IndyCar announces new mobile medical centre

The new IndyCar medical centre

The new IndyCar medical centre

IndyCar will debut a new, mobile medical centre at this week’s Thermal Club Open Test following a notable incident for Josef Newgarden last year.

The Team Penske driver was released from the infield medical centre after a heavy crash at Iowa, only to collapse later that afternoon and hit his head while exiting a transporter.

Newgarden was then airlifted to hospital, given there was not the capability to conduct the requisite imaging at Iowa Speedway, and eventually cleared to race on the following weekend.

His team-mate Scott McLaughlin defended IndyCar’s medical capabilities at the time but also ventured that the incident would lead to changes at race tracks.

IndyCar has indeed now upped its medical infrastructure, in partnership with IU Health, with a facility which is set to provide “consistent and accessible care” at each event.

“Previously, IndyCar’s medical team utilised a combination of a mobile trailer and the facilities available at the venues that host events,” read the category’s announcement, in part.

“With the substantially upgraded mobile unit, the sanctioning body can better serve its growing paddock.”

Features of the new medical centre include:

  • Four functional areas, one with two hospital beds
  • Equipment needed to care for patients with urgent or emergent needs, including a portable X-ray machine, a resuscitation cart and assorted orthopaedic care supplies
  • Workspace for the doctors and nurses who travel with the sport
  • Meeting areas for patient consultation and emergency updates
  • Video feeds to enable the staff to monitor the on-track action

“IndyCar medical has always been the industry standard of care and service in motorsports,” said IndyCar President Jay Frye.

“The investment into the IndyCar Medical Unit is an important step in continuing that expectation and assuring that all personnel will receive excellent care.”

Dr Julia Vaizer, who has taken over from the now retired Dr Geoff Billows as IndyCar Medical Director, remarked, “The IndyCar Medical Unit is a product of continued collaboration of IndyCar and IU Health and is an important addition to our continued effort to enhance care for competitors, others who work in the sport and their families.

“The unit will be available to drivers, allowing us to evaluate them in the most efficient yet effective manner to develop next steps.

“We also will provide that level of care for all members of the paddock.”

The pre-season Open Test starts on Thursday morning local time (Friday morning AEDT).

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