Getting to enjoy the benefits of the South African healthcare system - Page 3 - SailNet Community
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post #21 of 54 Old 01-15-2013
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Re: Getting to enjoy the benefits of the South African healthcare system

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Originally Posted by IronSpinnaker View Post
Killarney

Are you going to take pictures of your ordeal for us to see? I know it may be graphic for some, but it would be a good thing for some people to see how serious safety can be. A constant reminder to refer back to.
I googled "degloving". Definitely not for the faint of heart.

To Killarney, best wishes for a speedy and complete recovery, and thanks so much for sharing the tale with us.

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post #22 of 54 Old 01-15-2013
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Re: Getting to enjoy the benefits of the South African healthcare system

Thanks for your story, we all need to be careful and this gives us a heads up.

Take care of that hand. Watch out for infection. Most hospitals are filled with bacteria that can cause you harm. The infection will spread rapidly. I would really think about going some place that has top rated medical facility.

Take care
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post #23 of 54 Old 01-15-2013
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Re: Getting to enjoy the benefits of the South African healthcare system

So sorry to hear about your mishap and injury Killarney. Wish there was something we could do from this side. Take it easy and I know you'll be rounding The Cape in no time.

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post #24 of 54 Old 01-15-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Getting to enjoy the benefits of the South African healthcare system

An update, got the bad news from the orthopedic surgeon. He has consulted with a cosmetic surgeon who would actually do the skin grafts and they agree that there is too much dead skin for it to recover and the dead skin is a first rate place for infections to thrive. Getting them done here would cost a minimum of $15,000 not including any complications which are common in such cases apparently. Everyone agrees that the private system in SA is terrific but you pay for it. The public system is not nearly as good.

SO, I have booked a flight back to Toronto for Thursday so I can get started on the process ASAP. My wife, assisted by friends will take the boat around Cape Agulhas (i miss that) and we will get hauled, probably at False Bay. If it goes smoothly, the graft process takes about a month. If that is the case we can come back (June will fly to Toronto in a week or so after the boat is set. If it takes longer we will leave the boat here until November or so because we need to get north before winter here and we need to out of the Caribbean before hurricane season.

BTW, why is it that I can get a flight from Jo'burg to Qatar to Washington to Toronto for $750 while a flight from George to Jo'burg which is 2.5 hours is $280?

The only pics we have are of me being loaded into the ambulance ( not sure why my wife decided to take those). Now it just looks like a swollen hand that is sort of gray. Before all the sutures it looked like a hand that someone tried to cut with very dull sheers - apparently truly disgusting, I did not look at that stage. Also found out that the boat insurance medical only covers guest on the boat and not the owners. Guess I needed to get someone else to stick their hand into the mess. I don't think we will have any change from $5000 not counting haul out and storage costs and airfares - an inexpensive misadventure.

Back home on Lake Ontario after something over 36,000 nm circumnavigator. Not surprisingly there is a lot of stuff I want to get done on Ainia both cosmetically and functionally. Getting an early start so it will be ready to go for next summer (Lake Superior?).
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post #25 of 54 Old 01-15-2013
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Re: Getting to enjoy the benefits of the South African healthcare system

Do write when you get back to Canada, eh?

The weather in Toronto has been balmy.

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post #26 of 54 Old 01-15-2013
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Re: Getting to enjoy the benefits of the South African healthcare system

It seems like a large percentage of serious boat injuries fall into the category of getting in between boat and something else. Perhaps there ought to be more focus on it in the safety issues covered in boating education. I wonder if some sort of Kevlar glove could be designed to use when handling lines. I know I have had some bad cuts over the years from line handling, getting sliced by wire, etc. I know gloves are not usually very good when trying to tie knots but maybe a half glove?? Worth thinking about.

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post #27 of 54 Old 01-15-2013
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Re: Getting to enjoy the benefits of the South African healthcare system

You're doing the right thing by making your health a priority. Hope the treatment back home goes well and quickly. What an ordeal.


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post #28 of 54 Old 01-15-2013
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Re: Getting to enjoy the benefits of the South African healthcare system

best wishes. Don't know the anatomic details of your injury but in general it's good advice to make sure you rehab the hand extensively before stressing it again sailing. You may be surprised how much strength and flexibility you may have lost. Restoring full ROM ( range of motion), strength and sensation is important. ( even with no neurovacsular bundle injury crush injuries with skin loss may result in hopefully transient sensory loss) . You may be "clumsy" with that hand for some time and prone to re injury or undoing the good work done. In general redos may be more problematic. Find some good P.T. ad O.T. folks and get clearance from them and your surgeon before returning SA. for another voyage. Particularly if digits involved.
Positive thinking makes for quick healing. All the best. Greatly enjoy your posts. Hope future ones are of happier things. Can tell you have the spirit to see this through.

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post #29 of 54 Old 01-15-2013
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Re: Getting to enjoy the benefits of the South African healthcare system

Sorry to hear of this development, but luckily you CAN come home and deal with it... Huge kudos to your wife for being willing to get the boat to a good drying out spot with friends. I hope a good weather window materializes soon.

Best of luck, with all positive thoughts/prayers let's hope you get to Brazil sooner rather than later!

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post #30 of 54 Old 01-15-2013
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Re: Getting to enjoy the benefits of the South African healthcare system

Woo..... sorry to hear the slight set back on treatment. I think you made a right decision to fly back to North America. Regardless how advance the SA medical treatment is, you are still a foreigner in a strange place. When you are home you have more support and options.

I hope you have lined up a list of doctors/places to call and see them immediately upon your arrival. Don't forget to seek 2nd or 3rd opinion. Make sure you have the cell number of the doctor/surgeon who did the work in SA, so that if it needs to be, the Toronto doctor can call to ensure a consistent treatment plan for you. I am sure they will have discharge paper, but don't count on the details. Time is of the essence.

If Toronto does not work out, the closest city to Toronto that has the world renowned microsurgery team is in Pittsburgh. Hope everything works out

Good luck and have a safe trip home.


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