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Old 03-04-2014, 20:53   #31
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Re: What are the common injuries cruisers encounter?

At a super yacht captain’s conference this was discussed based on 10- 18 crew per boat full time.

From memory this was the general consensus:
Stubbed toes- jammed fingers when closing hatches-doors in a seaway seemed to be the most common.
Abrasions-infections when going ashore by dingy/ diving-snorkeling or fishing related
Dehydration-Sunburns in the tropics especially after too much alcohol and partying on their weekend off.
Food poisoning ashore at bars
Galley seemed to have the most frequent problems with cuts and burns

Major injuries or chronic illnesses were rare on a well-run yacht with professional crew.
They were more proactive about safety, medical training and healthy diet-lifestyle.
The poorly crewed boats always seemed to have problems, especially with motor bike rentals which most insurance companies forbid.

Over the years, I changed my policy to always wear shoes on board after too many broken toes.
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Old 04-04-2014, 01:19   #32
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Re: What are the common injuries cruisers encounter?

A broken heart in every port.....

But the scariest bits onboard - the boom and the cooker.

Coral cuts can be nasty as well.

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Old 04-04-2014, 23:56   #33
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Re: What are the common injuries cruisers encounter?

Broken toes. I didnt wear shoes for years and once or twice a year would catch a toe on the spigot for a port light. At the end of my first long passage, I had a bad nasal infection that I later concluded was from partial dehydration. I was way too conservative on water for my first ocean passage. In the Marquesas, I got a skin infection at my knee which swelled up like a balloon. There were many doctors among the cruisers (they could afford to cruise) and they fixed me up quickly. Later in Tahiti, I got some kind of eye infection that the doctor (French foreign service) said was a virus, and then proceeded to hospitalize me and give me antibiotics (which I understand dont help viruses). It went away inspite of the doctor, and I was OK. I have actually had more damage in boat yards than I ever got on the boat. When I got back to civilization ( the widgit factory) I decided that most of my friends had as many (or more) medical issues in that time frame than I had. Life is a crap shoot. Pay your dime and take your chances!!!! _____Grant.
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Old 05-04-2014, 01:32   #34
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Re: What are the common injuries cruisers encounter?

It all comes down to trip hazards and personal knowledge of boating. The more experience in the shortest amount of time will keep one the safest. As well as knowing your boat and making it safe. The hand holds for example, jack lines, good shoes and etc.

E.g. If I spend a lot of time on the boat I become accustom to its hazards. If I've been off the boat for a long while I find myself getting hurt more often. Or if I get in too much of a hurry.

But there is no cure for stupid or accident prone. Those people should stay off of boats!!! Just look at a persons hands, if they have a lot of injuries, they should not be on a boat. The hands are usually the first to go. It's call eye to hand coordination. If that is not good then clumsy is on the menu.

As a Super of a machine shop the hands were the first thing I looked at during an interview.

As the skipper of a vessel I carry lots of medical supplies and drugs/antibiotics for about the most common injuries. And get your immunizations up to date. That will ward off most infections/diseases.
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Old 05-04-2014, 07:56   #35
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Re: What are the common injuries cruisers encounter?

Disclaimer... I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV. Any comments are from personal observation and practice, and following any of them is highly dis-recommended.

As a single-hander with passages of 10-25 days not uncommon I have encountered the following, and as a result have included the following items in the ships med kit.

1. Sprains, dislocations, or fractures from falls or impact.

SAMSplints - Foam covered mold-able aluminum splint material.

1.5" Athletic Tape 10yds x 6 rolls. (Can also be used for emergency rigging tape).

2. Lacerations from sharp edges or crushing injuries.

Histoacryl(R) or Dermabond(R) Flexible Tissue Adhesive. (Easier than sutures for non skilled personnel. Also easier one handed and does not require local anesthetic or a bullet to bite on) Sterile Saline for irrigation of laceration prior to closing with adhesive.

