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Old 26-08-2011, 16:27   #16
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Re: What Do You Do if 'this' Happens to You ?

Yeah don't sweat this.. You are more likely to get sick by being part of the herd and around other people....
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Old 26-08-2011, 16:36   #17
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Re: What Do You Do if 'this' Happens to You ?

I might have given the wrong impression.

I need to prioritize sailing a lot more, not avoid it!

Like has been said, #%* happens everywhere, I would just rather it happens where I want to be, not somewhere where I have to be for reasons that really do not matter in the slightest to me.
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Old 26-08-2011, 16:48   #18
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Re: What Do You Do if 'this' Happens to You ?

Glad to hear you are recovering. Nosocomial infections are like adding insult to injury.
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Old 26-08-2011, 18:23   #19
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Re: What Do You Do if 'this' Happens to You ?

You aren't going to have someone sticking dirty needles in your spine while out cruising. So hopefully no infections of that type. For other things, all you can hope for is that you can be stabilized so the boat can reach a place where you can medevac'd out or get competent medical help. Foprtunately, that's more than adequate.

Almost all medical conditions that come up don't require immediate medical aid available only in the equivalent modern US hospital. A heart attack or stroke are two things that may require immediate aid. Unfortunately, even if you are just blocks from a hospital, a delay of only a few minutes can be too late. Talk with a para-medic and they will tell you that they are very very seldom able to revive someone whose heart has stopped. Even with the paddles, success is very limited. If the blood flow to the brain is stopped for a surprizingly short period of time, even if they can restart the heart, you are relegated to vegetable status.

You need to find a doctor that can prescribe a pretty comprehensive medical kit and a manual that will tell when, how and what to use. Powerful anti-biotics will stop almost all infections but use your head with them. Anti-biotics are a two edged sword. Broken bones and/or serious cuts are the most common thing that will need quick attention. These can be dealt with by anyone with material to make a splint and/or a little skill with needle and thread. Once stabilized, getting to a hospital as quickly as possible will be good enough.

The best thing is to get evacuation insurance to get you to competent medical care ASAP when you get to somewhere with an airport. There is insurance meant for SCUBA divers that a lot of people have spoken well of. Can't remember the name of the company but DAN or something like that sticks in my mind.

The human body is a very robust and durable thing. Until anti-biotics doctors had almost nothing to battle most illnesses. They could set bones, cut off infected limbs but had almost no other weapons, except leaches, to treat disease. They now have hardware to treat most heart conditons but an immediate intervention isn't absolutely necessary. The same goes for most of the other miracles of modern medicine. Kind of in the vein of 'what doesn't kill you, makes you stronger'. Most fatal heart attacks are fatal, no matter what. The rest, people survive so that things like stents or open heart surgery can come into play at a later time.
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Old 26-08-2011, 18:59   #20
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Re: What Do You Do if 'this' Happens to You ?

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Did you have meningitis?
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Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
out at saea you will not have a spinal tap done on board so that kinda reduces the risk--the post tap meningitis can kill ye if you are out in a rural area without facilities or in a remote locale. if you must have a tap done, wait a coupla weeks before going into remote areas. is a scary thing.
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The worst of it is I am a veterinary surgeon and not a physician. The key was your statement that you had a recent test which probably introduced the infection into your spinal fluid. That, and the rapidity and severity of the onset of symptoms led me to guess meningitis.
Ok there is the answer you have someone who isn't just a pretty face on the boat. Brains and good looks -- Nice combo. From there I would think it would be important to have a variety of antibiotics on board. My wife is a nurse but she is worried if something happens to her. There is a service where you can pay to have a doctor on call to the SSB but even then you need to have something to treat an illness with.
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Old 29-08-2011, 18:41   #21
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Re: What Do You Do if 'this' Happens to You ?

Time to get a lawyer
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Old 30-08-2011, 19:58   #22
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Re: What Do You Do if 'this' Happens to You ?

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Time to get a lawyer
My first response to the OP was that if you were on a boat you wouldn't have some yo-yo sticking needles in your back. My second thought was that if it had happened to me, I'd be recuperating right now on my brand new spiffy 50 footer compliments of the malpractice carrier. Of course, I'm in Los Angeles, and we just think that way here.

Good luck on a full recovery....and think about getting a lawyer. "Pain & Suffering, Emotional Distress, Loss of Intimacy Capability (they can never disprove that). Hey, on second thought, I'm thinkin' Hinckley.

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Old 23-11-2011, 23:45   #23
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Re: What Do You Do if 'this' Happens to You ?

