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2013 News

December 4, 2013 – PRAXES Physician Dr. John Ross reports from Tanzania!

November 14, 2013 – Ship Management International article

November 7, 2013 – Boating Industry Canada’s October edition: “PRAXES brilliant Canadian innovation” 

October 25, 2013 – Sailing down to Rio

September 26, 2013 – PRAXES EMdocs respond to Clipper calls

September 20, 2013 – Can a small company in a niche market go global?

September 1, 2013 – Clipper Race begins

August 27, 2013 – Medical training for Clipper

August 26, 2013 – Financial Post article discusses PRAXES partnership with Clipper Race

August 26, 2013 – CTV Morning Live interviews PRAXES on support of the Clipper Round the World Race

August 19, 2013 – PRAXES adds OHdoc to national telemedicine service

July 11, 2013 – Entrevestor & Chronicle Herald article on PRAXES’ EMwerx software

June 10, 2013 – PRAXES to support Clipper Round the World Race

May 25, 2013 – ‘What we do’ 60 second video

Dr. John Ross reports from Tanzania

PRAXES Physician Dr John Ross reports from Tanzania on local markets, food and oh yes, the hospital in Dar es Salaam!

Nov. 16, 2013

I am sitting in the living room of the Abbott House, sitting by an open (screened) window, ceiling fan spinning, listening to birds (hey! there are some), watching numerous butterflies on the bush outside the window, and experiencing a mix of olefactory stimuli ranging from lush tropical greenery to the unattended male/female toilets on the hospital grounds just outside our property gate.

Out the opposite window is the Abbott Fund gardener, a wonderful guy who used to be the guard here. He sold his bicycle earlier this year to pay for his kid’s school fees, so he and I went to the CRAZY Dar market in Kariakoo last Sat and bought two old bikes – one for him, one for me.

The market

Karikoo market–  Hot, humid, sweating, sticky, continuous car and truck horns, people talking/yelling, dogs barking, no discernible traffic flow, motor bikes careening through the crowds assuming people will get out of the way at the last minute (most do – those that don’t visit my shop), grossly overloaded delivery trucks crowded into streets that should not allow them to pass, but do, buses, hand carts, all devoid of North Americans’ risk aversion or worry about the future.

There are few rules apparent but probably many in operation; everything under the sun for sale. Vendors with wares on carpets and towels in front of the stalls including an endless supply of used footwear that ends up here from such suppliers as Goodwill and the Salvation Army. Billions of random telephone parts, cords, copied DVDs, generators (constant local power outages), plumbing fixtures, cheap clothing, huge, fantastic vegetable, fish, spice, meat market – I mean, it is INCREDIBLE.

The food

Food is very good Indian and local chicken, rice, and a flour/maize mix called ugali that is a thick paste ball you eat with your hand, soak up sauces, and use to feel full I guess. We have gone to the Mix Restaurant for dinner a few times recently – about a 1.5 – 2 k walk along somewhat dangerous broken sidewalk, dusty road sides with random gaping holes and missing sewer grates. The Mix is operated by an old Indian gentleman and his family. His wife developed the recipe 20 years ago – she died 12 years ago and he has kept the tradition going ever since. Deep fried potato balls, cooked vegetable balls, spices, teeny bits of beef on skewers (10 skewers for about $1.10), wonderful mystery spiced soup/sauce, crunchy bits, chillies all ‘mixed’ together in a bowl + small veggie samosas for about $3.00. Add a Safari beer ($1.00) from the discreet booze-and-everything-else-you-could-need-in-a-microscopic-space shop next door, and you have a fine meal.

