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Old 10-31-2012
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Re: Medicine at Sea advice

As an Emergency Physician for 30 years and sailor for much longer than that, I also serve as Fleet Surgeon for our club. I am almost daily pressed into service for boating related illness/injuries. My advice: keep it simple. The following list is one I use for this presentation.

Drowning
Cold exposure
Control of bleeding
Orthopedic injuries—sprains, strains, fractures
Laceration and wound care
Burns
Eye injuries
Seasickness
Insect bites and stings

This list would be augmented for offshore: advanced treatment of the above, and recognition and treatment of infections: pneumonia, urinary tract, skin, gastrointestinal, dental emergencies.

I also have a presentation discussing a proper first aid kit if you'd like that.
Preparation for offshore is very different from day-sailing/coastal cruising.
Offshore preparation requires that you have some prescription medications onboard and know how/when to use them. If you're going offshore, I'd recommend talking to your family doctor about writing prescriptions for some of the essentials to keep stocked on board.

Note that CPR/resuscitation is not on the list above. That's a topic all on it's own and should have a separate course. Every boater should know how to do CPR. While it's good to know more advanced stuff, there are limitations to what you can do offshore. Life-threatening illnesses offshore are exactly that, and your ability to intervene is extremely limited. While I don't want to be too cynical, a patient requiring CPR out-of-range of ground transportation (out of the marina) has virtually a 0% chance of survival. (please don't send me any Lazarus stories).
This is a huge subject- again, keep it simple.
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Mark Smith
1977 C&C 30 Mk 1 hailing from Port Clinton, Ohio
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