Devices that might save lives

Devices that might save lives

There is a significant increase of recreational vessels and water sports in the summer. At the same time, cabin crew are not always experienced enough. The probability of having some sort of accident at sea is high due to its changeable conditions which are often unpredictable, calm sea might turn suddenly into rough and hostile.

We have launched a campaign of nautical safety here at our pharmacy because we feel responsible for helping you solve health problems while navigating.

There are three basic pillars when it comes to health problems at sea; telemedical assistance, appropriate medical training of the crew and finally the right provisioning of a first-aid kit. This is where we step in. Our specialisation in marine first-aid kits has let us elaborate a kit with products that help act quickly and efficiently towards incidents where there is no time for telemedical assistance and where promptness is crucial.

One of the products that are essential is a defibrillator. This device produces electric discharges that bring back cardiac activity. More than 30.000 cardiac arrests happen in Spain every year. A cardiac arrest is not necessary caused by a disease or biological aging, it can happen to anyone. The local government is working on a decree which will make it compulsory to have a defibrillator in both, public and private spaces. This gives us a better idea of how important defibrillator is. We strongly recommend having one on board, especially if you navigate long distances or you are in charge of a crew.

Another must-have on board is an anti-choking device. Choking is the 3rd non-natural cause of death in Spain, and it comes before car accidents. According to statistics, deaths caused by choking are 25% more than by car accidents. These kinds of accidents happen suddenly and they cause a lot of distress to people who witness them. Choking accidents can be very dangerous because if coughing doesn’t help and the respiratory tract obstruction is complete, then the victim may become unconscious which may lead to serious consequences. The lack of oxygen flow in the brain may cause brain damage (only in 4 minutes) or even brain death (10 minutes). The way we act in this short period of time is crucial. This is when we depend on the first-aid training and on staying calm in order to perform the life-saving procedure successfully. In case when the victim is conscious and the obstruction is complete we should perform Heimlich Maneuver. However, if we are not familiar with this procedure or if we deal with a pregnant woman or a baby (older than 12 months), the anti-choking device should unblock the respiratory tract easily, quickly and efficiently. The device doesn’t need much space and it is so easy to use that anyone can manage.

What can be done when we deal with such incidents as fainting, asthma attack, intoxication due to inhalation, or diving accidents? We should provide the victim with oxygen. Traditional oxygen providing systems are difficult to use and it could take the crew a long time to transport the oxygen tank to the place of the accident. At our pharmacy we have an oxygen generator which has the volume of flow of 3l per minute during 12 minutes. The device is very light (less than 1 kg), it doesn’t require a special storage space, it is environmentally friendly, and most importantly, it may save someone´s life.

To sum up, the key elements to your safety on board are: having a well-provisioned first-aid kit, having a health guide provided by ISM, including life-saving devices that are easy to use.