I spent last week in the Gold Coast at possibly the best critical care conference in the world ... smaccGOLD (You can find out the details in my blog post smaccGOLD ... All the hype and more). Amongst the greats like Scott Weingart, Cliff Reid, Victoria Brazil, Karim Brohi, Simon Carly, John Myburgh and Rich Levitan and the rising stars such as Louise Cullen, Grace Leo, Liz Crowe and Lauren Westafer, there was an Irish anesthetist and pre-hospital physician from Belfast who spends his weekends either racing motorbikes or, more commonly, providing medical cover as part of a motorsport rescue team at circuit and road events.

His name is John Hinds (@DocJohnHinds) and, while my view is admittedly biased on several levels, I thougth his presentation on "The motorcyclist in extremis: Cases from the races" was one of the most engaging and entertaining of the conference. There were some great learning points to take away from it and his talk will be available as a podcast for free in the coming months on the Intensive Care Network; so keep an eye out for that.

John also gave a great con side debate decrying the use of cricoid pressure during RSI management by trying to sell us a clearly deficient (and utterly fictitious) medication called "Cricolol". The person he was debating against was Brent May (@DocBrent), who works with Team Medical Australia and is the chief medical officer for the Australian MotoGP and the Australian Karting Association.

So, I grabbed a hold of John and Brent and we sat in an almost quiet side room for a chat about John's presentation and some of the lessons learned from it, the differences between motorbike road racing (on closed public roads) and circuit racing and some gratifying similarities between Australian and Northern European motorsport medical practices, along with a couple of off-topic items as well.

Here's the podcast

And here's a few resources from John's talk to go with the podcast

Motorbike crash mechanisms

1) High side -> rider flipped into air when rear wheel losees traction
2) Low side -> front wheel loses traction and rider slides off bike
3) Bike head-on collision with another object -> Wide range of possible injuries

Four indicator injury mechanisms suggesting more severe injury pattern than initially apparent

1) Broken feet and decreased LOC -> Pelvic, vertebral and base of skull injury
2) Apparently isolated femur fracture -> Suspect pelvic fracture
3) Boot is missing -> foot / ankle / tib fib has been rotated at high speed -> comminuted fracture-disloaction
4) "Just hit the kerb"-> Bike will either stop suddenly and vault rider or else keb will act as launching ramp -> suspect significant injury

Beware of fires

1) Immediate - explosion, tank rupture, fuel line rupture
2) Delayed - fuel leaks on to hot engine and ignites, hot bike part in contact with tinder; e.g.dry grass

Note: The issue of auditing collated incident data and its uses in modifying medical and rescue practice at motorsport events gets a solid mention.

Watch out for John's presentation on Cases from the Races on the SMACC Podcast set, following the recent smaccGOLD Conference on the Gold Coast. It will be hosted on the Intensive Care Network site and I'll let you know when it's out.

You can also listen to Doug Lynch's (@TheTopEnd) JellyBean interview with John here:
John Hinds: Madness And Mayhem On The Roads Of Ireland at SMACC gold