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CYCA Medical Management for Mariners 11 October, 2011

by John Keelty/ Sail-World Cruising on 5 Sep 2011
MMM - would you know how to treat your injured fellow-crew? SW
Let’s face it, whether racing to Hobart or simply cruising around the world or even up or down the coast, accidents or medical problems can happen at sea and a sailor needs to be able to cope for longer than the typical emergency on land requires. Any well prepared sailor needs to have a set of skills to cope with any contingency.

To overcome this problem the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia (CYCA), based in Rushcutters Bay in Sydney, has developed the Medical Management for Mariners course. During the course St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney aims to teach those who go to sea in small craft, especially yachts, how to deal with a medical emergency should it arise when professional medical assistance may be hours or even days away.

The CYCA Medical Management for Mariners Course (MMM) consists of 7 three-hour nights at St. Vincent's Hospital in the Don Harrison Simulation centre followed by a 3-hour practical session taught by Helicopter Rescue Paramedics on board a yacht at the CYCA. During the course, participants are shown how to treat and stabilise a patient and prepare and package the injured person for rescue by helicopter or any other means of rescue that becomes available.

This course has been designed specifically for sailors by sailors and is a unique course that will assist sailors cope with most emergencies and long term management should the need arise

A large amount of research was carried out on accidents that have occurred at sea in various yachts and other craft during events such as the Rolex Sydney Hobart and Volvo Ocean Races and the course covers all of these incidents including broken bones, severed arteries, boom strikes, amputations, burns, heart attacks, strokes, near drowning and the like. It even covers catherisation and how to rehydrate a totally seasick person in order to prevent them from dying of dehydration and how to correctly calculate draw up and give an injection.

The course is carried out in St Vincent’s Hospital Don Harrison Simulation Centre where participants use the Sim Man, a mannequin that can be programmed to simulate any accident or medical situation. He breathes, he bleeds, he has a pulse, talks and in fact does almost anything a normal person can do.

The curriculum includes theory and practical application of this theory. On most nights a practical scenario takes place and the participants are faced with situations such as: 'You are half way to New Zealand and there is a loud bang, the yacht gives a lurch and the crew below go up on the deck to find one of the crew partially conscious and bleeding from a head wound'.

They are required to assess and stabilise the victim, communicate by radio in medical terminology and hopefully keep the victim alive and safe until assistance can be received and as they are a long way from land that could be two to three days away.

The course aims to cover most medical emergencies that can occur including heart attacks, strokes, burns, catherisation, hypothermia and envenomation. This will assist all who go to sea from the competitive ocean racer to the husband and wife team who wish to just go cruising or even circumnavigate the globe.

This is a course not to be missed by any serious ocean racer or anyone setting out on a longer voyage. It requires each applicant to have a current Senior First Aid Certificate in order to enroll.

The next CYCA MMM course commences on Tuesday 11 October for seven weeks and the cost is $600 for CYCA members and Yachting NSW Bronze & Silver members and $650 for non-members.

Please register by completing the enrolment form and forward it with payment to CYCA Reception via post, or email the form to reception@cyca.com.au.

For further information contact reception at the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia on 02 8292 7800 or reception@cyca.com.au

Course dates: Tuesday 11th, 18th, 25th October and eighth, 15th, 22nd and 29th November 2011.

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