Originally Posted by 3000
Actually, I believe that the 1-year-old was truly sick. The severity, and from what, I don't know, as the possible symptoms of rash, lethargy, fever, vomiting and diarrhea are present for a lot of physical things, including salmonella, motion sickness and reactions to motion sickness medications.
Which is not to say that sea sickness
itself can not be fatal, it can, especially in the very young.
Sea Sickness: Get Rid of it and Get on Deck; Youâ€™ll Feel Better | US Fish Law
: Get Rid of it and Get on Deck
; You’ll Feel Better
14 December, 2013 Ben Rayner, Safety
“The world can be divided into three classes
; the Living, the Dead, and the Seasick” – Greek philosopher Anniceris, 300 BCE
Sea sickness is the subject of much jest to those who barf up their beer
and brats over the side, especially in view of their shipmates. If you are working on the water, more than likely you have established your sea legs. However, enduring your first encounter with sea sickness while in the midst of an emergency will not increase your chances for survival. Sea sickness in a water-based emergency is no laughing matter-it can kill you. Survivors have lived to tell the tale of victims who perished during marine
disasters as a result of the mental and physiological complications that result from motion sickness during an emergency.
The nausea associated with motion sickness actually occurs in the brain, according to neurologists. Our brains receive conflicting data; our eyes send signals that we are still, while the equilibrium sensors in our bodies send signals of an environment
in motion. This causes a schism between perception and reality, and is the reason why humans get nauseous from this phenomenon.
The foremost physical hazard of seasickness is simple dehydration. The violent nausea that is usually found with most victims can be so intense and overwhelming that people can die from lack of hydration. Dehydration sets off a number of physiological responses from electrolyte imbalances to blood pressure imbalances that can kill a human in a relatively short period of time. Believe it or not, dehydration as a consequence of disease is the number one killer of humans worldwide. Violent nausea won’t kill you in minutes, but if prolonged for several hours, especially if injury or prior dehydration is an issue, it can kill you.
The mental degradations of seasickness, though harder to quantify, are actually more critical in regards to sea survival. There are unfortunately numerous case histories of people overcome by seasickness who perished because they gave up the will to survive. The mental component of seasickness can be so psychologically devastating that your ability to assist in your own survival and of others is completely negated. If a group of struggling survivors must perform a task or prepare a plan and you are so incapacitated that you cannot join in the effort you may be left off the list. If your sickness begins to overwhelm or interfere in the survival of others you will not survive. The will to live turns to a wish to die, is a quote by those who have survived these crises.
In 1988 workers on the Rowan Gorilla I (one) oil
rig in the North Atlantic were forced to abandon the rig after 60 foot waves began to collapse the platform. All 26 men
made it into a life boat, and all began vomiting and becoming seasick after just moments inside the confines of the rigid style escape pod. Interviews with survivors made it abundantly clear that their sickness impaired them mentally and physically to the point where their life was in danger
. Several recall
wishing that the waves would destroy the life boat and consume them all just so that their misery would end.
As a sea survival instructor it is highly embarrassing, but a fact that I have become susceptible to this malady in recent years. I’ve spent my life on the water and never had a bout of motion sickness due to the sea, however I now find that I am becoming more prone to it. According to experts, as we age the fluid in our middle ear thickens making one more prone to various forms of motion sickness. I cannot offer any concrete advice on products that prevent or mitigate sea sickness as most have not worked for me. Many OTC remedies contain some form of antihistamine, usually either dimenhydrinate or meclizine HCL.
I am not a doctor and I cannot recommend or dissuade readers from certain products or techniques. I can however, offer my personal experience and those of students I have instructed. A standard dose of two pills of dimenhydrinate effectively prevents my motion sickness, but makes me so exhausted and drowsy that I can’t effectively function. (I become so incapacitated by the recommended dose that I have concerns whether I could function to the best of my abilities in an emergency.) Even a half-dose; one tablet, still has a strong drowsy effect on me. By reducing the dose to just a quarter of the recommended one, one half of one tablet, I remain sickness free and still able to remain somewhat acute.
Meclizine seems to work better in that it causes less drowsiness in the system, but many still feel quite exhausted if taking the full recommended dose of this product. (As with other products I personally take a quarter of the recommended dose.)86
There is also a prescription medication called scopolamine (Scopace) which is usually taken by transdermal patch. Many claim scopolamine is very effective in the treatment of motion sickness. It was taken off the market by the manufacturer in the 1990’s to deal with some of the side effect issues. It is now available again by prescription in patch and tablet form. Recent studies are suggesting that the pill form is more effective for many users. It is a powerful medication with several unpleasant side effects, including hallucinations. Please consult your doctor about this drug for a better understanding of its overall use and efficacy.
No other product that I have found, clamps, bands, ginger or other medication has worked for me. The classic advice of fixing on the horizon does work for me if I feel seas sickness coming on, but if it is dark or if confined by weather
or otherwise to the inside of a life raft, this technique doesn’t afford much relief.
There are several recommendations that promote the mixing of other medications to counteract the drowsiness of the dimenhydrinate, sometimes called the “Coast Guard Cocktail.” However, the mixing of any medications is a potential recipe for a negative interaction and serious side-effects. Make sure to consult your doctor about potential interaction of medications before you decide to use them, especially if taking them in combination with each other.
We recommend that seasickness medications, which will be a standard item of any life raft emergency kit, get administered to survivors as quickly as possible in a life raft. Once survivors have begun to get sick, they obviously will not be able to keep down any medication compounding their sickness. Once people have begun to succumb to the effects of motion sickness, the only way to administer medicine is rectally.
Not only will this be difficult in a raft, the effectiveness of the dosage will also decrease. The body will not absorb the medication as quickly and its distribution through the blood stream will not be as effective. The close confines of a canopied life raft the stench of vomit will also affect everyone inside. If one person vomits, no matter how inured you are to seasickness, you are probably going to get sick yourself.
Seasickness can be fatal in the depths of a marine
emergency. Preplan for yourself and your crew for this occurrence. Make sure that your emergency life raft kit has seasickness medication and that all crew know where the remedy tablets are located so they can be administered quickly and effectively. In my experience as a survival instructor one of the shortest durations of time is the length between the phrase ”I have never been sea sick” and the sound of vomit hitting the water. Regardless of how iron cast your stomach is or how long you’ve been on the water, especially during an emergency, anyone is susceptible to motion sickness.•
Ben Rayner is an instructor at Survival Systems, USA. Rayner contributes to a diverse variety of publications including Air Beat and Sailing magazines. Survival Systems, USA teaches sea and land survival for military, commercial
, and civilian clients with a focus on underwater egress from ditched aircraft at their dunker facility in Groton, CT.