Monday, December 16th, 2019

MedAire – your doctor at sea

Published on July 10, 2013 by   ·   No Comments

Sailing is brilliant, isn’t it?  The smell of the sea air, the crack of the sails against the wind, the feeling that it is just you against the elements, completely in charge of your own destiny: but what if it all goes horribly wrong?  What if there is an accident and you or one of your crew suffers an injury or if someone onboard becomes ill?  Would you be equipped to tackle a medical emergency?


Well, if you are planning to set out for foreign ports without a ship’s surgeon there are several reliable alternatives.  Companies such as MedAire essentially sell peace of mind by providing medical support, at sea and on shore, for private clients and for yachting events.

All aspects of medical cover are included, from maritime medical kits and ensuring that medication is adequately and timeously replenished to supplying first aid training to crew, designing onboard infirmaries and providing medical escorts and onboard medical staff.

This year MedAire launched its latest Global MedKit, which includes equipment and medication to adequately respond to an emergency at sea, including onboard antibiotic therapy and additional options for intraosseous (IO) devices, including the EZ-IO® Intraosseous Infusion System for immediate vascular access for fluids and medications.

Making use of contemporary technology, the MedAire Medical Management System or MMS software, which (amongst other functions) provides a safe way to store medical histories, is totally integrated with MedAire’s MedLink, the company’s respected telemedicine centre, which is staffed by doctors to assist crew at sea when there is an emergency.

The Company estimates that slightly more than half of the world’s superyachts rely on its services for medical supplies and services, which can include such detailed care as equipping tenders and rescue boats and supplying pediatric kits to take care of the youngest travellers.

MedAire’s training programmes are especially popular due to their comprehensive nature: choose from a full range of medical training courses from a basic one-day session for crew members to a week-long teaching period for designated medical officers.  Medical professionals offer instruction on recognising and managing common illnesses and injuries and how to use the various pieces of medical kit that will be stored onboard.  Trainees will also be challenged by ‘mock-up’ emergencies to test their ability to evaluate and correctly respond to medical situations and make test calls to the MedLink Global Response Centre.

Additionally, these medical courses will provide certification in American Heart Association and European Resuscitation Council techniques.

Apart from providing medical expertise, MedAire is also able to assist with matters when crew and guests are at port like lost passports, car accidents, natural disasters and security concerns.  Translation services and local legal expertise can also be arranged, making MedAire’s service about as comprehensive a service that any sailor could wish for.

It will always be impossible to eradicate risk when setting out to sea, but it is interesting to see how medical providers are constantly expanding their list of potential emergencies to.

For the peace of mind, many boat owners will probably decide that a contract with a company like MedAire is a price well worth paying.


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