From another angle ----- Obviously we dont know why you need oxygen an hopefully its not too serious but should you be sailing at the moment with such a problem ?
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Thread: Emergency oxygen onboard
10-03-12, 10:38 #11
10-03-12, 11:04 #12
ANy medical emergency on board prompts thoughts of how you would cope if...
I would have thought for blue water cruising where you may be days away from help, then gear like O2 and defibrillator would be life saving additions to the emergency pack. But within the normal range of European coastal waters well equipped SAR facilities, you could probably rely on them turning up in time. Yes, probably. There's always the scenario where life saving medical gear aboard could make the difference. But that's part of the hazard of our sport.
we calculate the risk levels and equip ourselves accordingly: LJs are regarded as essential: in 50 years I have never actually needed mine - yet! Flares? ditto. I have spent a small fortune over the years on equipment I have never ever used. So with the hopefully much lower risk of medical emergency, how far do you go to prepare? I am trained to use a Defibrillator, but I dont possess one.
On the other hand if someone aboard has a known medical condition, it makes sense to carry any equipment he might need with regard to the distance away from help you plan to go. An asthmatic for example would be foolish to go afloat without his puffers and any other equipment that might be needed to deal with a severe attack.
Lt Col John Davies , late HM of Chichester harbour died of a coronary while out sailing in the Harbour. If he had had a defib machine and Oxygen on board his X boat, would he have survived?
Further afield - blue water cruising for example, then the more emergency medical kit you can carry, the better - as long as someone knows how to use it!
Last edited by oldharry; 10-03-12 at 11:11.Is Conservation for wildlife or conservationists?
10-03-12, 11:48 #13
Just looked up portable defibrillators.
Cost is about £1300 for http://www.heart-defibrillators.co.u...t/Zollplus.php. Not as expensive as I thought. Like many safety items, you may only use once.......
10-03-12, 14:16 #14Registered User
Location : Lymington
- Join Date
- Apr 2007
Thanks all for the helpfull replies.
On a personal basis I am well on the mend from what was hopefully a one-off-event. I contracted severe viral and bacterial infections and pneumonia, but thought I was fighting off flu so didn't visit the Doc! It hit me that I had a problem when I came to a complete halt physically and breathing response didn't feel right. Apparently my blood/oxygen level (SpO2) had fallen to 83% (with temperature at 39.1C and resting heartrate of 114).
After some excellent care by the medics at Salisbury Hospital, including four days on oxygen and having a concoction of anti-biotics pumped into me I was on the mend. No go-home ticket though until my SpO2 level was 95% on air with no oxygen over the previous 24hrs.
Although I hope never to need oxygen again my experience set me thinking how the unlikely but maybe essential situation of an oxygen supply could be catered for on a cruising yacht, hence my OP.
The other big realisation for me was that although I have test equipment for all manner of electronic and mechanical sytems we possessed nothing for basic testing of a human being. My wife and I have never been seriously ill throughout our lives and have never felt the the need to "check the system" so didn't even possess a thermometer. "Test equipment" now purchased at very reasonable prices and norms established.
Thanks for highlighting the conditions you listed and the need for a different response. I would expect any crew with such a condition to notify me (skipper) when joining the boat. Hopefully medical advice would be available by radio.
I am medically cleared to resume normal activities as I feel it appropriate re. strength and stamina. Going to start with a laze about in the cockpit ;>)
After following some of the suggestions on here I am thinking something on the lines of this would meet my requirement:
Last edited by AHoy2; 11-03-12 at 22:58.
10-03-12, 17:32 #15
glad you are getting better after your pneumonia
good point re "test equipment" - ie thermometer and your eyes/fingers. sats probes are expensive and several potential pitfalls/inaccurate readings
as you say basics like temp, resp rate and pulse. worth learning how do to this. ie a first aid course. the medical chapter in "sas survival" type books are actually quite good for the medical stuff ie brief and to the point. ABC etc. but a first aid course will show you how to do it.
medical advice not always available via radio, what if mast down, or no one else but the casualty can use the radio? tho coastal sailing you can possibly/probably use a mobile. again modern mobiles have short battery life.
similarly do not rely on helo's etc - weather/diverted to their primary role (military aircrew SAR)/malfunctions/fuel etc
the oxygen apparatus you linked to - interesting - tho may need to take more than one? eg 45mins phone to air time for helo's at night (tho they are always a lot quicker that is their maximum) and as above personally i think its wrong to rely on a helo, as it may never come.
not sure about taking more kit for offshore passages - what do you do when the oxygen runs out? or when the person you've defibbed goes into abnormal cardiac rthymns/low blood pressure etc? even inshore sailing i would not take a defib, significant safety issues, post defib frequently patients need ITU or CCU type care. defibs are a great idea for urban areas, with quick response time from ambulance to whisk the patinet to the nearest hospital. they are good for monitoring cardiac rthymns though.
the above is my thoughts for sailing on west coast scotland ie usually a lot further from hospitals than say solent
10-03-12, 17:51 #16
Having access to oxygen might be helpful in certain emergency situations on a boat but in some cases might cause harm, so absolutely some knowledge or training is required.
I was involved in technical diving and always had tanks of oxygen, mainly used in decompression but also for first aid in case of decompression sickness. However for other medical emergencies the need and safety of oxygen use is not clear.
Breathing hyperoxic gas causes vasoconstriction which will in most cases lead to higher blood pressure. In some medical emergencies this is the wrong thing to do. Having oxygen on board could be helpful and if you can fill a standard diving tank (relatively easy in the US), not too costly. But use with care. Best to get medical advise on the radio if you are not sure or not medically trained on when administering oxygen is the correct thing to do.
10-03-12, 18:01 #17Registered User
Location : A long way from my boat! :(
- Join Date
- Oct 2005
Absolutely the best O2 solution I have come across is the 'Mountain High' pulse demand system. Kevlar wrapped ali bottles. Very light and corrosion proof. Runs off a couple of penlight batteries. The O2 is administered via cannula or lightweight mask and a box of tricks detects the first intake of breath and delivers a bolus of O2 at the point it will be delivered deepest to the lungs. The net result is a very economical use of O2.
Designed for high altitude mountaineering and flying the system is altitude compensated and switches on automatically at 10 000' msl but there is a setting for 'night' use where the O2 is delivered regardless of altitude.
Welding O2 in the UK is as pure as Medical or Aviation O2 and I used to have a 3000psi cylinder that I cross filled my own flight cylinder with.
Mountain high systems are not cheap unfortunately but I have used them at up to 30 000' for several hours and where a fault could have you unconscious within 3 minutes or less.
http://www.mhoxygen.com/ around $1000 for a full setup.
10-03-12, 18:46 #18
10-03-12, 18:49 #19
10-03-12, 19:30 #20Registered User
Location : UK - Solent region
- Join Date
- May 2001