Something else that should be taken seriously is urinary track infections. Many years ago when I mentioned to my doctor that I was concidering long distance sailing, he recomended carrying a Foely Catheter(not sure of spelling). He said that it only takes about 3 days for a person to die if they can not urinate, and u--track infections are more common with dehydration which is common on boats. I never had a problem with this ,but I had a guest that didnt hydrate properly, and ended up with a u--track infection. We were only about 6 hours from a doctor, so he got medical attention ,but was very uncomfortable. Had we been half way across an ocean, he might have died._____Could someone with real medical information please add to this post? _____Grant.
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Old 24-11-2011, 00:53   #24
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Re: What Do You Do if 'this' Happens to You ?

Thumbs up to Astrid.
I think it was Will Rogers who said:
"The best doctor in the world is the veterinary - he can't ask his patients what's wrong, he just has to know."
Or she.
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Old 08-12-2011, 00:52   #25
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Re: What Do You Do if 'this' Happens to You ?

Everything is dangerous. We were supposed to fly near the Grand Canyon today but due to a cancellation we flew yesterday. Today an identical chopper crashed and killed the pilot and four passengers. Live life whilst you can and as your budget can afford!
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Old 08-12-2011, 01:23   #26
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Re: What Do You Do if 'this' Happens to You ?

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The best thing is to get evacuation insurance to get you to competent medical care ASAP when you get to somewhere with an airport. There is insurance meant for SCUBA divers that a lot of people have spoken well of. Can't remember the name of the company but DAN or something like that sticks in my mind.
I use DAN's (Diver Alert Network) Professional insurance, and have done for many years. They are, certainly for diving insurance, the best. They also had a travel insurance which many of our divers used, since it covered any trips further than 50 miles from home, and I believe wasn't limited to dive trips... or maybe they have various packages! Could you count a circumnavigation as en extended dive trip?

Meantime... one thing I do know is that any trips I pay (at least 60% of) for with my credit card are automatically covered by a very good insurer... not sure what we'll do when we cast off, though.
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Old 08-12-2011, 11:17   #27
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Re: What Do You Do if 'this' Happens to You ?

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You aren't going to have someone sticking dirty needles in your spine while out cruising. So hopefully no infections of that type. For other things, all you can hope for is that you can be stabilized so the boat can reach a place where you can medevac'd out or get competent medical help. Foprtunately, that's more than adequate.
Having done thousands of spinal taps without a complication, that above is a little offensive, as well as the automatic assumption that the person doing the procedure is at fault, and that "you should be resting in your new yacht". Complications from spinal taps are rare, but they are present in a small percentage, the most common one being a spinal headache. If you do not want health care at all, just expect all the doctors and nurses to be perfect. I think that is why the US is now off the top 10 for medical care.
As for offshore medical care- I think a foley would be a good idea. I think Antibiotics would be a good idea, esp the ones that cover the more common infections. Recent operations? I would stay home for a few months, maybe more.
As for missed diagnoses, I have had one that nearly cost me my life. I was stepped on by a horse, and sent home without much care from a rural hospital. Only after a week did I get airlifted to Salt Lake for internal bleeding. (Sats 55%, tension hemothorax) I do not blame the doctors. The human body is a tricky thing, and care for it can be difficult. We now live in suburbia, and if it happens again, will go straight to a trauma center.
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Old 08-12-2011, 11:38   #28
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Re: What Do You Do if 'this' Happens to You ?

Why'dya think they say " Hello Mrs Brown... and how are we today...?"
Sorry to hear of your close call mate... glad you were not at sea... you'd be screwed...
Get well soon...
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Old 08-12-2011, 11:44   #29
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Re: What Do You Do if 'this' Happens to You ?

Thanks Newt. Good points. Having had a spinal tap prior to surgery I can commiserate with Jonathan123.

Anyway... we cary some antibiotics in the medicine box...What is the usual treatment for meningitis like symtoms? Which antibiotics were they treating you with Johnathan123?
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Old 08-12-2011, 12:09   #30
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Re: What Do You Do if 'this' Happens to You ?

Glad you pulled through on this one Jonathon. Some of the other replies puzzle me though. On this forum we discuss many things including all the mistakes we've made. The assumption is that we all make mistakes. How is it that we think our doctors should be free from error, or even indecision, and if the'yre wrong, let's go straight to our lawyer! Who would be a doctor? One of the pleasures of cruising is that we can leave that mentality behind. In fact I've read plenty of stories where peoples health improved a lot after leaving normal society and going cruising. The "straight to the lawyer" society is a stressful way to live and in my opinion, not worth the extra cash. I'm hoping that cruising in harmony with the elements will do far more for my health than any of the benefits of our fast paced litigeous society.
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