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Old 03-04-2014, 06:31   #1
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What are the Common Injuries Cruisers Encounter?

What is your knowledge of the more common injuries that cruisers typically have on their boats?

Unlike many industries, there isn't a HSE regulatory body monitoring cruisers (which is fine!) but understanding the types of common injuries, their severity, how folks prepare assists us in our preparations to enjoy safe and injury free cruising.
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Old 03-04-2014, 06:42   #2
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Re: What are the common injuries cruisers encounter?

I had a crew member loose a finger in a windlass.
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Old 03-04-2014, 06:43   #3
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Re: What are the common injuries cruisers encounter?

On boats on which I've sailed, we've seen two lacerations (stitches required), jammed toes, various contusions (none serious), female urinary tract infections, and debilitating sea sickness (not an injury, but problematical none the less). I've personally heard on VHF of a smashed jaw with lost teeth (boom induced) in a boat approaching Bermuda, and a raging infection (coral cut that festered on the way back to the US from Bermuda).
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Old 03-04-2014, 06:57   #4
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Re: What are the common injuries cruisers encounter?

How many of us cruisers run around their boats and do a risk assessment, inform old and new crew where the hazards are and the precautions to be taken to avoid an accident.

We hold a briefing meeting each morning, discuss what on the days agenda from passage preps to maintenance. We will now add Safety to this and go as far as to have a Safety Moment where we ask a member of the crew to discuss a particular hazard inboard.
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Old 03-04-2014, 06:57   #5
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Re: What are the common injuries cruisers encounter?

In my experience the most common by far is jammed toes because even though you are POSITIVE you know when everything on the deck is that you can kick, you still find one at night if not wearing shoes.
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Old 03-04-2014, 07:16   #6
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Re: What are the common injuries cruisers encounter?

Cuts and bruises caused by falling down or getting thrown when the boat tips. Good handholds are very important. The cuts can easily get infected by marine bacteria, fungus and organisms our bodies aren't used to.
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Old 03-04-2014, 07:17   #7
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Re: What are the common injuries cruisers encounter?

The most common medical problem in tropical cruising is coral or other cuts on the lower legs, which can easily become infected and ulcerous unless properly treated.
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Old 03-04-2014, 07:29   #8
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Re: What are the common injuries cruisers encounter?

I can't seem to stop banging my head into things for the first few hours on board my boat. Mostly, we've only had small cuts, scrapes, bruises and minor injuries like the occasional stubbed toe.
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Old 03-04-2014, 08:54   #9
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Re: What are the common injuries cruisers encounter?

Boom related, windlass related and not wearing footwear are the main hazards on my boat. Sailboats can be lethal to the uneducated or uncaring.
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Old 03-04-2014, 10:57   #10
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Re: What are the common injuries cruisers encounter?

Jammed toes by far the most common. some of mine are like round bulbs now, they are so messed up from being broken 3 or 4 times each.

Oddly, it happens below, not on deck for me.

The other one I think is unseen. Coronary disease from doing nothing all the time. Your legs and heart are built for land life, not sitting around on boats.
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Old 03-04-2014, 11:14   #11
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Re: What are the common injuries cruisers encounter?

I would add banged and cut shins and sprained ankles.
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Old 03-04-2014, 11:17   #12
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Re: What are the common injuries cruisers encounter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul L View Post
I had a crew member loose a finger in a windlass.
Owwww!!!! Any details? Drunk? Careless? Distracted? Not familiar with equipment? Just a freak accident? Sudden boat position shift?
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Old 03-04-2014, 11:28   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emerald Sea View Post
How many of us cruisers run around their boats and do a risk assessment, inform old and new crew where the hazards are and the precautions to be taken to avoid an accident. We hold a briefing meeting each morning, discuss what on the days agenda from passage preps to maintenance. We will now add Safety to this and go as far as to have a Safety Moment where we ask a member of the crew to discuss a particular hazard inboard.
Bleh......that's too much like what is required at work. Talk about "safety" then someone who's just been told to avoid the hole walks into it anyway.
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Old 03-04-2014, 12:06   #14
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Re: What are the common injuries cruisers encounter?

Crush injuries are a concern while docking.

The worst injury we have had (touching wood) was when I cut the front of my leg open on the main traveller while trying to wave off a tripper boat which was pushing in too close while we were at anchor. I opened up a pretty bad gash on my shin. We were close to home port & my husband wanted it stitched to prevent scarring so we raised anchor & headed for port & doctor. Since I had an hour to kill I called the medical insurance company to advise them I'd be seeking medical aid for a cut while on a boat in the Med. The nice insurance lady asked if I'd seen the ship's surgeon. I told her no, but the captain said I needed stitches.
She approved the doctor visit & they paid for the 7 stitches.

Beyond the standard First Aid kit we have a bag of meds recommended by that doctor to carry on board for all sorts of issues from dehydration to dysentery.
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Old 03-04-2014, 12:10   #15
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Re: What are the common injuries cruisers encounter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Prairie Chicken View Post
Crush injuries are a concern while docking.

The worst injury we have had (touching wood) was when I cut the front of my leg open on the main traveller while trying to wave off a tripper boat which was pushing in too close while we were at anchor. I opened up a pretty bad gash on my shin. We were close to home port & my husband wanted it stitched to prevent scarring so we raised anchor & headed for port & doctor. Since I had an hour to kill I called the medical insurance company to advise them I'd be seeking medical aid for a cut while on a boat in the Med. The nice insurance lady asked if I'd seen the ship's surgeon. I told her no, but the captain said I needed stitches.
She approved the doctor visit & they paid for the 7 stitches.

Beyond the standard First Aid kit we have a bag of meds recommended by that doctor to carry on board for all sorts of issues from dehydration to dysentery.
That's a riot!
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