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Old 23-08-2011, 15:58   #1
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What Do You Do if 'this' Happens to You ?

Apart from a bad back, i am otherwise fit and healthy 40 year old male.

Some weeks ago I had a medical test done for my back.
3 weeks later, I went from fit & healthy to a near coma requiring urgent medical care or I am told - death or at the very least, serious brain damage. This change occurred in less than an hour.

Apparently the test I had done several weeks ago, had introduced a infection into my spinal fluid.

The only way they diagnosed me was to do an MRI without that test, they had no real idea what they were dealing with.

Anyway, I am fine and should be back on my feet soon.
My question is this.
How do you deal with something like this at sea, and more importantly when you are in a remote environment.

Is this just a risk you need to take or is it feasible to be dealt with
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Old 23-08-2011, 16:08   #2
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Re: What do you do if this happens to you?

Did you have meningitis?
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Old 23-08-2011, 16:16   #3
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I cannot answer but I'm glad your alright.
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Old 23-08-2011, 16:24   #4
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Re: What Do You Do if 'this' Happens to You ?

Astrid: yes, it was/is Menengitis. (still hooked up to dastardly machines - never disliked an inanimate object quite so much, but that is another story)

Thanks twoblocktom.
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Old 23-08-2011, 16:26   #5
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Re: What Do You Do if 'this' Happens to You ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnathon123 View Post

Apparently the test I had done several weeks ago, had introduced a infection into my spinal fluid.
Glad you are recovering, but watch that darn hospital staff please.

Probably the thing that scares me the most is being in a hospital. You know they are run by people who like to stick their hands inside your body one way or another and have life and death power over you.

Creepy, just plain creepy.
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Old 23-08-2011, 16:27   #6
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Re: What Do You Do if 'this' Happens to You ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnathon123 View Post

How do you deal with something like this at sea, and more importantly when you are in a remote environment.
Unless you can get a commerical ship to head your way, AND they can then get you to shore somehow; I would expect you are going to die.

Unless you are at sea on an aircraft carrier some things haven't changed from the days of wooden ships.
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Old 23-08-2011, 16:54   #7
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Re: What Do You Do if 'this' Happens to You ?

I was concerned that it was meningitis from your description of severity and the suddeness of onset. As Don Lucas said, there is not much you can do if you are out at sea since the window of opportunity for treatment is quite small. The most you can hope for is put out a call for help and hope that someone can reach you in time and air evacuate you to a medical facility. I assume the strain was probably Staphylococcal meningitis as it is most usually associated with a recent medical proceedure. With that strain, as with other bacterial forms, early treatment is important, and your odds of survival decrease the longer treatment is delayed.
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Old 23-08-2011, 16:58   #8
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Re: What Do You Do if 'this' Happens to You ?

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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Old 23-08-2011, 17:15   #9
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Re: What Do You Do if 'this' Happens to You ?

It's disappointing Astrid that you managed to come to that conclusion from a few words online.

I live in a semi rural area. A minor base hospital is where I was taken initially.
The specialist there couldn't help as they had no idea what was wrong. And I quote "I don't know why the panadol isn't working"

It wasn't until I was airlifted to Sydney that they diagnosed me and got started on antibiotics

Maybe you are safer at sea
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Old 23-08-2011, 17:42   #10
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Re: What Do You Do if 'this' Happens to You ?

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.
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Old 23-08-2011, 17:43   #11
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Re: What Do You Do if 'this' Happens to You ?

I am, by the way, very glad to hear you are on the mend and I most certainly wish you a speedy recovery.
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Old 26-08-2011, 06:47   #12
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Re: What Do You Do if 'this' Happens to You ?

i second the above. glad to hear they caught it and you're on your way to recovery.

very scary to have a doctor look at you and go "HA! waddaya know... i have no idea what's happening to you"
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Old 26-08-2011, 15:36   #13
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Re: What Do You Do if 'this' Happens to You ?

My wife tells me the conversation went like this, "we need to wait 24 hours for the blood results and at this rate he won't make it that long. You need to consider that he won't be here in the morning"


Certainly sobering, she is still in the foetal position.

Should get out in the next week or so!

I am the least philosophical bloke on the planet but I think I need to reassess a few priorities.
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Old 26-08-2011, 15:41   #14
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Re: What Do You Do if 'this' Happens to You ?

I had a major op last in 09, I suggested as I was recovering that I was going offshore sailing.

quote from my consultant

"Not on my watch your not, until I say so, you have to be within 60 minutes of a major trauma hospital".

Cut me down a peg for a few months.

good luck, get well, dont worry about the sailing
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Old 26-08-2011, 15:50   #15
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Re: What Do You Do if 'this' Happens to You ?

Don't let it put you off . **** can happen anywhere anytime, live with it. Stay home and you have a much higher probability of being hit by a bus.
Example: A nephew was travelling alone in Scotland, got a off a plane, went to a backpackers and went to bed not feeling too good. Turns out it was meningitis again, just dumb luck he didn't die in the backpackers as there was no one there to take any interest.

Once you are at sea the chances of getting sick are VERY slim, getting hurt is annother issue.
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