When I get here I refresh my memory for all the Swahili greeting words – there are many and one gets tested every day by many people to ensure one knows the routine. “Mambo – How’s it going?” “Poa – cool. Vipi – Everything good?” “Safi – smooth. Hujambo – all good with you?” “Sijambo – all great…” and so on. Next I remember how to count. That is critical when negotiating basically every deal – taxis, shops, meals – everything. You never agree to any exchange until the price is worked out first. This is where the foreigner rate comes out. The taxi guys are the most entertaining. Locals mostly take the dala dalas – massively crowded, mechanically sketchy (often see a few dala dalas at the sides of the road with several legs sticking out from the front (moving thankfully – but yes, sometimes not moving) trying to effect yet another temporizing repair).

“Special muzungu (white person) rate?” This is usually where the audience broadly smiles at me, has a good chuckle and it is repeated several times. All eyes back on the potential driver. “What you will pay?” “Elfu nne – 4000.” I am now using Swahili numbers. Shock, horror. “Cannot.” “sawa, asante” – right, thank you – and I start walking away. “Elfu saba?” – 7000? “Elfu sita.” – 6000. Big sigh, looks like I just took his life savings – door opens, and off we go. Big smiles from the other drivers, still laughing about the ‘special muzungu rate.’

The hospital!

The medical work in the EMD is variably interesting, at times ++ frustrating, at times totally confusing – a wide variety of relatively minor to super sick people – mostly seen by interns who have little idea what they are doing. Sigh. I also get asked for help, or I try to divine when there is an issue, or I frequently ask for summaries and try to compare my suspicions with what I am hearing in the summary. After being here for a while, it is amazing how my eyes, ears, smell, spidey sense all combine to get a very rapid sense of what is going on.

Some days, all 12 hour shifts, there is a constant crush of super sick people arriving. Most are being sent from district hospitals with REALLY limited resources (pieces of cardboard ‘splinting’ their fractured femurs or holding their mostly severed foot on – for now.) They have limited diagnostics, everything takes near forever, many forms to complete, constant interruptions, limited pharmaceuticals (what was in stock yesterday is gone today.)

The day started yesterday by being called into the Peds room (my least favorite but admittedly most challenging and possibly most useful in terms of life years affected place to intervene) by the good-insight Chief Resident who said she needed help. A 2 year old (more like 1 year old size in our world) had just arrived and was having severe respiratory distress – rapid breathing, sternum was being sucked in against his back bone, head tilted back, revealing a bilateral huge lumpy neck swelling and a dirty bandage around his neck. Eyes were still looking around and all 4 limbs were moving – that’s good – we’ve got a few moments then. At birth he was diagnosed with a cystic hygroma, a series of lumps formed by dilated lymph veins – serum containing cysts. This kid’s hygroma was big and tight enough that he had somehow had a tracheostomy done 2 weeks ago.  A trach is the placement of a tiny (in his case) metal curved breathing tube through the neck into the trachea. Guess what came out 2.5 hours ago?

Ensured everything was working. Ketamine to sedate but keep breathing. O2 saturations 100%. The resident was not keen on trying – wanted to see the expert. Sigh. After a few gentle pokes, the use of a small stylet as a airway tract direction finding device,  the small metal trach tube was back in place, and the oxygen saturation was at 100%.

Every day has got a few or a lot of these. One realizes that despite the lack of experience with such things, we have the gift of excellent medical training, critical thinking, methodical planning, anticipating and preparing for complications, and acknowledging that if you don’t do it, no one else will.

Heart attacks are a disease of relatively well-off, over-fed people. What about the millions of have-nots who are crashing their cheap motorcycles; toddlers pulling boiling water onto themselves or falling into open fires (many we see per day); rampant malaria; terrifying driving and carnage on the roads? They need a major Public Health focus first and a reactive disease/injury system second. But the money and sexiness is in the latter, not the former.

Ok, I’ve got numb finger tips.

Tutaonana – good bye!


Ship Management International

Ship Management International Issue 45 September/October article

smiShip Management International is an online and hard copy magazine issued every 2 months that covers news in the maritime industry.  In Issue 45, an article features Clipper Round the World Race and the medical coverage provided by PRAXES Medical Group, you can read the article here.

