Medical Emergency at Sea
How to deal with a medical emergency afloat
If you are planning a boating trip, it is important to have at least one person on board who is trained in first aid.
Responsible skippers should definitely make time to do a basic marine first aid course.
If you need medical advice, make an all stations PANPAN.
If reporting a medical emergency at sea:
Be prepared to describe symptoms including:
• Breathing rate
• Pulse rate
• Skin colour
• Conscious state
• Site and description of pain
• Site and type of injury
• Loss of blood
Be prepared to deal with common medical emergencies including:
Fracture – immobilize the limb. Splint a broken finger to adjoining finger, a leg to the uninjured leg, an arm to the body
Head injury – seek urgent medical assistance if the casualty is unconscious. Check airway. Put in recovery position. Watch the casualty carefully
Resuscitation (CPR) – learn the recommended combination of chest compressions and rescue breaths
Shock – lie casualty down, raise their legs above the level of their heart, loosen clothing, cover with blanket, do not give them food and drink until you have received medical advice
Severe bleeding – using a sterile dressing, apply pressure to wound to stem bleeding
Be prepared to deal with:
Burns, Chest Injury, Dislocations, Fish Hook Injury, Heat Exhaustion, Hypothermia, Jelly Fish Stings
Ensure you have a good first aid manual aboard.
(taken from the Safe Skipper app for iPhone, iPad & Android)