances about four and a half minutes longer than usual to reach the hospital, that little difference doesn’t seem to increase the risk.
Only when you go by car.
Arriving by ambulance carries one other potentially life-saving advantage: Your treatment starts the moment the EMTs arrive. And once you make it to the ER, you go to the front of the line, while the poor saps who came by car sit in the waiting room, filling out forms in triplicate.
It’s like having a VIP pass. Use it!