Keeping the show on the road
Posted on 13 January 2019
You may have read some, or all, of our inserts in preparation for the Absa Cape Epic. But before the race starts we wanted to let you know a bit more about the Mediclinic Race Doctor and events team. The Mediclinic Race Doctor for 2019 is Dr Darren Green – a well-known face around the Epic.
Dr Darren Green is a 10 year veteran in sports and emergency medicine as well as a respected figure in the Health and Wellness space. Darren is a graduate of University of Stellenbosch, and forms an integral part of the Medical teams for leading cycling, rugby and running events across the board. The team functions at the forefront of Special Events Medicine, where they provide expert healthcare to a multitude of national sporting disciplines and world-class events. Dr Green is currently the Manager of Corporate Events for Mediclinic Southern Africa. As a Cape Town resident, this father of two is ready and waiting for Epic #5!
The Mediclinic team delivering expertise along the 2019 route include 8 doctors and 8 nurses, 2 medics on golf carts, as well as 4 team members covering reception, IT, logistics and event planning. The ER24 team adds a wealth of experience through their representation along the route with 8 BLS, 7 ILS and 5 ALS medics serving the riders on 4×4 response vehicles, ambulances, motor bikes as a Polaris ATV converted to accommodate a stretcher.
We had a chat to Darren to find out a little of what is on his mind as official Race Doctor for the Absa Cape Epic.
“I am really excited about this opportunity. I have been on the Epic for 4 years and am looking forward to the new role that I will be filling. Mediclinic is really there to make sure that things run smoothly for the riders, and to support them if there is a need.”
“Mediclinic is set up to keep riders safe and happy. We do strapping, wound care – the bum clinic – you name it. We have doctors and nurses positioned at water points during the race just to make sure we can keep you moving towards your goal. Our team is excited by big and small victories – and even by patients that astound us with their tenacity. These moments make our long hours worthwhile,” says Dr Green.
The mix of medical teams along the route together with ER24 emergency personnel on bikes and quads ensures that we have access to riders along all points of the route – and that your safety is in our hands. We value this trust and have selected a team of doctors, nurses and medics who have years of experience on the biggest and best sporting events across South Africa.
“On occasion riders have been cautious about coming in for treatment in the fear that they could be pulled from the race. This should never be your concern,” says Darren, “Pulling a rider from the race is both a serious and considered decision. We know that the Absa Cape Epic is often a once in a lifetime experience for riders. We also understand that much time and effort has gone into training for the race – let alone your investment in kit, entries and nutrition. But when and if the decision is made to pull a rider, it is only in their best interests – where their health will be severely compromised by continuing the race.”
Mediclinic has once again collaborated with Pathcare, who perform onsite pathology to assess dehydration, which allows our doctors to manage hydration levels and guide the rider to full health within the scope of what is clinically required and advised by specialists in this field.
“Another way we keep our riders in the saddle is by preparing thoroughly – our race questionnaire is sent out prior to the event (you will have received an email invitation to complete it), and this allows our team to understand the dynamics of the field participating. Your records will be securely stored by made accessible to the team at the race hospital if necessary, allowing them to pull medical histories in an emergency,” says Dr Green, “If you have not completed this survey, please consider this as an essential tool in our toolshed. You are equipping us to provide the best possible medical care.”
It is also our aim to make sure that each rider participating is doing so under a drug free banner – and understanding the requirements of professional athletes riding these races as part of their livelihood allows us to deliver the same level of care to each and every rider in the field.
So we encourage you to get to know the team, many will recognise the old hands and may enjoy the banter from a few new faces. Rest assured that each of our team is on hand to get you to the finish line – but with the serious responsibility of keeping all participants healthy and safe.