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  Topic Review (Newest First)
09-23-2013 11:48 AM
Re: Medicine at Sea advice

I noticed someone mentioned this earlier, but I would strongly recommend talking about seasickness as well. As someone who suffers from this, sometimes in a quite debilitating way, prevention and treatment is always on my mind.

Quite a few people have recommended different oral medications, Stugeron being the forerunner, but when I'm vomiting it can be impossible to keep pills in my stomach.

Recently I've discovered the Scopolamine Patches which have worked better than most things I've tried. I put the patch behind my ear the night before we leave and don't even have to think about it for three days. I've also found that, outside of the U.S., they can be purchased over the counter in most drug or grocery stores.

I realize quite a bit of time has passed since your first post, but I was wondering if you filmed the presentation and put it up on a website or YouTube. If so, I would love to check that out!

Thanks so much!
s/v Paragon
09-23-2013 02:59 AM
Re: Medicine at Sea advice

Would it be appropriate to have a part of the discussion about forms of help that are available, i.e. communications with medical people ashore?
09-11-2013 11:04 AM
Re: Medicine at Sea advice


About a year ago, I posted on this forum asking about doing a presentation about medical emergencies at sea. You said that you had a few presentations which I could borrow for reference. If you still have them, is there any way that I could have a peek? Perhaps you could email them to me at Obviously, I will not use your presentations in any way without your written permission.


Capt. Corey
10-31-2012 03:03 PM
Re: Medicine at Sea advice

I've always said (and felt) that it's the simple things that are more likely to become a problem. Infection from a fish hook, a deep gash from a blow to the head (boom, flogging sail, etc.) a cut from a knife, concussion, etc.

Emphasize the need to THOROUGHLY clean a wound. Should have on board sterile saline solution, squirt bottle and some Betadine. Flush the hell out of the wound and treat w/ Neosporin or its equivalent.

Years ago I saw a presentation about injuries at sea and read the handbook. The most common instruction was SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION. Yeah, right.

And as an aside, and basic seamanship, I would say that "situational awareness" is very important for anyone that's going to be far from a safe harbor. Basically, where the hell are you and where would you go RIGHT NOW if you had to seek a port?
10-31-2012 01:56 PM
Re: Medicine at Sea advice

You're right, Minne. That's a special case and one reason I think they still need to emphasize mouth-to-mouth as part of CPR. In a primary respiratory event, doing CPR without respirations is not really helpful. Anyone around water needs to practice the respiratory portion of CPR as well as compression.
The hard part of CPR offshore, or even coastal, is knowing when to stop, and not feeling guilty for not being able to continue when continuing is futile.
10-31-2012 01:21 PM
Re: Medicine at Sea advice

Originally Posted by msmith10 View Post
.....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....
I agree for most cardiac events. However, a cold water drowning could be resuscitated with success. Not all.
10-31-2012 11:34 AM
Re: Medicine at Sea advice

As an EMT, you will take for granted a lot of stuff that the layman won't comprehend. That's why I encourage you to keep it simple. First aid for daysailing, coastal cruising, and offshore becomes increasingly complex and trying to teach your audience too much will just lose them.
All of the advice above is good, but you've got to limit your discussion- maybe just a review of basic first aid kit essentials, recommending a good book and/or course, and how to summon emergency help- that would cover an hour presentation in itself.
Also, please don't take my lead-in to my first post as a "shut-out" to discussion or dissent. I just have had enough experience to know what you can and can't do out on the water. Even if you know what you're doing, dealing with emergencies on a boat are different from dealing with them in an emergency room with a million $ of drugs and equipment at your disposal, or even on shore where you can at least depend on a stable platform, electricity, heat and light, clean water, and access to supplies.
10-31-2012 11:11 AM
Re: Medicine at Sea advice

Default to the good Doctor above, of course, but I'd add "dealing with a concussion" to his list. That swinging boom in an accidental gybe is a real fear, and dealing with the aftermath is something every sailor should be prepared for.

On a side note, I think any discussion of "emergencies @ sea" should also include a conversation about preparing everyone on board for what to do "next". I wonder how many at-sea-rescues take place because the non-injured parties aboard aren't capable of handling the vessel after the captain gets injured?
10-31-2012 11:01 AM
Re: Medicine at Sea advice

A couple of items that might not be considered.

Sanitary napkins are great for bandaging wounds.

Vet wrap can be used for splinting, bandaging etc..

I will second the comments about advanced / wilderness first aid. Standard first aid is based on stabilizing and calling 911, who will be there in 10 minutes. That is unlikely even in coastal cruising.
10-31-2012 10:43 AM
Re: Medicine at Sea advice

DEHYDRATION is a large an d deadly problem with sailors. we die of it-- make sure this is made known.
much of medicine at sea is similar to medicine in a hiking/camping/climbing situation in wilderness, away from help.
there is a book WHERE THERE IS NO DOCTOR--you may wish to acquire this book --it will be a help.
merck manual and handbooks of emergency medicine are also helpful.
a medical kit that is complete, will take up an entire boat. i keep on board some few broad spectrum antibiotics, splinting materials, bandages, neosporin ointment, scissors, tweezers, "second skin" crazy glue and super glue, cervical collar(i know how to make a rigid collar/support from that for protecting necks after a fall)..and some other stuff....
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