I recently had the pleasure of helping a family prepare themselves and their 55’ boat for a multi-year around the world journey. It was a lot of fun working with them and a great example of how the work we do at Remote Medical International can support people as they explore the far corners of our world.
Many passage makers and yacht owners are drawn to adventure, but must be calculating with regards to preparations and provisioning. With regard to medical preparations the challenge is putting together a system that is comprehensive, user friendly, and relatively compact. When the family first contacted me, they were interested in our ACCESS telemedicine service and a custom medical kit for their boat to give them back up when help could be hours or days away. As we consulted on the provisioning, they decided that the best way to implement their medical system was to have a RMI instructor give them a custom course in maritime medicine on board their boat. Anyone who has set out for an extended journey from home knows that preparations can take a long time. Their case was no exception, as securing and testing parts kept moving their start date back. I enjoyed regular communications with them to stay on top of medical kit additions, and having a custom medical training planned allowed us to work with their schedule, rather than vise versa. Once they had a firm target date for arrival in Mexico, we bought the instructor’s plane ticket. The instructor, an ER tech and ski patroller with work experience from the South Pacific to Antarctica from Colorado was more than happy leave the snow for a few days to jet down to Mexico to lead the course.
Training consisted of a custom curriculum, a 16 hour hands-on course teaching assessment and management of common injuries as well as life threatening situations. An additional day was added that included CPR, suturing and IV starts, as well as orientation to the telemedicine service and extensive medical kit for their boat. Training went really well, and used the most relevant location available, the boat that they would be living and traveling in. It also served as a great way for them to prepare mentally for the challenges and responsibilities directly ahead. They now have a dynamic system in place to handle medical issues, and can relax and focus on enjoying their journey. Firstly, hands-on training gives them the ability to assess cases with confidence and handle a broad range of issues. Their telemedicine subscription service gives them an unprecedented backup system, with Emergency Physicians available to answer their call and lend support 24/7. They can also use the system for prescription replacement worldwide, evacuation assistance, and travel alerts. Next, their comprehensive medical kit gives them in essence a mobile clinic, so they have the supplies and medicine they need on hand to support the first aid they administer and the telemedicine Emergency Physicians’ advice. Lastly, they have a seaworthy defibrillator and an oxygen concentrator on board for additional peace of mind. It has been great working with them to support their adventure. We wish them safe travels, and the trip of a lifetime!
**Update: they have successfully completed their first long passage from Mexico to the Marquesas in just over 16 days at sea. After some time enjoying the islands, they are on to the next leg of their journey. We have coordinated a medical kit resupply for them in American Samoa to coincide with their arrival there in a few months.
Account Manager, Remote Medical Intenational