Boating Industry Canada article

Boating Industry Canada’s October Edition: “PRAXES Brilliant Canadian Innovation”


The October 2013 edition of the Boating Industry Canada magazine featured a section on PRAXES Medical Group and their involvement in the 2013/2013 Clipper Round the World Race.  Read the full article here.

Sailing down to Rio

Sailing down to Rio, getting down to business

3809In the second blog entry PRAXES discusses the first leg of the Clipper Round the World Race and the business opportunities associated with providing medical support for a crew that stops at some of the biggest port cities in the world.  Read the full entry here.

Responding to Clipper calls

PRAXES handles three medically related calls from Clipper

Clipper yacht braving the waves.

Clipper yacht braving the waves.

Since the yachts took sail on September 1st 2013, PRAXES Medical Group EMergency physicians have provided medical advice to crew in the Clipper Round the World Race on three separate occasions.  Medical inquiries during Leg 1 of the race from off Portugal, West Africa and mid Atlantic Ocean were handled by PRAXES EMdocs.  In all cases they were resolved satisfactorily.

Can PRAXES go global?

Can a small company in a niche market go global?


CanadExport is an online publication written by the Canadian Trade Commission that features Canadian businesses crossing into international trade.  In their most recent publication they feature PRAXES’ coverage of the Clipper Round the World Race in a series of blogs over the course of the 11 month race.  In the first entry, which you can read in full here, some of PRAXES’ business goals are discussed as well as the huge opportunity the Clipper Race presents for attracting more business internationally.

Clipper Race begins

Clipper Round the World Race begins leg 1: London, UK – Brest, France – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

featuredgalleryfrontSeptember 1, 2013 – The Clipper Round the World Race started the first leg of the race off to Brest, France then onward across the Atlantic trade winds to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

PRAXES will be providing 24/7 emergency physician telemedicine service for all 12 racing yachts.  Crew members have also been provided access to a digital Personal Health Record, an extension of our EMwerx software, which will facilitate the diagnoses of injuries/illnesses by our physicians.

To read the Clipper news story about the start of the race click here, and to see a great up to date map on each racing yachts’ position over time click here.

Medical Training for Clipper

PRAXES provides medical training for Clipper Round the World Race skippers & crews


PRAXES emergency physician Dr. John Ross (purple shirt) gives medical training to skippers.

August 27, 2013 – As part of race prep week leading up to the September 1 start of the Clipper Round the World Race, PRAXES delivered medical training to the skippers and crews.  Read more on the event here.

Financial Post article

Financial Post article

PRAXES emergency physician Dr. John Ross (left) and PRAXES CEO Susan Helliwell (right) pose with legendary sailor and Clipper Round the World Race founder Sir Robin Knox-Johnston in London.

August 26, 2013 – Following PRAXES’ visit to London before the start of the 2013/2014 Clipper Round The World Race, The Financial Post covered the story with emphasis that this partnership hopes to expand PRAXES into new markets.  Read the full article here.

CTV interviews PRAXES

CTV interviews PRAXES on Clipper Round the World Race support


PRAXES CEO Susan Helliwell (left) and PRAXES emergency physician Dr. John Ross (center) interviewed by CTV Morning Live’s Heidi Petracek (right).

August 26, 2013 – CTV Morning Live interviews PRAXES Medical Group CEO Susan Helliwell and PRAXES emergency physician Dr. John Ross on the upcoming year-long support that PRAXES will be providing to the Clipper Round the World Race.  Watch the 4 minute interview here.

PRAXES adds OHdoc

PRAXES announces innovative OHdoc addition to its national telemedicine service.

PMG_logoHALIFAX, August 19, 2013 – PRAXES Medical Group announced today that they are expanding their world-class industrial telemedicine service.  The Halifax based company will now offer occupational health physician (OHdoc) support as part of “EMdoc”, the organization’s emergency medical service.

“We leveraged our expertise in emergency medicine and software technology, and added occupational health services to EMdoc,” said PRAXES CEO, Susan Helliwell.  “Our clients who have looked to us for global emergency medical support, can now also access occupational health specialists. We’re able to respond to medical emergencies and deal with work related incidents, all in the same system.”

