Friday, October 23, 2009

MedWar 2009: The Great Medical Race of Wilderness Warriors

All scenarios although seemingly real were all controlled situations, and no endangered species were actually killed during the race.

Aaron, the Nate, and I woke on a cold October morning with the sharp air piercing our lungs. We shivered either with excitement of the upcoming race or because of the 20 degree night we spent in our tents. We scarfed down the oatmeal random day old bagels and headed off to register for the race.

Team name: The Mounties
Destination: the world
Goal: Save as many as we could and make it home safely

The Rules were simple. Finish, save as many patients (mannequins) as you can, and DO NOT BECOME A REAL PATIENT. The scenario was a ten plus mile race around the world. It begin promptly, give or take fifteen minutes, at 9:15 AM.

It began in the USA with a mass canoe start. Thirty teams  of three people set off east across the lake to our first destination. As we landed at the shore somewhere in East Asia we ran to our first disaster. A bombing raid had just been carried out and civilian casualties were everywhere. We raced to the closest three bodies, assessed the scene and went to work. Aaron performed a Cricothyrotomy complete with fake blood, the Nate stopped the blood gushing from the wounded body, and I went to work on a motionless baby.

Well ahead of most of the teams we set out for our next destination, a dream of mine for a long time, Everest. When we got there we found that Aaron had come down with a severe case of High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE) a common pathological state in high altitude zones. In addition to that he had sustained an isolated mid shaft femur fracture as well as a severe neck injury. The cure: splint the leg, dexamethosone, and getting him down off the mountain.

Just as we got down the mountain we were instructed to board a plane (AKA walk) to Antarctica, where I was found with a severe hypothermia. Aaron instinctively got me off the ground, the Nate selflessly through his own coat on to of me and they began to build a fire. After burning through the pencil we were provided with the Nate and I came down with snow blindness in the form of goggles that were blotted out.

As we continued our journey we met with a kidnapping in South America, a man with a fishhook in his lip in Wyoming, neurotoxin poisoning in France, a safari in Africa, and finally finishing with basic survival skills in Australia. Finishing 23rd place we were tired, cold, and hungry. Ready for sleep and a hot shower.

For full details about Medwar click on the link.

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