Expert warns against heat during Bahrain F1
Manama, March 31, 2013
Temperatures could soar as high as 40C during the Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix set to take place next month, an expert has warned.
The event takes place on April 19, 20 and 21 at the Bahrain International Circuit (BIC).
Chief medical officer Dr Amjad Obaid predicted that would be the biggest concern for the almost 200-strong medical team on duty during the race weekend, said a report in our sister publication, the Gulf Daily News (GDN).
"The preparations are pretty much the same this year as always, but the timing of the race - towards the end of April - will mean we will have to make special arrangements for the drivers, teams and spectators to tackle the intense heat," Dr Obaid told the GDN.
The medical team is now being put through its paces and is attending a series of workshops at the Salmaniya Medical Complex (SMC) and BIC, with a special focus on dealing with heat exhaustion, heat stroke and other complications connected to high temperatures.
"Temperatures are known to touch 40C and that is a concern," Dr Obaid said.
"Fortunately, during the event in 2012, the temperatures were around 35C and there was even a very brief shower."
Live drills will be conducted for the medical team in co-operation with Formula One's governing body the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) and the Bahrain Motor Federation.
During the event, five clinics will be set up at the circuit to care for spectators and a specialised clinic will be established in the VIP Tower, while doctors and paramedics will be present around the BIC.
Medical teams consisting of doctors, nurses and specialists will also include extrication experts to help in the event of an accident on the track.
"Helicopters will also be on standby to airlift drivers or spectators in case of an accident," said Dr Obaid.
Specialists on duty will include experts in neurosurgery, plastic surgery, emergency medicine, general surgery, orthopaedics, anaesthesia and internal medicine.
The BIC medical centre has a four-bed resuscitation room and is fully equipped, while 12 ambulances, six fast intervention cars and three extrication vehicles will be on standby.
Preparations are being made to cope with a total of nearly 100,000 visitors over three days at the BIC, although
Dr Obaid said there had never been a serious incident since the Formula One had been coming to Bahrain.
"We have always had concerns, but we have been adequately prepared at all times to deal with those concerns," he said.
Both of Bahrain's main hospitals - SMC and the BDF Hospital - will be on standby during the event, as well as all other medical facilities.
"However, normal medical services in the country will not be affected in any way," added Dr Obaid. – TradeArabia News Service