Medline (MED-DYND71200H) Sterile Debridement Kit. (Contains: Iris Scissors, Adson Forceps (1x2 Teeth), Scalpel (No. 10), 2 Gauze (3"x3"), Cotton-Tipped Applicator, Alcohol Prep Pad ) Useful for cleaning up edges of laceration and/or extruded subcutaneous fat (often present in lacerations of the palm of the hand or sole of the foot). Adson forceps aid in closing the edges of the laceration while applying adhesive.

Bandaging of lacerations repaired with tissue adhesive is not generally required or recommended.

4" Emergency pressure dressing (Israeli Pressure Dressing or Olaes Modular Bandage) For lacerations involving arterial bleeding. Evacuation, and professional trauma treatment required asap.

3. Burns (Usually scalding from galley accidents).

Silvadene(R) (Silver Sulfadiazine Topical) for prevention of infection in second degree burns. (Always wear your foul-weather bibs when working the galley in less than perfect weather)

4. Infection

Broad spectrum oral antibiotic for prophylactic use after underway treatment of serious lacerations and/or burns. Check with your physician for options and/or prescription where required. Better purchased in first world countries prior to cruising in remote areas. Watch storage and expiration dates.

-------------
The above observations are in regards to being off shore, or otherwise out of reach of local medical facilities.
However:
Sometimes DIY is better than a shoddy local repair. If you need to get sutures in an less than modern area, it does not hurt to have a couple of cheap sterile suture packs and the debridement kit in your pocket when you show up at the local medical facilities.


I'm just sayin...
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Old 06-04-2014, 22:21   #36
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Re: What are the common injuries cruisers encounter?

The same as on shore, EXCEPT! You need to know BASIC FIRST AID. Many don't. Know, that if at sea, you might have to do stitches your self! You can be relatively close to home, and light years from help in an emergency. In the Fla. Keys, Bahamas, or deer hunting in Southern Ohio. Be prepared! EDUCATE yourself AND Crew. Orajel, or most toothache over the counters, are good to numb an injury area as a topical ointment. If you need to stitch yourself! Put it in your kit! along with a BOTTLE of Peroxide etc. A good medical kit and knowledge to use it, is ESSENTIAL! A 5x7 box with band aids and tweezers,great for the weekender...but the rest of you BIG boaters..you need a suitcase, and know how to use it! Eveyone has flares and band-aids....ridiculous how many BLUE water boaters are so ill equipped in this area! Also, if you dive, If it's really pretty or really ugly....you probably shouldn't touch it! As a former Boyscout- BE PREPARED. -There is no such thing, as an ugly wooden boat-
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Old 06-04-2014, 22:45   #37
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Re: What are the common injuries cruisers encounter?

I had a major knee surgery, no stitches...Doc said "super glue"!
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Old 07-04-2014, 07:14   #38
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Re: What are the common injuries cruisers encounter?

As a new guy to the sport, I'm sure that reading through the ways people get hurt will make me a more prepared sailor in the future. But I can't get passed the feeling that the most dangerous threat hasn't yet been mentioned. The threat of malnutrition...











of my wallet.
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Old 07-04-2014, 07:34   #39
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Re: What are the common injuries cruisers encounter?

I threw my back out by fixing something in the engine room all twisted up into a funny position. Literally couldn't move for a couple of days.
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Old 07-04-2014, 10:50   #40
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Re: What are the common injuries cruisers encounter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PanPan View Post
As a new guy to the sport, I'm sure that reading through the ways people get hurt will make me a more prepared sailor in the future. But I can't get passed the feeling that the most dangerous threat hasn't yet been mentioned. The threat of malnutrition...











of my wallet.
Yes, your wallet will definitely lose weight. Maybe even become anorexic.
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Old 07-04-2014, 11:04   #41
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Re: What are the common injuries cruisers encounter?

