Lubas Medical: Serving Wales
Since Lubas Medical was founded in 2009, we have been fortunate enough to work with a huge variety of high-profile organisations. BBC Wales, Cardiff City FC, and the Millennium Stadium all number among our most illustrious clients; we've provided our services to the very best in Welsh sport and entertainment, and we like to think that we've done our country proud!
We've made no secret of our involvement in big Welsh sporting events. Of particular note right now is our role in the current RBS 6 Nations tournament (read our account of Wales vs. Italy for an idea of what we do at rugby matches); we also provide paramedic support for international football matches at the stadium, as well as for Cardiff City's home games. As you can imagine, we were pretty excited when Cardiff was promoted to the Premier League!
BBC Cymru Wales
BBC Wales has really helped to put Wales on the map! Some of the biggest TV shows of the last few years were filmed in Cardiff and the surrounding area, including Doctor Who and Sherlock, both of which enjoy huge cult followings around the world. Lubas Medical is one of the BBC's approved suppliers of medical cover, which means that our paramedics have worked on the sets for many of these amazing programmes.
The work we do for Cardiff's Millennium Stadium doesn't stop with the sport. The stadium has also hosted a number of large musical events, including the well-publicised 'Michael Forever' concert that was organised shortly after Michael Jackson's death. The concert featured big stars like Beyoncé and Christina Aguilera, and our medical experts were there for the whole event, from the set-up to the big concert itself.
Wales vs. Italy - A Medical Perspective
Tonight, Wales will be continuing their 6 Nations campaign with a crucial match against France at the Millennium Stadium. As usual, the Lubas Medical team will be pitchside, ready to provide paramedic support to any players who need it. To give you an idea of what we do on a match day, we thought we'd talk about our role in the last big Welsh rugby match: the 6 Nations opener against Italy on Saturday the 1st of February.
Whenever there’s a big game at the stadium (and as far as Cardiff is concerned, they don’t come much bigger than international rugby), we have to arrive a solid 2 hours before kickoff – partially because we need time to set up, but also because the roads would be closed if we left it any later!
Once we’d zig-zagged through the crowds and made it to the stadium, our first job on Saturday afternoon was to set up the players’ medical room. This is where the lads end up if their injuries require more medical attention than we can properly provide out there on the turf. For example, if a player looks like he might have broken something, we’ll stretcher him off to the medical room, where his injury can be properly assessed.
The Millennium Stadium’s medical room contains four beds, and it’s kitted out with all the monitoring equipment that you’d need to keep track of a player’s blood pressure, heart rate, and oxygen level. After we’ve carried a player to the medical room, we’ll usually leave him in the hands of a doctor who specialises in the issue at hand – we need to get back to the pitch ASAP in case there’s another injury!
Once the medical room is ready to go, we head out to the pitch and start getting our kit ready for the match. Paramedics need to have a dizzying array of equipment to hand at all times, including (but not limited to):
- Spinal boards with straps to carry off players with suspected spinal injuries
- Splints for fractures
- Entonox (painkilling gas)
- Cervical collars for neck injuries
- Portable O2 cylinders
- Breathing equipment
- Suction units (to remove debris or blood from the mouth of an unconscious player)
- Assorted drugs and needles
Not only do we have to check that all of this equipment is present and accounted for, but we also have to introduce ourselves to the visiting team’s doctor and physio. We bust through language barriers (not to mention bitter sporting rivalries) to agree on how we’ll respond in the event of an injury. After all, we’re there to treat the Italian players as well.
By the time we’ve done all of that, it’s more or less time for the kickoff. The atmosphere at the Millennium Stadium is always utterly electric, and Saturday was no exception – everyone was thrilled to see the Dragons back in action, and the pre-match male voice choir had us all feeling very fired-up and patriotic. You haven’t heard Bread of Heaven until you’ve heard it sung by a stadium’s worth of Welsh rugby fans!
The game itself was hardly a classic – most of the pundits were forecasting some sort of demolition job, with Wales putting 50 points or more past the Italians, but the victory wasn’t all that emphatic in the end. 23-15 isn’t the scoreline you expect to see when the reigning champions play the rank outsiders! Still, let’s look on the bright side: a win is a win, and however scrappy those eighty minutes were, there weren’t any major injuries for us to deal with.
In case you’re wondering how we spent the match, well, we’ll try to give you a rough idea. The four of us are split between the two benches, and we have to watch the action like hawks, keeping our eyes peeled for potential injuries. Again, the Italy game was pretty quiet on the injury front, but that doesn’t mean we were able to just relax and enjoy ourselves. We need to stay alert at all times; rugby is a fast-paced game, and it’s crucial that paramedics spot casualties as soon as they happen!
At any rate, it was an electrifying afternoon in the Welsh capital and a solid two points for the boys in red. It's a shame they couldn't do the same in Dublin, but perhaps tonight's game will be more successful...