PRAXES recently gained recognition when it was named global medical emergency supplier for the Clipper Round the World sailing race. Race crews will have access to PRAXES 24/7 emergency medical care throughout all 12 months and 40,000 miles of the race. The PRAXES EMdoc service is also used by the Canadian Navy, the Coast Guard, several mines sites, among many other industrial clients.

The physician view
“Physicians with an occupational health specialty are difficult to source in Canada – even in larger cities,” said Dr. Donald Haigh, a PRAXES occupational health physician. “Their specific skills are crucial to helping remote site managers prevent medical incidents. Taking workers unnecessarily off-site impacts their income, as well as company performance. As occupational health physicians, our goal is to help keep workers on site, and get them safely back to work as soon as possible.”

The customer view
“This new service will enhance our remote medical response capability. Moving from emergency response to modified duties in one system will keep workers on site. We see this reducing lost time accidents and getting better care to the worker, sooner” – VP Canada, FrontierMEDEX

PRAXES works to help companies reduce lengthy and expensive work stoppages and the “off-site” time, triggered by medical incidents. The PRAXES EMdoc service responds within 5 minutes, identifies the incident as a work related event, records information in PRAXES software and refers the case to a PRAXES occupational health case manager, all on the same call. By managing the case remotely, PRAXES is able to help reduce time delays and costs, while improving on-site incident management, and overall productivity.

About PRAXES Medical Group
PRAXES has been supporting remote workers in dangerous environments since 1997. Its global Telemedicine service is Canada’s premiere telemedicine service for industry. It also supplies a range of medical services from medical exams to the set up and operation of remote medical clinics. The PRAXES mission is to improve remote health care while simultaneously reducing cost and risk for clients.

PRAXES supports the Canadian Coast Guard and Navy, the marine industry, mine sites, oil and gas sites, and prisons. PRAXES is the official supplier of global medical emergency services to the Clipper Round the World Race 2013/14.

Chronicle Herald article

Entrevestor & Chronicle Herald article

Susan Helliwell, CEO of PRAXES Medical, at the PRAXES office.

July 11, 2013 – Peter Moreira, of Entrevestor and writer for the Chronicle Herald, interviewed PRAXES Medical Group CEO Susan Helliwell and wrote an article on the recent developments in marketing plans for the company’s employee management software, EMwerx, for the national level.

Read the article here on Entrevestor’s site, or here on the Chronicle Herald’s site.


PRAXES to support Clipper Round the World Race


Clipper Round the World Race joins forces with PRAXES Medical Group to provide 24/7 global emergency medical support.


PRAXES Medical Group has signed on as the Global Medical Emergency Support Partner for the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race to provide global medical emergency coverage for Clipper Race crew.

Based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, PRAXES will provide the Clipper Race with their 24-hour EMdoc service which gives immediate access to physicians who are trained in emergency medicine while their EMwerx software will track the medical information for all participating Clipper Race crew and skippers, allowing specialist care to be delivered during an emergency situation.

PRAXES CEO Susan Helliwell said: “We are delighted to be partners with the Clipper Round the World Race. Both of our organizations are focused on reducing risk at sea. Our EMdoc service will be on call and ready to respond to crew and skipper24/7.”

In the event of an incident on board during the Clipper Race, the skipper will be able to call PRAXES for medical advice. The on call physician will have access to the crew members’ medical history to be able to diagnose remotely and recommend appropriate treatment.

PRAXES physicians are all highly trained specialists in remote triage, who regularly give telephone advice to naval vessels, oil rigs, air transport programmes, poison information centres and other health professionals in a variety of remote settings.

As well as providing peace of mind for crew and their loved ones, it is expected the service will significantly reduce the number of in-port hospital visits and medevac situations during the race.

