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Old 07-02-2008, 12:49   #1
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Medical training for cruisers: in Seattle, March 15-16

Hey all,

Since we have some PNW folks here, I want to share info about a great medical training course for cruisers coming up next month in Seattle.

I took this class 2 years ago and plan to take it again, before leaving for extended cruising with my family this year. It was really incredible, for two primary reasons: 1. the instructor (he made what could have been dry, checklist information into something truly interesting - and always made us think about the situation critically- not to mention, as a physician and lifelong sailor, has the perfect qualifications) and 2. the practical portion (we were literally suturing pork bellies, injecting oranges, setting up IV rehydration...all things I will be grateful for having tried previously if I ever need them in an emergency).

It's hosted/sponsored by the Seattle Yacht Club but open to anyone. Pasting info below, which you can link to here:

Registration closes March 1 or when the class fills, whichever comes first. Please let me know if you have any questions- the course is truly fabulous, I have no financial stake, just want to make sure local boaters with cruising on the brain know about this opportunity.

s/v Totem

Medical Care for Long Distance Sailors and Wilderness First Aid

Course Director: Curtis Edwards, MD, FACS
Sponsored by Seattle Yacht Club and accredited by American Red Cross
DATES: March 15-16, Seattle Yacht Club

Course Content: sixteen-hour Marine Medical and Wilderness First Aid
Basics with a four-hour hands-on medical supplement by Dr. Curtis
Edwards on Saturday evening. Course completion leads to Wilderness
Medical First Aid certification. The course is intended for
wilderness/ backcountry adventurers and long-distance sailors
requiring more advanced medical skills to care for victims subject to
delay while awaiting medical assistance.

* First aid- wound care of burns, cuts, bites, stings, and basic
care of lacerations including suture technique. Orthopedics-
treatment of sprains, strains, dislocations, fractures, splinting
* Medical emergencies (other than CPR) - head injury, allergy,
diabetes, chest pain, pneumonia, asthma, strep throat, resistant
staph. infection, seasickness, hypothermia, hyperthermia, basics
electrolytes and hydration.
* Other common problems- eye injury, urinary tract infection, skin
and ear problems.
* Pharmacology the law and the offshore sailor. Record keeping-
the problem oriented medical record, knowing your crew and the job of
the medical officer.
* Cruising and Wilderness Medical Philosophy- "We go there because
no else is there, including 9-1-1."
* Cruising and hiking first aid kits- MORE THAN YOU THINK YOU

Tuition is due upon registration:
- $160.00 paid in advance, includes all course materials.
- Couples discount (single set of books): $285
To register (and questions):
Curtis Edwards, MD:
email curt112 (at) comcast (dot) net
or call 360.923.0476
Please include name(s), address and phone number
Registration deadline:
March 1, 2008 (or when the class fills, whichever comes first)

Course Requirements: Age minimum 15 (fifteen) years, 6 – 8 hours of
provided pre-course reading. Previous CPR certification is highly
recommended (not included in course).

Course Instructor: Dr. Edwards is a board certified general and
vascular surgeon. He graduated from the University of Washington
Medical School, Seattle, WA. He is a Red Cross instructor and he has
held appointments as a clinical instructor at the University of
Washington and University of Oklahoma. He is a Senior FAA Aerospace
Medical Examiner, and student-pilot with logged time in both propeller
and jet aircraft.

Dr. Edwards is a lifelong sailor, racer/cruiser, and water-sports
enthusiast. Dr. Edwards. He hikes and has climbed extensively in the
Pacific Northwest. He serves on the Thurston County Medical Reserve
corps, is a past president of the Thurston Mason County Medical
Society and volunteer or member of numerous medical and charitable
organizations. He spends his time refitting a Cooper 416 in
preparation for offshore work and is a member of the Olympia Yacht

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Old 07-02-2008, 20:36   #2
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Sounds awesome. Wish I could make it out there for it. I have a boat medicine question though. How do you legally obtain pharmaceuticals and things like syringes for medical emergencies that may occur out at sea?

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Old 08-02-2008, 04:01   #3
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How do you legally obtain pharmaceuticals and things like syringes for medical emergencies that may occur out at sea?
Medical school.

The above represents a comprehensive first aid course. It appears to be about twice and many hours as the standard first aid and CPR Red Cross course you can get almost any place in North America. It is isn't anything at all like an advanced medical degree.

Having a meeting with your own doctor before you leave might provide some ideas of what additional items might be a good idea for you based on your medical history and similarly the same might be done for the whole crew.

A better goal might be to get all crew members Red Cross certified in CPR and Standard First Aid. They also have an extra course for emergency treatment of infants and small children. Beyond that they also have EMT courses a well as instructor level courses that go well beyond the above course. It's a bottom up approach.

What happens if the person taking the advanced course becomes the victim? My wife and I did both courses on 2 consecutive Saturday mournings. Maintaining your certification level means you can be ready and able. A whole crew certified means multiple people can act and take care of one or more injured persons.
Paul Blais
s/v Bright Eyes Gozzard 36
37 15.7 N 76 28.9 W
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Old 08-02-2008, 07:17   #4
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When the course by Curtis Edwards was offered in 2006, the admiral said we were going to take it. I imagined, blah, blah, and more blah -yawn. It turned out to be great. In a medical emergency, away from professional medical help, I have a reasonable chance of rendering helpful aid and managing the situation. I agree with Paul in that more then one person on board should have medical training (solo sailors aside). Redundancy.

As for medical supplies, we found is a great resource. They have anything you could possibly need. Of course many items require prescription. We've developed a relationship with our local docs. Explained our cruising intentions. They've helped us fill out or medical kit. I hope not to ever need more then a few band-aids for the kids, but it's good to have resources to do a lot more then that.
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Old 17-02-2008, 17:25   #5
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Second Weekend Added: April 12-13

The first class filled pretty quickly, so a second weekend has been added. SYC will again sponsor medical training at their facilities in April. All other details are the same as in the original post above: contact Dr Edwards to register.
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arc, medical, seattle

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