We have a professional ‘Hash Quack’
who is qualified and competent to render first aid for minor injuries and we have a rudimentary 1st Aid Kit to put a patch on a scratch or a splint on a bent bone.
Most often we find that washing the blood from a minor wound works just fine followed by liberal dosages of the amber nectar but it is at this point that a warning comes your way.
DO NOT NEGLECT TO PROMPTLY CLEAN AND APPLY SOME TYPE OF ANTISEPTIC/ANTIBIOTIC TO ANY INJURY WHICH DRAWS BLOOD. A SMALL SCRATCH CAN EASILY BECOME A LITTLE INFECTION AND THE LITTLE INFECTION CAN QUICKLY GROW UNCONTROLLED AND CAUSE A LOT OF PAIN AT THE SOURCE AND IN THE WALLET. A LITTLE INFECTION LEFT UNTREATED FOR TOO LONG CAN ALSO CAUSE DEATH.
As the messenger of this warning, I come to you with experience. Several years ago I was on a hash outside of Istanbul and while running the trail scratched my leg on a rusty bit of barbed wire. I completed the run and once back at the car park began to treat the little scratch by applying ice cold Efes which was injested in copious quantities. I did not feel and thing for three days. I woke up about three in the morning about three days after the hash scratch and my right leg was in pain below the knee at the source of the insignificant wound. This little scratch had taken on many colours of a prism with strong streaks of red, purple, yellow and green. I did not sleep another wink and reported to a hospital at a NATO base where I was then employed. The doctor took a quick look and asked me how long I had been in pain. I told him about 5 hours. He berated me for not reporting to the hospital immediately and I told him that I was very aware of the hours of operation of the hospital. He responded by telling me that emergencies were treated 24 hours a day and then had me rushed to the OR where a surgeon removed about a quarter pound of rotting flesh caused by something called Cellulitis. (Google it and you will learn that it can kill you if left without medical attention long enough). In my own case I stayed flat on my back in hospital for 10 days due to the severity of the infection and the amount of time required to apply skin grafts.
Last year, fellow hasher Meatballs got a little scratch on his leg which got infected with cellulitis. I found him in Cha Am Hospital flat on his back with an antibiotic drip. While visiting, the attending doctor came into the room and told Meatballs to go to a better equipped hospital. Meatballs told the doctor that he would arrange to go ‘tomorrow’. The doctor replied to Meatballs to go ‘right now’. Meatballs left immediately and transferred to Bangkok Hospital in Hua Hin where he was treated for a number of days at great expense before being released as an outpatient. However, his cellulitis lingered and caused him pain for about 5 months after which he left for Sweden. Once home in Sweden he continued medical treatment and eliminated the infection in two weeks.
Also last year fellow hasher Pedalphile received a scratch on his leg from a hash run which resulted in an infection that did not make itself known for several weeks. During the interim Pedalphile had made a trip home to the UK and then come back to Hua Hin where the infection kicked in a demobilized him for quite some time.
So take it from experienced hashers that minor injuries should not be ignored.
Also, it is suggested that in addition to the mobile phone, GPS, whistle, flashlight, camera, compass, canteen, binoculars, snake stick, dog stick, ski poles, backpack, and other gear you lug along on the trail that you come equipped with a small first aid kit that contains a small bottle of alcohol, iodine, Fucidin or other antiseptic/antibiotic along with some cotton pads and maybe some bandage material. Usually Band Aids will not stick to a sweaty, smelly, greasy, dirty, nasty runner but a cleanup of a flesh wound is a good idea. A small kit will easily fit in the side pocket or a hashers water belt. If you do not have one and want one I can get you one or direct you to a source. Once you get to the car park, seek out the Hash Quack. She’s a good quack but a better Hash Snacks.!
Some of you might have memories of the time in July of 2012 when 69 Forever was short cutting a run and became meat for a Rottweiler. However, you might not be aware that several months earlier, he returned from a hash run and after some time in the rainlocker before off to bed, he managed to cut himself on the elbow because he fell down the stairs drunk. This little scratch went unnoticed for several days until the onset of severe pain and fever which was cause by something you do not want to become personally familiar called Septecima. Google it and you will learn that 50% of people who get it do not live to talk about it. When 69 Forever finally did fall very ill with septecima which resulted from a little break in the skin, he ended up in Petcharat Hospital where he thought he would die. He experienced severe pain, hallucinations, fever, and the inevitable attack of financial depression. He also lost the epidermis over about 100% of his body.
Quick and proper medical attention might have prevented septecima from setting in and we are lucky to still have 69 Forever on our hash trails despite the hungry Rottie.
Bottom Line: Stay safe. The Hash provides you an opportunity to enjoy group fun and this can include improving your fitness but there can be risks for which the hash is not responsible.