Back in March I posted a podcast that I recorded at the smaccGOLD conference with Northern Irish anaesthetist and motorbike race doc, John Hinds, and Aussie anaesthetist and motorsport doc, Brent May. The talk that John had been invited to SMACC to give has been released on the other site that I'm involved with, the Intensive Care Network. The pro-con debate between John and Brent on the usefulness or not of cricoid pressure in airway management is also available on the ICN site.

John's "Cases from the Races" presentation is a great talk, at the same time entertaining and informative. John gave some great tips and lessons learned from his experience as a rapid response medic at road race events in Ireland. It's worth listening to for the approach that he and his team have developed to cut down to bare essential equipment and interventions in order to get the best outcomes as efficiently as possible.

This approach is illustrated in the first case he discussed when a rider hits a pit straight wall at full pelt resulting in a traumatic cardiac arrest:
  • No CPR
  • No clear fluids
  • No IV access
  • ETT
  • Bilateral thoracostomies
  • Pelvic binder
Result = Return of spontaneous output and circulation and ultimately, a good survival.

Impressive and rational.

He also outlines some key things to pay attention to:
  • when bikes catch fire
  • when there are more bikes than riders at an incident scene
  • what pattern of injuries to look for when key phrases are told to you
  • the importance of developing a high functioning team and keeping track of your activities and outcomes

For anyone who doesn't know,  road racing is the motorbike equivalent of tarmac rally with a long section of public road closed for the purpose of hosting a race. The best known motorbike road race is probably the Isle of Mann TT.

Here's John's Cases from the Races talk, which is accompanied by a slideshow

Here's the Cricoid Pro-Con debate:

Here's the podcast that John, Brent and I recorded at smaccGOLD:

SMACC will be held again next year in June. If you work in critical care, be that in ICU, ED, anaesthetics or prehospital, and you have not been to a SMACC event you absolutely must go. For a taste of what goes on, visit And if that is not enough, the 2015 conference will be hosted in Chicago, one of my favourite cities in the world. I'm certainly planning on being there.