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JOHNS HOPKINS SPORTS MEDICINE PHYSICIAN CHOSEN AS MEDICAL DIRECTOR FOR RACE THROUGH THE DESERT IN CHINA

Johns Hopkins Medicine
Office of Corporate Communications
Media Contact:
Claudia Costabile; ccostab1@jhmi.edu
April 13, 2005

JOHNS HOPKINS SPORTS MEDICINE PHYSICIAN CHOSEN AS MEDICAL DIRECTOR FOR RACE THROUGH THE DESERT IN CHINA

Doctors from Johns Hopkins and other institutions across the United States will be in China’s Gobi Desert from April 23 to 30, assisting some of the world's running elite in this year’s Gobi March 2005, one of the most spectacular races on the planet. Dr. Brian Krabak, a sports medicine and rehabilitation specialist at Johns Hopkins, veteran of Olympic medical teams and an avid adventure racer himself, was chosen as Medical Director of the endurance race, which will total 250 km (150 miles).

Dr. Krabak will be working with Hopkins colleague Brandee L. Waite, M.D., during the course of the race, where athletes will be running back to back marathons, covering a varied terrain of grassland, rocks, rivers, small mountains and sand dunes. Temperatures will drop from 100ºF to 32ºF (approximately 34ºC to 0ºC), and altitude will also be an issue since changes from 154 m below sea level to altitudes above 2000 m are expected.

“We have to be prepared to handle everything from blistered feet, sprained ankles and torn ligaments to concussions and complex musculoskeletal injuries,” says Dr. Krabak. “The race organizers made a big effort to put parallel roads during the course of the race, so that the athletes can have immediate medical help should an emergency occur, which, of course, nobody wants.”

Besides providing medical care, Dr. Waite says that one of the biggest challenges will be to make the tough decision of whether an injured athlete should compete and risk further injury; not a simple decision in the face of athletes’ “burning desire to continue”, as she puts it.

Both doctors will be sending daily reports and photographs of the race, which will be posted in the Johns Hopkins International website from until the doctors are back home.

According to Mary Gadams, director of the race, most of the runners are from the United States, but they also come from Australia, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, El Salvador, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Ireland, New Zealand, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and United Kingdom.

The other doctors who are part of the medical team led by Dr. Krabak are orthopedic surgeon Carlyle Welch from Loma Linda University/Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital in China; emergency room physician Daoyang Zhou from Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital in China; nurse Carolyn Anderson from University of Washington; nurse Sue Hume from University of Wyoming; and private practice podiatrist David Hannaford, supported by Debbie Hannaford.

-- JHMI --

On the Web:
http://www.racingtheplanet.com

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Leading a trend of rapid global changes in health, Johns Hopkins International works with international patients, physicians and institutions to bring the best of Johns Hopkins Medicine in research, education, training and clinical services to the world community. For more than a century, Johns Hopkins Medicine has built a reputation for excellence unsurpassed by any health care institution in the world.

The mission of the institution has been to create an environment where the quest for new knowledge would continually yield more effective and compassionate care for all.  In 2004, U.S. News and World Report ranked Johns Hopkins Hospital as America’s “Best Hospital” for the 14th consecutive year.

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