New Olympic Event

Yesterday I was at the hospital most of the day to have a series of tests done and I decided it could be a possible new event for the 2012 London Olympics.

The BMT Triathlon is a test of stamina and organisational skills. The event's three sections are Kidney, Lungs and Heart.

The Kidney section is first but forms a long running backdrop to the whole event, in fact in "It's a knockout" terms it's the "Fil Rouge". At the sound of the starting pistol at 09:00 contestants are injected with a radioactive isotope and given a small tin with three phials in for blood tests to be taken two, three and fours hours after the injection.

The tins have to be carried down a flight of stairs from the Nuclear Medicine department across to the main hospital and up to the Haematology Day Unit on the 3rd floor of the main hospital. You can use the lift for this but with four lifts available contestants have to use their skill and judgement to decide which one will arrive first.

Having deposited the phials with Haematology competitors now descend to the ground floor and cross road to start the next event, the lung functions. The lung function testing department is on the 1st floor with no lifts available this time. You'd think if they put it on the 6th floor then the test would simply be to get to reception without needing oxygen.

The lung function section is the most technical of the three events and competitors are given a series of compulsory breathing exercises and marked on style and technique. The coaches are very encouraging saying things like "Keep going, keep going, squeeze out the air, squeeze out the air". Several attempts are allowed at each exercise and the best score is taken.

Having completed the lung function tests the first part of the Fil Rouge is completed by going down from that department back across the road and up to haematology to have the first blood sample taken. The organisational skills are tested here as one needs to get the blood test taken in time to be able to start the third event in cardiology at 11:10. Skills of persuasion are tested by getting the nurses to do the blood test in time without pestering them.

Having completed that section of the Fil Rouge contestants now descend one floor to cardiology where an echo cardiogram is taken. More skills of persuasion are needed to convince the tecnician that a standard ECG is also required and this involves a hunt for the pink form. Having found the form the ECG can completed and contestants now return to haematology for the second part of the Fil Rouge, another blood sample.

At this point contestants have a break for lunch but only after descending three floors and using the underground corridor to go under the road to the Cellar Restaurant. The final event of the day is the end of the Fil Rouge with the last blood sample taken in Haematology.

The winners of this complex event are announced about 10 days after completion of the competition.


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