I’m not sure what to think when I read this light-on-specifics story in today’s Globe:
..A new study by Harvard researchers … found that during marathons, road closures can delay ambulances. And elderly people living near the route are more likely to die within a month if they suffer a heart attack or cardiac arrest on race day, compared with other days.
The researchers analyzed Medicare and ambulance data from the areas surrounding 11 major marathons, including the Boston Marathon, from 2002 through 2012. In the 11 cities combined, they estimated that hosting marathons led to three or four additional deaths each year.
The research was reportedly was short on any analysis directly related to Newton but Globe reporter Felice J. Freyer did talk to Cataldo Ambulance and Newton-Wellesley Hospital. .
In Newton, the city is split in half by the Marathon, but Quaranto of Cataldo Ambulance said that doesn’t change the ambulance routes. Marathon or not, patients on the north side go to Boston hospitals, and patients on the south side go to Newton-Wellesley Hospital. More than 20 ambulances — quadruple the normal contingent — are positioned around Newton and Wellesley on Marathon day, he said.
Newton-Wellesley Hospital is the only hospital directly on the Marathon route, its usual entrance blocked. Ambulances merely approach from a different road, said Charlotte Roy, emergency management coordinator.
“We have not had any issues with patients getting here,” she said.