Actually we've just had a reminder of not necessarily the most common but one of the most dangerous and that is what broadly fits under the heading of "food poisoning." Salmonella, Listeria, E Coli, and all the other forms. They are not at all uncommon even shopping in the US at the best grocery stores. In other countries they are far more common. Also, just because natives have no problem doesn't mean you won't. Their bodies may have developed a lifetime of resistance to a particular bacteria. These are not simply throw up a day to two and all is well conditions. And they are especially dangerous for two groups of people-young children and seniors.

Dehydration is already a risk we face and these conditions worsen us in those terms. Having means of rehydration as well as having antibiotics on board for a long cruise are appropriate.
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Old 07-04-2014, 18:18   #42
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Re: What are the common injuries cruisers encounter?

I'd agree with all the injuries listed here. Either heard of similar or seen them first hand. How to avoid them in the first place is likely the place to start.

We've done several charters with friends and just before we go to the boat on the first day I have a briefing that is heavy on Safety. What to watch for, one hand for you - one hand for the boat, things to keep in mind, etc. and it is a very valuable 5 minutes.

Stealing from an industrial safety program called Safe Start it comes down to the basics - Rushing, Frustration, Complacency & Fatigue can lead to mind not on task, eyes not on task, slips/trips/falls, line of fire (finger caught in winch, head whacked by boom, etc). Bottom line keep your head screwed on, be smart, don't rush around mindlessly and think ahead with your work and the number of injuries will be greatly reduced.

On the topic of stubbed and broken toes, I'd have to agree. We usually sail in warm areas which means bare feet, but I think we should rethink that and wear some light shoes that would prevent those sorts of injuries.

Safe Sailing everyone!!
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Old 07-04-2014, 20:12   #43
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Re: What are the common injuries cruisers encounter?

Safety briefings are indeed an excellent way to convey the hazards around the boat. Many folks on this forum are solo or family sailors who have only themselves to share safety issues and concerns with and from my experience and from reading this thread, tend to be quite complacent about it. Almost all accidents can be avoided with proper planning, a 5 min review of the hazards....including wearing footwear!

And that's the message here. Think about that task you need to do. Do a 'what if' review, put the gloves on, wear shoes, googles, etc. prepare. Discuss safety on board and how to improve or mitigate the hazards; most improvements are simple to fix.

Nothing is more regretful than having to be shore bound with a serious injury that may have been easily prevented and your dream life compromised.

The thread has been an enjoyable and a good value read.
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Old 11-04-2014, 06:07   #44
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Re: What are the common injuries cruisers encounter?

Sunburn, stubbed toes, dislocated thumb, cuts, scrapes, bruises and the odd dry burn (rope, cooker etc). Other than that, touch wood, nothing major.

However, while my 1st Aid certificate is out of date, I do have a very comprehensive knowledge of emergency medical treatment and thanks to the very rigorous procedures for registering your boat in Croatia, which includes getting a pharmacy certified & approved medical kit, we have a very comprehensive 1st Aid kit. We also carry rehydration sachets to fight off dehydration and OTC painkillers for those stubbed toes etc. This should mean we can deal with most minor cases but for anything more serious I'm on the VHF making a PanPan or even a MayDay immediately.

I don't prescribe to the school of thought of having prescription controlled medications on board (including antibiotics), unless they are for you personally. As a 1st Aider I am not allowed to give any drugs but can help a person take their own medications (such as for angina or asthma). There are too many risks to go around giving antibiotics or other drugs to anyone unless you are a qualified pharmacist, paramedic or medical doctor. Better to stabilise and obtain proper medical help through a MayDay call.

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Old 11-04-2014, 06:40   #45
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Re: What are the common injuries cruisers encounter?

All mentioned, just adding to the standard deviation for the data:

1. Bang toes - anything
2. Bang shins - winch, traveler, windlass, companion steps, coaming
3. Bang head - sliding hatch, coachroof turns+motion, boom, dodger
4. Fingers - winches, handles, laz lids, blocks, = anything
5. Body bruise - hip, legs, ribcage, elbows...

All others, coral, sunburn, cuts, all task specific, but pretty commonly experienced!

Good thread OP!
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