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Old 11-15-2009
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Originally Posted by TiggerToo View Post
Age 56 and had a surprise seizure (on land). I'm coming to terms with this, but looking for advice on how this should affect my sailing.

Obviously that's single-handing out for the time being, if not forever. Fortunately I can always sail with crew competent enough, and need not take the helm. We always don life jackets when underway (it's simplest that way).

So, should I not sail at all (modern 36 foot sloop)? Sail (not now until April 2010 season anyway), but always hooked on?

Should a seizure at sea be Panpan'd?

Any experience / advice welcome.
You have made the first important decision by being honest with yourself and those around you. I had a client who indicated that he had once had a spell. He had two grand mal severe seizures in a row.

I would suggest always being tethered is a good move. A comfortable inflatable harness makes life quite enjoyable. Taking the helm is not a huge issue, unless docking presents hazards. You and your sailing partner(s) might want to learn single-handed docking methods.

Anytime someone loses consciousness a Mayday is in order unless you are close by a hospital. In my case I called 911 and the ambulance met us at the dock. My client spent the night in the hospital.

I was somewhat fortunate as I had worked in a hospital and seen / dealt with scores of seizures, including a status epilepticus. I am also an adventure medic.

You should teach people how to deal with a seizure. As you know there are many misconceptions about what to do.

Can you predict an onset? Do you get an aura? If so, you can just let everyone know and then get yourself into a safe secure place.

Enjoy the great outdooors.

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