What is the issue?At sea or in very remote locations you may be completely cut off from any medical assistance for extended periods.
Why address this?Should you have a critical medical situation it is down to the crew members to address the situation. If they fail to do so, or address the condition in a competent manner, life could be lost.
How to address this?If you invest in one medical book make it the UK Department of Transport's ''Ship Captain's Medical Guide, The 22nd Ed.''
I can say without a shadow of exaggeration that I would not be alive now had we not used the 21st edition presented in figure 1 in the depths of the Pacific. The ''Ship Captain's Medical Guide is an official publication of the British government specifically designed for vessels where no doctor is carried. The guide enables laymen to diagnose and treat injuries, ill health and other medical conditions.
In their own words ''The guide is written in simple language and adopts a straightforward approach to the diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of diseases and injuries. Fully illustrated, the Ship Captain's Medical Guide guides seamen through a range of procedures, helps avert potential problems and deals with incidents of varying severity."
The procedures are well documented and there are extensive diagrams, photographs, anatomical drawings, and a separate section on the medicines. This was the critical factor with a staphylococcus infection I got on our circumnavigation.
Of course you never want to have to address medical issues aboard. But with this guide the average sailor has the requisite knowledge to have more than a fighting chance.
Ship Captain's Medical Guide, The 22nd Ed.
Ship Captain's Medical Guide 22nd Ed
Author: Her Majesty's Department of Transport
With thanks to:Michael Harpur, Yacht Obsession.
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