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Old 17-02-2009, 16:48   #31
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Originally Posted by Spammy View Post
to allow a layperson to be confident in all emergencies at sea. .

We can never be confident in all emergencies at sea wether medical or otherwise. But with the distances away from civilisation that we can be, as I mentioned in the other thread, we have a life and death choice in a myriad of emergencies. We are not confident of the outcome in any of them. But we must at least try. One can't leave a person bleeding to death with the idea that a bulk carrier with 16 underpaid Filipino crew 2 weeks from Panama are going to do any better.

One of the realities that comes with the keys to the sail boat is that we can die. A skipper is responsible, but that doesn’t mean that a skipper can prevent it. All on board, including the backpacking hitch-hikers, must be made fully aware of the dangers involved and take a Voluntary Assumption of Risk.



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Old 17-02-2009, 16:51   #32
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MarkJ, you are right. I totally agree.

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Old 18-02-2009, 04:19   #33
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As for Christina and I we are taking the Marine First Aid course this summer. I had my first Heart Attack two years ago when I just turned 40. She want's to be prepaired if anything happens to me at sea, as well I would like to refresh my first aid and CPR trainning.

The course I posted above is not just a first aid course but is developed for the Marine enviorment. In Canada cold water survival is a serious issue, and although we dont plan on being in Canadian waters long, we do want to be ready.

Transport Canada Training Program Standards in Marine First Aid (TP 13008E)

Marine Advanced First Aid & CPR Courses:

Red Cross:

St John Ambulance:

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Old 30-01-2012, 11:11   #34
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Re: Medical/First Aid Training for the Cruiser

In the US "wilderness" gets defined as time to hospital greater than 1 hour. Even coastal cruisers will meet this definition. So wilderness first aid (a basic course that really serves to teach the proper mindset to make first aid decisions outside an urban area), wilderness medicine (geared to practicing medical professionals), and wilderness first responder (sort of an EMT course for the backcountry) are all appropriate options. None of the courses will make a casual participant into a skilled provider, but they are a good second step after a participatory first aid course. The WFA is really geared to two areas- treatment of common injuries and decisions for evacuation. Best for the coastal cruiser. The WFR course is probably better for open water cruisers.
I'm hoping to get the teaching authorities to add a variant of these courses that would serve the boating community specifically.
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Old 06-09-2012, 12:51   #35
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Re: Medical/First Aid Training for the Cruiser

I too have been looking at different first aid courses to take. Thanks to several of you who pointed out the National Outdoor Leadership School and Wilderness First Responder and Wilderness First Aid courses. I was not aware of these courses and they look excellent. Being in Lexington, Kentucky, I was sure that there would not be any of these courses offered near me, but I was pleasantly surprized. They are offered all over the country and there will be one near me in early January. Check out the schedule, you will probably find a course near you.
Wilderness First Responder (WFR)
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Old 06-09-2012, 15:04   #36
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Re: Medical/First Aid Training for the Cruiser

In the US, taking the the USCG approved Medical - Person in Charge (Med-PIC) course is pretty good. Since I was a big ship Captain (container ships, research vessel's, cable layers) or the Chief Mate, I had to have the Med-PIC rating on my USCG License.

It taught advanced first aid, how to suture and how to start an IV. In addition to the above class, I also trained with a US Navy Maritime Hostage Rescue Team for combat first aid. My father was an industrial medicine emergency Doctor and later a Pathologist, so I had a another 30 years of experience from him. I had far more medical training than the normal merchant marine officer and I NEVER thought that I had enough.

Onboard ship (and to a lessor degree my sailboat) I organized and equipped the ship's hospital. My theory was to carry almost everything so that it was onboard and a land based Doctor could talk me through the treatment that was necessary. If we couldn't reach a Doctor by Sat-Phone or SSB (and there times when we couldn't), I felt comfortable enough with my training (and the reference books that I carried onboard and the "cheat sheets" that I had made for the treatment of the more common critical injuries), to go it alone.

At the end of the day, and what I always use to tell the crew and scientists, is you don't see "M.D." after my name or printed on my forehead - so don't get hurt!

People being people, they always ignored me - so I did treat a fairly broad range of serious injuries and medical conditions over the years. My promise to them was that I would keep them alive until the helicopter arrived (and I did have to call for helicopters) - and I always was able to do that.

When equipping your boat and getting your training, remember, you can't save everyone - so train and gear up for what is most likely to happend to you.

I carry drugs for common infections, IV's for shock/blood loss, ephinephrine for insect/sea creature caused shock, O2 gear, pain management drugs, medicines for eye injuries, ears, burns, sutures (major to minor cuts), breaks & sprains, and teeth.

My most common cases were resipatory tract infections, urinary tract infections (especially women), diarrihea, teeth, jellyfish stings (anaphylactic shock), eye injuries, major cuts, sprains and breaks (ankles, wrists, knee), severe sea sickness, heat exhaustion, burns and spider bites.

These are all things you have a good chance of seeing onboard your boat, so at a minimum, be able to deal with these events.

Smooth and safe sailing!
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Old 16-09-2012, 14:16   #37
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Re: Medical/First Aid Training for the Cruiser

Originally Posted by jackdale View Post
I find standard first aid does not provide me with the knowledge and skills I need my advanced courses. I have Adventure Medic certification from the University of Calgary. It is a 40 hour program with a two day field trip.

It is a great program! and I would recommend it to all of you guys..
40 Hours of practical work that make you truly an experience..
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Old 19-09-2012, 05:03   #38
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Re: Medical/First Aid Training for the Cruiser

Many, many years ago, I took a course entitled "surviving medical emergencies in the wilderness"

Wish I could find it again - it was spot on
I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
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Old 19-09-2012, 18:29   #39
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Re: Medical/First Aid Training for the Cruiser

I took the WFR course from Wilderness medical Associates. They were great and I was not the only boat guy there - They were focused on how to stabilize someone when you are more than 24 hrs away from help. Nearly all of it useful apart from the section on how to make a litter to carry someone out of the woods. (but even that was useful for practice in immobilizing broken bones) The course was excellent for increasing confidence on how to know when you need to get more help and how to keep someone stable until you can get it when that might be days instead of hours.
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Old 07-10-2012, 09:51   #40
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Re: Medical/First Aid Training for the Cruiser

I'm partial to WFR myself, but the other courses mentioned are no doubt good. One thing I see in these sorts of threads is that sailors often seem to want a class that focuses on those injuries or illnesses that are likely to happen at sea. That is OK as far as it goes.

Keep in mind however, that many (most?) cruisers spend a good deal of time ashore, touring around in the lands they visit. These are often out of the way parts of the world where 1st world medical care might not be readily available. As has often been observed, sailing is generally pretty safe. You are probably more likely to be injured while riding a third world bus to visit some temple inland from your current port, than when sailing to that port.

Some aspects of "wilderness" oriented classes which don't at first seem very relevent to sailing may in fact be very valuable training!

Alaska: We're here, because we're not all there!
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