Race doctor “in it for the trauma”

Surgeon Obi Nnajiuba spends the week operating at King George and Queen’s Hospitals – and weekends caring for injured racing drivers at Brands Hatch.

Obi, a fifth-year registrar in upper gastrointestinal surgery, said: “I’ve always been interested in pre-hospital trauma care so in my first role at Southend Hospital I used to go to Kent Air Ambulance clinical governance days.

“I’d go out with them to observe and noticed the Brands Hatch logo on their uniform. That led me to the chief medical officer at Brands Hatch who invited me to observe in their med car. After a year of going and supporting them I was asked to join the team. Some of the doctors who do it are petrol heads, and others are like me, in it for the trauma.”

Obi, 34, regularly spends weekends during race season at the track, usually based track-side in the med car. However, he also sometimes fills in for the chief medical officer. He’s then based in the medical centre, a four-bed resus unit where more seriously injured patients are stabilised before being transferred to hospital.

He added; “Working there is totally different, when something happens you’re almost on your own and not in a fully equipped hospital. You need to think on your feet and make fast decision as the patient is in your hands.

“I found it quite daunting at first as it really puts your skills to the test. I’ve got more experience now and it has made me a better doctor.”

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Mick Ferris

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