March Training Offer - First Aid at Work
We've already highlighted the importance of having a qualified first aider in the workplace. It doesn't matter if you work in a shop, in an office, or on a construction site; life-threatening emergencies are far less life-threatening if somebody onsite knows how to handle them.
If you don't already have a first aider on your payroll, now is the perfect time to change that. Lubas Medical's First Aid at Work training courses will be on special offer throughout March, so you'll pay considerably less to learn those essential first aid skills.
There's never been a better time to become a qualified first aid practitioner. Our first aid at work courses require no prior first aid experience; we'll teach you everything you need to know about handling medical emergencies in a work environment. All you have to do is book your place!
Wales VS Ireland: Our Match Report
It’s been a few days since the RBS 6 Nations match between our Welsh boys and Ireland, and while the wounds are not fully healed, we are now at least able to reflect on the unfortunate thrashing.
After our home victory against the Italians last week, our fair nation was a beacon of optimism, positively brimming with talk of a record-breaking, coveted third 6 nations trophy in a row. This was all until the Welsh squad came out to face 15 green jersey-clad men with only one thing on their mind – to crush Welsh hopes of a grandslam!
It is fair to say that the Welsh performance was flat; lapses in discipline, dropped passes, missed tackles, and turnovers all handed the Irish the reins, which they were more than ready to steer to victory.
A near faultless display by Jonathan Sexton, the Ireland fly-half, and some unfortunate Welsh errors saw the first half finish 13 – 0 to Ireland, so a comeback was never going to be easy. After Gethin Jenkins was penalised Sexton then made another conversion to take it to 16 – 0 – things were looking increasingly impossible for the defending 6 Nations champions.
Though our main man Leigh Halfpenny was able to get us on the scoreboard, Paddy Jackson’s final conversion was the finishing blow in what turned out to be a bit of a mauling at the Aviva Stadium. The game finished 26 – 3.
There is some hope as it is still possible for Wales to clinch the 6 nations if other results go our way, so there is always a chance, however slim it may be. Regardless of this result, we will be with the Wales team in Cardiff against France next week offering our paramedical and sports trauma services, as well as our full support!
Let’s make the Millennium Stadium a fortress and ensure victory for the squad - Cymru am byth!
Introducing FASE: First Aid for Sport and Exercise
Sports first aid is something of a speciality for us here at Lubas Medical, and so it gives us great pride to announce the launch of our brand new FASE training courses. FASE stands for First Aid for Sport and Exercise; where our Sports Trauma Management course is for medical professionals only, the FASE courses are open to all! If you want to learn the essentials of sports injury management, a FASE course may well be perfect for you.
FASE 1 is an entry-level course that covers such topics as spinal injury, concussion, broken bones, and medical emergencies like anaphylaxis and asthma. FASE 2 is a more advanced version of the course, covering everything from FASE 1 while also touching on some more advanced stuff, including defibrillation, your legal responsibilities, and the use of splints.
Who are the FASE courses for?
Here are some of the people who could benefit from attending one of our new First Aid for Sport courses:
- Parents with children who frequently engage in sporting activities/exercise
- Personal trainers who want to know what to do in an emergency
- Coaches who may encounter these injuries on the field of play
- Games/P.E. teachers who oversee sporting activities and exercises
- Stewards who work at sporting events (we recommend the more in-depth FASE 2 course for cases like this)
The First Aid for Sport and Exercise courses are already filling up, so book your place now to avoid disappointment! FASE 1 and 2 are ACPSEM-recognised to bronze and silver level, respectively, and both courses are compliant with UEFA's minimum medical requirements.
The first FASE 1 course takes place in Cardiff on the 23rd of March - book your place now!
What We Did on the Weekend
This weekend was a busy one for the Lubas Medical team. The Millennium Stadium hosted the first game of the 2014 Six Nations Championship on Saturday, and as we may have already mentioned, our guys had an important role to play.
The Wales-Italy game was a mercifully quiet one as far as injuries were concerned, but the Lubas lot still got right into the spirit of the occasion, joining in with the anthems and generally soaking up the famous Millennium Stadium atmosphere. We were hoping that the scoreline would be slightly more one-sided, but hey, a win is a win!
Still, rugby wasn’t the only sport we were involved with on Saturday. We also provided medical cover for Cardiff City’s match against Norwich, which meant that we witnessed a little bit of history. Craig Bellamy, who scored an important equaliser for Cardiff in the second half, is now the first player to score for seven different Premier League football clubs*. Congrats, Craig!
More importantly, of course, Cardiff secured a good three points (the game ended 2-1 to the home team) and yanked themselves up from the bottom of the table. So that’s two solid wins for the Welsh, and we were there to witness them both! A tiring weekend it may have been, but it was certainly rewarding.
Oh, and in case that wasn’t enough, we’re covering the Cardiff City development team’s match against Queens Park Rangers tonight. No rest for the wicked, eh?
*In case you’re interested, Bellamy’s magnificent seven are as follows: Coventry City, Newcastle United, Blackburn Rovers, Liverpool, West Ham United, Manchester City, and Cardiff City.