One of the most important things for us going on our sailing adventure is to make sure that we can look after ourselves & our kids if no medical help is just around the corner.
We had both done First Aid Courses before when we had the children, so doing the Level 2 First Aid Course was a really good refresher. We had lots of CPR practice, which gave Silke prompty a sore and stiff neck and shoulder, because she was too passionate about saving the several dummies. We worked through all the main situations and how to deal with them, had practices bandaging different injuries etc.
The Level 2 first aid was the pre-requirement for the Offshore Medic couse in Auckland, which Silke attended. While it would have been ideal for us both to qualify in this .. we figured it would be more than likely that Captain Timmy be the one with a fish-hook in his finger or boom against his head – not Silke. Should it be the other way around, Silke will just have to do the job herself 🙂
The offshore Medic Course was taught by a person who has rescued many boaties from the helicopter and worked in Emergency rooms and in the Army for many years. This course was a bit more hands on and intense. I couldn’t stop thinking that I hope I will never ever have to use those skills.
Living just around the hospital and several medical centres here in town with professional first aid services only a short time away I had never really worried about accidents and first aid all that much, other than handling sticky plasters and the common ills and chills in our family. When our dauther had somehow managed to lodge a pearl up her nose and put a staple in her finger rather than the paper it was defenitly a trip to the medical centre each time in panic to beg the nurse for assistance.
So deal with serious stuff, like securing an airway, injecting painkillers, surtering a wound, stapling a wound and even using a gun to lodge a needle into a knee for IV access and figuring out how to get liquids and meds through it into the bonemarrow (that was just pretent) was at times turning my stomack. We injected lemons and bacon hooks. The surturing was kind of interesting – I found it easier when the stapling, but the teacher pointed out that I was working on a dead piece of meat and it would be slightly different if it was one of my family members who was most likely very scared and in a panic on a rocking boat…. So I think we won’t be mucking about with needles – staples heal better anyway apparently.
The book we were provided with this course I coudn’t even bring myself to look through. There were horrible injuries and worst case scenarios – things I don’t want to imagine and hopefully never have to deal with. But we have a rough idea as to what to do with our medical kit, what we need to have on the boat for longer passages and luckily these days there are sat phones, so people can get hold of medical professionals to get advise and help on what to do in what situation.
All in all – its good to have played through those scenarios and to know the different ways to handle possible medical emergencies.