Hennepin County Medical Center prepares for Super Bowl

Just as organizers prepare for Super Bowl LII, staff at the Hennepin County Medical Center are also getting ready for the big game.

Located just across the street from U.S. Bank Stadium, the Level 1 trauma center is gearing up for what is expected to be a very busy week. 

“We will try to work as closely as we can with the NFL and the city to make sure that we maintain access and services, but it’s been challenging both for them and us,” said Dr. John Hick, an emergency physician at HCMC.

One of the challenges is logistics. Some streets near and around HCMC will be closing down. Security barriers will go up, making the area more challenging to navigate.

“We’ve tried to maintain access to the campus both for the public and the ambulances, but there’s no question that there are going to have to be detours in getting to us and we encourage the staff and public to allow a little time to navigate that,” said Dr. Hick.

Other concerns are alcohol consumption, the cold and the potential for frostbite. Dr. Ryan Fey, a burn surgeon at HCMC says that aside from traffic, being in the middle of all of the action comes with some advantages.

“That proximity is key in some regards to some injuries we may see, even if it’s someone who has fallen and slipped on the ice,” said Dr. Fey. “We’re literally a stone’s throw away as far as being able to provide care.”

HCMC will have extra staff on-site throughout Super Bowl weekend, providing cots and mattresses to accommodate staff who may need to stay overnight.

“I’d like to say that we are prepared, but we really won’t know until we get into the weekend,” said Dr. Hick. “But we’ve put a lot of things in place to try to get ready for some of the things that may be issues like traffic, like weather, like potential for a mass casualty event.”

 Although a no-fly restriction will be imposed, in the case of an emergency, HCMC will still have access to its helicopter. The medical center has been working very closely with authorities.

Officials told Fox 9 this Super Bowl has required the greatest involvement by federal agencies than any Super Bowl in history.