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Doctor on board

Handbook for medical needs at sea

Whether on coastal waters or the open sea, any medical crisis aboard a boat is far more challenging than on land. Self-sufficiency and swift, efficient action could be necessary before any help can arrive.

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"Doctor on Board," ($19.95, Sheridan House, 2010) by Dr. Jurgen Hauert, is meant to be a quick medical reference for ensuring the safety of an injured crew.

Step-by-step photos and illustrations and clear, concise language is meant to put even the medical novice at ease.

Broken down into symptoms and treatment, the book is geared toward the mariner, with advice on first aid, severe bleeding, shock, seizures, extreme heat or cold, wounds, bites and stings, fractures and dislocations and a litany of injuries and illnesses from head to toe.

There are even sections on properly stocking a vessel's first-aid kit and rescue by helicopter.

Dr. Hauert is the director of the Department of Orthopedics and Emergency Medicine in Hamburg, Germany.

This article originally appeared in the Home Waters sections of the January 2011 issue.