First aid on board. Radio Medical advice

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First aid on board. Radio Medical advice.

A job at sea is always connected with risk to life, so very often accidents with serious danger to life of crewmembers occur on board of m/v. That’s why all seamen must be properly trained to face these situations & to be able to render at least 1st Medical Aid to the injured persons. So, nowadays, anybody who wants to obtain job on board of a m/v must pass special medical courses. For ex. for crew they are just 1st Medical Aid Courses, as for the officers, especially for Deck Officers, they are serious medical training. As a rule either 2nd Officer or Chief Officer is a Medical Officer on board of ship, but on some kind of m/v there are still Doctors in Crew.

Very often the life of injured person directly depends on competent & rendered in proper time 1st Aid actions . 1st Aid is the emergency treatment given to the ill or injured before professional medical service can be obtained. It’s given to prevent death or further injury, to counteract shock & to relieve pain.

Conditions which require immediate actions are:

-severe bleeding

-stopped breathing/heart


1st Aid must be administered to:

-restore breathing & heart beat

-control bleeding

-remove poisons

-prevent further injury to the patient.

So in the case of some accident in the open sea, after rendering to the injured necessary 1st Aid, Master of the ship may decide to obtain Radio Medical advice. The ITU List of Radiodetemination & Special Service Stations lists commercial & Government radio stations they provide free medical msg service to ships. These msgs should be prefixed with “DH MEDICO”. These msgs are normally delivered to RCCs, hospitals or other facilities with which the communications facility has made prior arrangements. So, Radio advice can be obtained either through INMARASAT, or through radiotelephony .All msgs must clearly state the symptoms (sickness or injury) of the affected person. RCC forwards them to the nearest marine hospital, where the case is diagnosed by the medical staff from the info given. A course of treatment is then decided & transmitted to m/v.

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