Tip of the Month: Vital First Aid Basics

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Here are a few pointers on how to deal with some of the medical problems you may face on the water, including bites and stings, bleeding, burns, hypothermia, seasickness and sun exposure.

Every vessel should carry a suitable first aid kit, which can be bought from your local Honda Marine dealer. The kit should contain adequate wound and burn dressings, and a booklet explaining basic first aid procedures.br>
Chemists stock simple kits that can be supplemented with sunscreen lotion, seasickness tablets, a felttip pen (for recording injuries and treatment, to inform medical staff if necessary) and a pair of side-cutting pliers for removing fishhooks. Clearly mark the kit as first aid and keep it in a sturdy, watertight container where anyone on board can reach it.br>
Bites and stings
Bites or stings from sea snakes and some jellyfish can cause breathing and circulation problems. It’s vital in all of these instances to keep the patient calm, assured and rested, monitor their airway, breathing and circulation (ABC) and get medical help urgently.

In the most serious cases, you may also need to begin resuscitation immediately and continue until medical help arrives.

– Jellyfish
• Prevent patient from rubbing the area.
• Pour vinegar over the affected area to deactivate the stinging capsules and prevent further venom release.
• Apply icepacks to relieve pain.

– Sea Snakes
• Apply a pressure immobilisation bandage to the affected limb.

– Stingrays and other venomous spines
• Immerse area in water as hot as the patient can tolerate, to help relieve the pain.
• Don’t use pressure bandages (i.e. tourniquets).

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