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Old 06-18-2012, 02:51 PM   #1
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First Aid Kits on Boats

From a discussion with a friend the idea was bounced around concerning what kind of things to carry for first aid on boats. It seems that different levels of care would be called for at different levels of cruising.

On Moonstruck we do mostly coastal cruising and island hopping. Probably the longest open water we do is about 165 miles. We do sometimes wind up in remote areas that would take a little time for help to arrive. So, we probably carry more than a weekend cruiser.

With that in mind here is some of the stuff we carry on Moonstruck.
  • Neosporan
  • Polysporan
  • Advil
  • Motrin
  • Imodium AD
  • Antacids
  • Acid Blockers
[/LIST][*]A midgrade OSHA first aid kit with the usual bandages, ointments, and disinfactants[*]Peroxide[*]Alcohol[/LIST]
I have probably left some out, but you probably can tell that it is just for mid level care. It will be interesting to know what some of you are prepared for. I know that there are a few doctors in the group that would probably laugh at the level of care that we could give. It will also be interesting to see what they carry in thier kits.
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When cruising life is simpler, but on a grander scale (author unknown)
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Old 06-18-2012, 03:37 PM   #2
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Here's one I've been looking at:
The M3 Medic Bag 135 Stocked Items FREE SHIPPING
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Old 06-18-2012, 03:38 PM   #3
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We carry basics as you describe but also sutures and burn dressings among other items. So far all we have needed is a band aid and an aspirin. I am hoping it stays that way!!
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Old 06-18-2012, 03:43 PM   #4
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We - ages 65 and 71, were thinking of getting one of those home defibrillators. I think the prices are down to about $1K. Anyway, it's a lot of money to us but we are still thinking about it.
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Old 06-18-2012, 03:43 PM   #5
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You can buy a kit or for a fraction of the price build your own.

Most everything can be had at any drug store.

The biggest thing is knowing how to use it.

Take a class.
Sd
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Old 06-18-2012, 06:14 PM   #6
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Greetings,
Interesting comment about the sutures. I've trussed a turkey at Thanksgiving but I don't know if I'd be up to reattaching a leg. How about just a pressure dressing?
One thing that comes to mind is an EpiPen. I have no idea if you could get one without prescription but as Mr. Dude so correctly states-KNOW HOW TO USE THE STUFF!!!!!



Maybe one of these for those tougher cases...
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Old 06-18-2012, 06:23 PM   #7
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We have found that a quality pair of tweezers is helpful for that occasional dock sliver. Bee sting (ammonia) and bug bite relief topicals, liquid benedryl, aspirin, small roll of medical tape for makeshift bandages.
Don't forget the whiskey for the "doctor."

As a pilot, I have 24/7 access to MedAire Medlink which provides a direct line to an on-call doctor in Phoenix, AZ for live advice via phone or by radio-phone patch. We are authorized to call them whenever needed, not just on the job. We also carry the Medlink manual onboard our vessel with First-aid and medical advice. If I needed a phone patch from the Coast Guard for this purpose, I wouldn't hesitate to ask, but they can also provide some EMS advice in an emergency.

MedAire has now joined forces with Yacht Lifeline to provide this service to the yacht community.

MedAire Provides Medical and Security Safety Services for Yachts
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Old 06-18-2012, 07:14 PM   #8
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I built my own based on this:
cruising_medical_kit
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Old 06-18-2012, 09:25 PM   #9
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We have a fleet surgeon for our yacht club who maintains a (protected) page with suggestions. He also arranges the CPR & defib classes, and there's a club AED that goes on the organized cruises (whoever's carrying flies a flag, which I think is like this one: Cardiac Care Critique).

