Mongol Derby - Medic's Blog - 3rd - 5th August 2011
Weds 3rd Aug, Thurs 4th Aug, Fri 5th Aug – Our briefing, the riders riding for the first time, and a broken wrist. The past 3 days have been spent going through the medical kit, familiarising ourselves with what we’ve got, and splitting it into 2 sets (one for each car). We had the opportunity to try out navigating with the GPS and the riders learnt how to call for both medical and veterinary assistance. We also gave a briefing to the riders covering the important topics such as heatstroke, diarrhoea, and trauma, as well as how to contact us either in an emergency or for more routine problems. We had emailed a medical questionnaire in advance and received a few more completed versions from the riders at the start camp. Most don’t seem that keen to fill them in and we’re hoping that means they don’t have any serious relevant medical issues. Along with the riders and vets we were given a talk on ger etiquette – apparently it’s considered unlucky to place a hat on the floor, and walking in between the two supporting posts is also a big no-no. But the people are also very keen to have visitors and happy to share their way of life, so I’m looking forward to interacting with the locals if we get a bit of time off. On our last day at the start camp, they were getting used to the type of semi-wild horses they’ll be riding for 1000km; one rider fell off sustaining a nasty injury to his wrist. Catherine examined him and felt it needed an X-ray, so took him to a nearby town. The X-ray showed a radial fracture and he went to UB for a full assessment. He now needs to fly home for an operation, and is gutted to be missing the race which he’d worked so hard for. The other riders were upset that he couldn’t continue with them and I think it was a reminder to them that potentially even more serious accidents can happen.