The BBC and Expedition and Wilderness Medicine

Helen Skelton completes the Namibia ultra marathon

Helen Skelton completes the Namibia ultra marathon

Expedition and Wilderness Medicine have once again been called upon to help BBC’s Blue Peter program. After Helen Skelton, one of the loveliest presenters we have ever had the pleasure of working with, completed Across the Divide’s  Namibia Ultra Marathon, considered by many to be the hardest desert marathon in the world and for which EWM medics provided support, she is now heading off down the Amazon and Expedition and Wilderness Medicine and Across the Divide and  were called upon to provide medical support.

Expedition and Wilderness Medicine who provide remote medical support for film crews and media companies have been busy preparing Helen for the rigours of her next adventure and expedition doctors Dr Sean Hudson and Lucy Dickinson have been busy in the BBC centre running scenarios and doing on site training.    Dr Dickinson has the pleasure of accompanying the Blue Peter expedition but rumours have it is she is more excited about the prospect of gaining an elusive Blue Peter badge than exploring one of the world’s greatest natural wonders!!

In true BBC fashion it was all filmed for prosperity and will appear on next weeks Blue Peters shows on Tuesday 19th of January and Wednesday the 20th.

News just in…Namibia Ultra Marathon completed

We’ve just heard from the Namibia Ultra Marathon race director Steve Clark, that everyone is now back in Swakopmund. Steve said the race was very tough with temperatures getting up to 42 ºc. Winner Darren Roberts was very surprised and shocked to hear he won the race but once it sunk in he was delighted. Tom Adams very nearly caught Darren up at the finish line which made it a nail-biting finish.

Namibia 24-hr Ultra Marathon Results are as follows:

1st Place – Darren Roberts 20hr 28

2nd Place – Tom Adams 20hr 29

3rd Place – Tom Maguire 21 hr 05

4th Place – Emma Rogan 21 hr 27 – First female to complete the Namibia 24-hr Ultra Marathon

5th Place – Jerry Haywood 22 hr 30

6th Place – Nick Tidbull 23 hr 17

7th Place – Nicholas Wright 23 hr 45

8th Place – Helen Skelton 23 hr 50 – BBC Blue Peter Presenter

9th Place – Adrian Crossley, Stuart Moore, Kellie Power & Michael Skakesheff 25 hr 07. These guys all crossed the line together holding hands, they were all just outside the 24 hour deadline but all were allowed to finish.

Dr Amy Hughes will when she’s back write up about the medical situations she was faced with on the race and how people coped with the extreme heat.

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Expedition and Wilderness Medicine Director visits South Georgia

Black and White view of South Georgia

Black and White view of South Georgia

In March of this year Mark Hannaford was lucky enough to get a fantastic photographic project down to South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands with the Scott Polar Research Institute (http://www.spri.cam.ac.uk ) and the South Georgia Heritage Trust (http://www.sght.org ).

Mark tells us about this project, SPRI and the amazing history behind these islands. “Prior to landing I asked a colleague, well known naturalist Dr Peter Cary, if it was realistic to compare South Georgia with the Galapagos Islands and his reply ‘only if you want to downplay South Georgia’. Which surprised me but the islands lived up to and exceeded any expectations that I had.

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Essential Healthcare in Ethiopia

Essential Healthcare Amid Dust and Desolation in Southeast Ethiopia by
MSF doctor Anna Greenham who describes work and life in the Somali region of Ethiopia.

“Life in the Somali region of Ethiopia is tough. The rains have failed, food is running out and even the camels are dying of thirst. Add to this a complex armed conflict and you have a recipe for disaster. Nomadic people can’t find water or grazing for their livestock and are forced to travel huge distances to survive. Many have lost everything. Without a livelihood they move to the edge of towns where they live in squalid conditions in very basic shelters, unable to access clean water or food. It is in one of these small rural towns, Wardher, that MSF provides the only reliable health care for a dispersed population of about 40,000 people.

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Expedition and Wilderness Medicine Staff Bio: Dr Denny Levett

Denny Levett
Denny Levett is a Specialist Registrar in Critical Care and Anaesthesia at UCL. She is the deputy director of the Centre for Altitude, Space and Extreme Environment Medicine at UCL and has extensive experience in expedition medicine.

Denny has research interests in altitude medicine and diving and hyperbaric medicine and is a keen climber and diver.

She was the Expedition medical officer for the Caudwell Xtreme Everest research expedition in 2007 (www.xtreme-everest.co.uk) responsible for more than 250 climbers, investigators and volunteers in the field. She was also the expedition Deputy Research leader and is currently completing a phd in altitude physiology.

In 2005, Denny worked as a diving and hyperbaric medicine fellow at the Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, Australia treating divers with decompression sickness. She has spent nine months working as the expedition medical officer on three marine biology diving expeditions in Africa, Fiji and Oman.

Denny has also worked as a Medical Officer for ‘Across the Divide Expeditions’ since 1999. She has accompanied groups on hiking, white water rafting and mountain biking expeditions in remote locations including Guatemala, Nepal, Patagonia, Lapland and Peru.

Expedition and Wilderness Medicine’s Medical Facualty.

Polar Medicine’s Charity Partners | SAFER

Each of our training courses has a specific charity partner and in the case of our Polar Medicine trainiing course which is held in northern Norway its partner is located at the end of the world in the southern polar region and our money supports the work of Dr Peter Cary and his SubAntarctic Foundation for Ecosystems Research (SAFER).

SubAntarctic Foundation for Ecosystems Research

SAFER

Recently Expedition Medicine in partnership with Across the Divide Expeditions sponsored the design, printing and shipping of new SAFER T-shirts for enabling better branding of the foundation, a greater sense of identity amongst its field staff and as a fund-raising tool by their sale.

Peter was pretty pleased when they arrived by this really made us giggle;

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Expedition Medicine medics study the effects of altitude

Eight members of the extreme Everest team, which includes Across the Divide and Expedition Medicine medic Dr Denny Levett, summited last week. As if this wasnt hard enough, they also had the energy to take arterial samples from each other at 8450m and carried out some further scientific studies at the south col. We are always in awe of people who are driven and brave enough to climb to these altitudes but am completely humbled by the fortitude of the extreme Everest team. Good luck and well done to them all, their support team and sherpa guides.

CNN Report