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, Chairman and Founder of the Clipper Race said: “The Clipper Race crew will take on the most dangerous oceans in the world during their adventure and their safety is always our prime concern. Having PRAXES’ support during the race will give reassurance to the crew and their loved ones that, should anything happen during the race they will have access to the best medical care.”

Nova Scotia native Jim Cole, a crew member on board New York, suffered an injury during the Clipper 11-12 Race.
The 73-year-old from Halifax said: “Had this service been available during the Clipper 11-12 Race, it could have been very helpful when I managed to break a finger on the North Atlantic crossing from Halifax to Ireland. The doctor who had been on board, had to leave earlier in New York for medical reasons, so we were more or less left to our own devices in terms of dealing with the injury. No question, the PRAXES service could have played a very valuable role had it been available.”

All Clipper Race crew will be given the opportunity to upload their medical histories to EMwerx prior to the start of the race where it will be kept confidentially in case of emergency.


For further information on the Clipper Race please visit www.clipperroundtheworld.com
For media information or interview requests please contact:

Marina Thomas, PR Manager
Email: email hidden; JavaScript is required

For further information on PRAXES visit www.praxes.ca or for interview requests please contact :

John Hockin, VP Marketing
Ph: (902) 420-9725 X205
Email: email hidden; JavaScript is required

About PRAXES Medical Group
PRAXES has been supporting remote workers in dangerous environments since 1997. Its global Telemedicine service is Canada’s premiere telemedicine service for industry. It also supplies a range of medical services from medical exams to the set up and operation of remote medical clinics. The PRAXES mission is to improve remote health care while simultaneously reducing cost and risk for clients.

About Clipper Ventures Plc
Clipper Ventures Plc was established in 1995 by legendary yachtsman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first person to sail solo non-stop around the world in 1968-69. Sir Robin founded the company on the premise that sailing should be made available to everyone, regardless of age or experience. So he launched the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race in 1996. The company owns and operates its own matched fleet of ocean racing yachts and so far more than 3,000 people have competed in the eight editions of the Clipper Race to date. The company also owns the rights to the professional solo round the world VELUX 5 OCEANS race and runs a successful events division offering corporate sailing and development programmes. Today Clipper Ventures is recognised as a leading international marine events company which is focused on developing and promoting major global events such as the Clipper Race.

Clipper 13-14 Round the World Yacht Race
The Clipper 13-14 Round the World Yacht Race will start in summer (UK) 2013 and return almost a year later after completing the 40,000 miles route, making it the world’s longest ocean race. The event was established by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston to give everyone, regardless of sailing experience, the opportunity to discover the exhilaration of ocean racing. 650 people representing more than 40 nations will compete in the Clipper 13-14 Race on twelve brand new 70-foot yachts designed by renowned naval architect Tony Castro. It’s the largest race ever. Crew members can sign up for the whole circumnavigation or one or more of eight legs. The only qualification for the race is the minimum age of 18 (there is no upper age limit) plus a thirst for adventure. The overall race is divided into individual stages and points are accumulated in a Formula 1-style scoring system. The yacht with the highest total points at the finish wins the Clipper Trophy.

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston
It’s nearly 45 years since Sir Robin Knox-Johnston set off on his record breaking solo and non-stop circumnavigation in 1968-69. Now, as Executive Chairman and founding Director of Clipper Ventures Plc, he is at the forefront of promoting round the world yacht racing. Sir Robin has been involved in sailing all his life and holds a Department of Transport Master’s Certificate. He set the record for the fastest circumnavigation with Sir Peter Blake. In 2007; he completed his second solo circumnavigation when he competed in the VELUX 5 OCEANS race. Sir Robin has considerable experience of the administration of round the world races having served on the Whitbread Race committee from 1990 to 1994 and having organised the BOC Challenge Round the World Race in 1982 and 1986. He has been named RYA/YJA Yachtsman of the Year an unprecedented three times and participated in the 2010 Sydney-Hobart race at the age of 71.


PRAXES Emergency Specialists Inc.

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