I have a pretty large kit (fortunately I have plenty of room to store it) that I bought off of eBay several years ago that's similar to this one: EMT FIREFIGHTER FIRST RESPONDER STOCKED FIRST AID TRAUMA MEDIC MEDICAL BAG KIT 6 | eBay

I've been wanting to pick up some epi-pens, and my wife received a prescription for them last week so I'll be able to add them to the kit (and have them covered by insurance, which is important because they're over $100 each if they're not covered!).

I also carry a couple of first-aid books, plus I have the "ShipMedical" app on the home screen of my iPhone and the boat's iPad.
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Old 06-19-2012, 12:25 AM   #10
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I asked my doctor to prescribe a few Percocet pain pills in case I had to continue to work the boat while in pain. I have bouts with kidney stones and a bad back. Either of which can leave me pretty helpless with out some pretty strong narcotics. I like the idea of an Epi-pen and an AED.
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Old 06-19-2012, 01:21 AM   #11
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[QUOTE=RT Firefly;91072] One thing that comes to mind is an EpiPen. I have no idea if you could get one without prescription but as Mr. Dude so correctly states-KNOW HOW TO USE THE STUFF!!!!!QUOTE]

EpiPens are used to treat anaphylaxis (a life threatening allergic reaction). They release a single dose of Epinephrine and should be used with caution as they could have serious side effects for individuals that have pre-existing medical conditions such as cardiac, asthma, or hypertension (several others also).
There could also be serious side effcts if you are taking certain medications.

You should only administer Epinephrine to yourself and only if your Doc says it’s ok. KJ
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Old 06-19-2012, 06:49 AM   #12
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Boating is like camping in the wilderness.

I have seen it take an hour to get EMTs to boating accidents that are only yards away from an address that an ambulance would be at in 5 minutes...part of the 911/USCG/State marine police response problem.

With that said...true cruisers who wind up miles and miles from civilization are truely on their own in some ways.

So no matter what medical suplies you CARRY ABOARD.....safe WORKING knowledge of first aid is critical. Of course you are always going to be on the spot as the captain if a crewmwmber is in life threatening situation and you are unsure of what to do. You may kill a loved one or ultimately get sued by your best friend(s).

Carry whatever gear you can get your hands on and be ready to use it...when there's no doc around to hold you hand...YOU might have to make those big decisions...if you DON'T HAVE an epipen or nitro or an AED...no sweat (except for the patient)..but if you do and your judgement is sound...you may save a life.
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Old 06-19-2012, 12:25 PM   #13
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We here in Bermuda have what is known as the "Good Saanratain act" , an act of Parliament which is designed to protect the care giver in the event of loss of life which could be inevitable, meaning that person would have" died any way "may be not necessarily in your or my arms.

Giving comfort is not a sin.

My Question is, do you in your respective countries have in place "The Good Samaritan act " ?
For the record the captain is requires to maintain the ships log book.
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Old 06-19-2012, 01:08 PM   #14
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We here in Bermuda have what is known as the "Good Saanratain act" , an act of Parliament which is designed to protect the care giver in the event of loss of life which could be inevitable, meaning that person would have" died any way "may be not necessarily in your or my arms.

Giving comfort is not a sin.

My Question is, do you in your respective countries have in place "The Good Samaritan act " ?
For the record the captain is requires to maintain the ships log book.
In New Jersey...and I think most states...there are good samaritan laws...

The trouble is, if negligence if proven...good samaritan laws don't protect you from anything. If you were "expected to know" what would have happened...you can still be found guilty and have to pay restitution or if a criminal charge filed whatever that punishment is.
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Old 06-19-2012, 02:06 PM   #15
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Greetings,
So I guess giving comfort IS a sin if you're negligent. Whatever that means. Ah yes, the land of litigation.
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Old 06-19-2012, 07:27 PM   #16
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Scenario:
You are sitting in a restaurant having lunch with some friends when the woman at the table next to you starts coughing and gagging. She stands up and gives the universal sign that she is choking (hands to the throat). It’s pretty obvious she is in serious trouble.

