would probably be the best precanned program. Again, it's meant for ship board medical officers, which are just lay people who being a captain
have typically the responsibility of also being the ships medical officer. It can't cover every medical emergency, but lets face it, if someone is choking you have seconds to respond, anywhere. If someone is bleeding severly you have a minute or two to respond, anywhere. The point is to allow you to provide LONGER transitive care than would otherwise be the case, not trying to be a full MD with a fully equiped hospital. As to the real world utility of this, here are some quick statistics from the National Institute of Health
43% of ER visist are seeking emergency care would be due to dehydration from diarrhea or vomiting. This you can resolve at sea with some minimal training until you reach medical care.
Fever is responsible for 36% of the rest of the visits. Again, there are simple courses of treatment that can help someone cope with fever until they reach medical care, especially if they have an SSB
to communicate to a MD and have a good general broadbased antibiotic already onboard and know how to do things like take a pulse and monitor
Injuries are responsible then for 34% of ER visits. Again, with training, you can figure out how to help mitigate these for longer transitive care by preventing infection and immediate blood loss, helping to prevent shock, etc.
27% of the ER visits are due to respiratory disease. Again, you can easily learn to administer oxygen. You can easily how to administer a resue inhaler.
(note these are often overlapping conditions, so the statistics don't add to 100%)
Simply taking the courses can also help you assess your needs. If you are a parent with small children
are you carrying activated charcoal in case of poisoning so if you do call 911 and you are anchored offshore
you have an immediate treatment possible? It can also help you assess the difference between something which can afford to wait 24-48 hours until you reach port and having to abandon ship. It can also help you know how to provide stabilization and how to transport someone who is critically wounded. Think it through, you decide to be apathetic and not take the training and instead want to rely on a SSB
. You activate it when you have a spinal injury and are now looking at a tanker coming at you with a deck
6 stories high. How are you going to move that person? Things that we would have particular needs to address such as drowning and hypothermia would be covered and are things which even anchored out you wouldn't be able to wait for onshore assistance.
Also, you should learn this even if you're never travelling offshore. I go gunkholing in the Chesapeake all the time. A kid falls through the hatch
of the boat and need bleeding contained immediately and assessed for concussion. You can do that. Very easily. And the simple fact of being on a sailboat pretty much anywhere even in industrial countries means the time for you to transition that patient from the boat to the shore probably will be at least 30 minutes more than if you were ashore, even in an urban setting.
Will this cover everything? No, but it has a very good chance of being able to help more than 90% of the injuries you are likely to encounter. Again, the point isn't to state that you will never need a doctor again. It's to allow you to react quickly until you reach that doctor. And as every doctor here knows, in critical conditions, seconds count, so a first responder course which helps in containing bleeding, treating choking, etc will be very helpful even if you never leave the suburbs. Also it goes without saying that professionals will be at levels far exceeding that of our competence. But knowing vaguely what to do, and having a medical book on board, can help that person move more quickly to a good transitive treatment plan. In the merchant marine
there is no choice, you're going offshore, you're a captain
, you are legally obligated to have this training. We should hold ourselves to this same responsibility. Actually I think this should be covered as mandatory training for every highschool student out there.