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Mongol Derby 2014 Medics Blog 12/08/2014

Another very long Day for Medic 1 yesterday – up with the riders and checking up on the progress of soft tissue injuries as well as abrasions and some very severe saddle sores. Watching what the riders go through on the Derby really does put things into perspective. Yesterday we responded to a ‘Help’ call – it was at the end of the day, we were tired and were losing daylight hours.  As it happened we were called off the task as it was not a medical problem, and made our way to the next horse station for the night. Seeing the riders coming in even after us - cold, tired and very sore is quite sobering – a true testament to the Mongol Derby claiming to be the world’s toughest horse race.

Last night’s horse station was particularly beautiful – stunning location and a very welcoming family. Whilst we waited for the last riders to come in, Medic 1 stood looking down into the valley before us, the Steppe absolutely breathtaking in the light of the full moon. Hot chocolate in hand we watched the International Space Station silently glide overhead; definitely an unforgettable moment for the memory bank.

This morning broke hot and sunny after the very cold and clear night. We checked up on the riders and watched as they chose their steeds for the next leg. As usual there were a few feisty horses, which the headers trotted to calm them (all things being relative!)

 After stopping for fuel we made our way to Horse Station 18 where Deb treated three patients. The first patient had sustained an abrasion from a fall yesterday and today was to follow up, clean and re-dress the wound. The second patient had pain and discomfort under their upper eyelid – possibly from a small bit of dust or grit. 

With the eyelid everted, Deb very carefully swabbed the eyelid and several small specks of dirt were removed. As a contact lens wearer, the rider was advised not to wear a lens in that eye today to lessen the risk of corneal ulceration. The rider felt much better afterwards but the case does highlight the problems that lens wearers can encounter in such harsh, dusty conditions. The final case was someone kicked by a horse, sustaining a laceration above their eye. Deb cleaned the wound and brought the edges very neatly together with Steristrips – applied more robustly than would be the norm to enable the patient to continue their activities but keep the wound clean and secure at the same time.

With all patients attended to for the time being, we settled down to watch a horse having its hooves trimmed with an axe. Although this sounds extreme – it is actually very effective despite the horse occasionally stomping in protest. And I thought having to do trim my nails the other day with my trusty Swiss Army Knife was hardcore..!