I'm trying to determine the optimal medical kit to bring on the Newport to Bermuda race. Where can I get more information on what to bring?
Dan Dickison responds:
Thanks for your question. I'm sure you're already aware of the required medical equipment as stated in Appendix B of the Notice of Race for that event. It requires that "each yacht be adequately prepared for medical emergencies and contingencies, with appropriate crew training and medical kit as indicated in the CCA Fleet Surgeonís memorandum on illness, injury, and accidents at sea, prepared for the 2002 Newport Bermuda Race and enclosed in the Race Entry Package." Unfortunately, I don't have a copy of that memorandum, but that certainly would be the place to start in making up your kit.
Also, you might want to check two articles written about that very topic here at SailNet. Medical specialist Bill Mahaffy wrote The Onboard Medical Kit, Part One and The Onboard Medical Kit, Part Two, for sailors who have much less medical training than yourself. In the second article, he breaks down his recommendations based on the kind of sailing you might do: Inland, Near Coastal, and Offshore Voyaging.
Alternatively, you might also want to get in touch with a couple of companies whose business is putting together medical kits for people whose activities take them far from the normal services and amenities. Marine Medical International can be found on line at www.marmed.com, and MedAire has a website www.medaire.com/maritime.
Here's wishing you the best of good luck in assembling a thorough medical kit for your boat, with the hope that you never have the occasion to break it open during the race.