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Mongol Derby 2014 Medics Blog 09/08/2014 Part 2

Medic’s Blog By Deborah Swann

It has been one of the busiest days for Medic 1 so far in the Derby.

The day started with treating a rider who was dehydrated from diarrhoea and vomiting. Sarah gave her IV fluids, which helped with the rehydration. The rider was exhausted and decided to withdraw from the race.

As we were finishing treating her, we received an SOS call to a rider who was 40km away and had called HQ on his own sat phone to say he had fallen from his cantering horse, face first into a pile of wood. He had been taken in by a local family and was waiting there for our arrival.

We plugged the GPS coordinates into our system and made our way towards him. Forty-five minutes later, we were within 1.5km from him with a river between us and no way to get across. Our driver used his local knowledge and went to a nearby family for help. One of the men got on his motorbike and led us to a safe place to cross the river. Once across we could see the house our rider was in.

When we arrived he was able to tell us what happened and complained of neck pain. He’d also had a nose bleed and had abrasions over the right side of his face. We immediately assessed his neck and put him into a hard collar and laid him onto a roll-up stretcher. He had no other injuries and had already taken his own painkillers before we arrived, so he was more comfortable.

As Sarah stayed with him, I initiated the evacuation back to the SOS Clinic. As it was early afternoon, the process was quick and we had a confirmation of a helicopter evacuation within an hour of making the phone call. We were told that the aircraft would be with us in four hours. As we settled into ensuring our patient was comfortable, we received another call to ask one of us to respond to a ‘help’ call with 4km from our location. As our patient was stable, we quickly sorted out essential kit to go with Sarah to the help call while I stayed with the injured rider.  Sarah returned after a couple of hours having completed her mission of helping a horse and rider just in time to help with loading our patient onto the helicopter which had arrived half an hour before.

The helicopter was manned by a nurse and doctor, who did a thorough assessment of the rider before moving him onto their basket stretcher. As we waved the patient goodbye, we made plans to make our way to the next HS to do welfare checks on some of the riders we’d seen earlier in the day.

We were making good progress to the HS in convoy with Richard’s car until our 4x4 got stuck in a bog. We spent an hour trying to dig it out, unfortunately, Richard’s driver decided to drive his vehicle into the bog to pull us out...which then got stuck. So, we had two vehicles to dig out.  We had already put in a call for help to HQ and chief herder and all round main man Unenburen turned up to assist...and got stuck.

After four hours in the dark trying to free all three vehicles, we managed to get two out and decanted our medical kit between them and made our way to the next HS as we had a rider to treat for dehydration. We arrived at the HS at around 2330 and had to cannulate and give IV fluids to a rider in a shared ger, in the dark, guided by our head torches and trying not to disturb the other riders. Our rider made a good recovery and our vehicle was eventually dug out and got to us at about 0300.

Medic 1 slept well....