Everyone in the place is just watching her when one of your buddies (who is very big and quite strong), decides to do something. He remembers from a CPR class that he took many years ago something about doing chest thrusts for choking victims. But there is a major problem; the lady is very, very, pregnant. Fortunately, your buddy also remembers something about doing abdominal thrusts for pregnant choking victims. So he puts his arms around the lady and places his hands right in the middle of her abdomen (instead of below), and give three powerful thrusts upward, without any success. So he gives three more very powerful thrusts and a piece of chicken comes flying out of the woman’s airway and she starts breathing.

The ambulance finally arrives and takes her to the hospital. En route the EMT’s notice that woman’s slacks are wet and it doesn’t smell like urine. When they get to the emergency room the doctors cannot hear a fetal heart beat. They immediately do a scan and discover that the fetus is dead. They determine that the death was caused by intrauterine trauma.

So, your buddy probably saved the woman’s life. However, in doing so, because he unknowingly performed CPR incorrectly, caused the death of the fetus (8 months).

Was he a “Good Samaritan”?
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Old 06-19-2012, 08:11 PM   #17
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Greetings,
Well, should he have let her die along with the fetus?
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Old 06-19-2012, 08:31 PM   #18
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Greetings,
Well, should he have let her die along with the fetus?
I don't think so. But if he had done CPR correctly, they could have both survived.

BTW I did CPR on an 85 yo woman. With my first compression I fractured her sternum and ribs on both sides. She didn't make it.

The autopsy revealed a pneumothorax (punctured lung) and a lacerated heart. Both were caused by my CPR, which was done correctly. The autopsy also showed a massive MI (heart occlusion) which she would have died from anyway (at least that's what I told myself).

I even though I tried to help, I didn't feel much like a Good Samaritan.

Which has nothing to do with boating or the original inquiry.
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Old 06-19-2012, 09:33 PM   #19
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Greetings,
My sympathies Mr KJ. At least you and your fictional friend in your scenario tried. I do not know how I would have reacted BUT if I thought I could help and didn't, afterwards I would feel worse.
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Old 06-19-2012, 09:54 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KJ View Post
Scenario:
You are sitting in a restaurant having lunch with some friends when the woman at the table next to you starts coughing and gagging. She stands up and gives the universal sign that she is choking (hands to the throat). It’s pretty obvious she is in serious trouble.

Everyone in the place is just watching her when one of your buddies (who is very big and quite strong), decides to do something. He remembers from a CPR class that he took many years ago something about doing chest thrusts for choking victims. But there is a major problem; the lady is very, very, pregnant. Fortunately, your buddy also remembers something about doing abdominal thrusts for pregnant choking victims. So he puts his arms around the lady and places his hands right in the middle of her abdomen (instead of below), and give three powerful thrusts upward, without any success. So he gives three more very powerful thrusts and a piece of chicken comes flying out of the woman’s airway and she starts breathing.

The ambulance finally arrives and takes her to the hospital. En route the EMT’s notice that woman’s slacks are wet and it doesn’t smell like urine. When they get to the emergency room the doctors cannot hear a fetal heart beat. They immediately do a scan and discover that the fetus is dead. They determine that the death was caused by intrauterine trauma.

So, your buddy probably saved the woman’s life. However, in doing so, because he unknowingly performed CPR incorrectly, caused the death of the fetus (8 months).

Was he a “Good Samaritan”?
no because current thinking doesn't support the heimlich as the first thing you try or use it if there is any doubt of "other" medical conditions. If looking pregnant he should have asked.

if once trained..AND he planned on using it he should have stayed current.

no, I would vote on a jury that he's NOT protected as a good samaritan.

this at a restaurant where 911 could have arrived in time? even stretching it if in a remote location. he was outside his level of training.

as far as the CPR..was always taught that breaking a few ribs is a possibility. doing to to the young and elderly is tricky...but if you are going to do it...it better be perfect or be ready for court.
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