IU Health standing by for medical help at IMS for 100 years

(Provided Photo/Indiana University Health Methodist Hospital)

SPEEDWAY, Ind. (WISH) – The medical care history at Indianapolis Motor Speedway dates back to the year before the first ever Indianapolis 500. The Medical Director of that care center sat down with Indy 500 Contributor Laura Steele.

The first ambulance was in position and ready if needed at IMS for events at the track in 1910 and in the years following that IU Health Methodist Hospital and IMS have teamed up for over 100 years to treat drivers.

“The very first medical center here at the track was a one story wooden structure with a platform on top so the workers there could watch the race,” said Dr. Geoff Billows, The Medical Director at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Dr. Billows shared some insight about what happens when there is an on-track incident.

“Most of the time drivers are brought here for stabilization and if they need to be sent downtown for more definitive treatment then they are transferred,” said Billows.

At the track it’s not just drivers who need medical attention, fans might also have medical needs.

“We see diabetic emergencies, upset stomach, heat related emergencies, heart attacks and strokes. Anything you would normally see on a normal day in a normal city, we see here,” Billows said.

The track also has 15 first aid stations that are staffed. But if you want to avoid a trip to the hospital, Billows had some tips.

“Make sure you bring sunscreen, sunglasses, try to avoid excess alcohol and drink plenty of fluids,” said Billows.

He also suggests that you wear light-colored and loose fitted clothing.

On May 7, there will be a fundraiser for Methodist Health Foundation. The organization will hold its annual “Rev Event,” which features celebrity and local chefs who come up with dishes inspired by IndyCar drivers.

All proceeds got to IU Health’s statewide trauma programs.

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