open access

Vol 70, No 4 (2019)
MARITIME MEDICINE Case report
Published online: 2019-12-24
Submitted: 2019-09-23
Accepted: 2019-10-22
Get Citation

Medical evacuation on high seas

Ajit C. Kulkarni
DOI: 10.5603/IMH.2019.0034
·
Pubmed: 31891174
·
International Maritime Health 2019;70(4):216-219.

open access

Vol 70, No 4 (2019)
MARITIME MEDICINE Case report
Published online: 2019-12-24
Submitted: 2019-09-23
Accepted: 2019-10-22

Abstract

A previously healthy Indian male seafarer aged 34 years, presented with vague perianal symptoms to the Master on a Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC) in the Pacific Ocean. Over a few days, his condition deteriorated, and the company’s medical consultant ashore, based on telephonic consultation, transmitted information and photos, diagnosed the condition as a life threatening case of Fournier’s gangrene. The ship was then almost 1140 nm from the port. The consultant instructed the Master to intensify antibiotic treatment and started necessary procedures for an urgent complex medevac. Arranged by the United States Coast Guard, it involved deployment of two helicopters, two fixed wing aircrafts and an air tanker. Helicopters needed to be refuelled mid-air to increase their range of operations. Rendezvous point was 478 nm from Santa Barbara, California. 3½ hours after lift off from the vessel, the helicopter landed at Santa Barbara airport and the patient was transported to hospital. State-of-the-art treatment ashore preserved both testicles and after long term recovery the seafarer was again fit for ship duty.

Abstract

A previously healthy Indian male seafarer aged 34 years, presented with vague perianal symptoms to the Master on a Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC) in the Pacific Ocean. Over a few days, his condition deteriorated, and the company’s medical consultant ashore, based on telephonic consultation, transmitted information and photos, diagnosed the condition as a life threatening case of Fournier’s gangrene. The ship was then almost 1140 nm from the port. The consultant instructed the Master to intensify antibiotic treatment and started necessary procedures for an urgent complex medevac. Arranged by the United States Coast Guard, it involved deployment of two helicopters, two fixed wing aircrafts and an air tanker. Helicopters needed to be refuelled mid-air to increase their range of operations. Rendezvous point was 478 nm from Santa Barbara, California. 3½ hours after lift off from the vessel, the helicopter landed at Santa Barbara airport and the patient was transported to hospital. State-of-the-art treatment ashore preserved both testicles and after long term recovery the seafarer was again fit for ship duty.

Get Citation

Keywords

medical aid to ships, helicopter evacuation, Fournier’s gangrene

About this article
Title

Medical evacuation on high seas

Journal

International Maritime Health

Issue

Vol 70, No 4 (2019)

Pages

216-219

Published online

2019-12-24

DOI

10.5603/IMH.2019.0034

Pubmed

31891174

Bibliographic record

International Maritime Health 2019;70(4):216-219.

Keywords

medical aid to ships
helicopter evacuation
Fournier’s gangrene

Authors

Ajit C. Kulkarni

References (6)
  1. International Medical Guide for Ships. 3rd Edition, World Health Organization. 2007. ISBN 978 924 154720 8 Chapter 33 pages 430-453.
  2. Republic of Marshall Islands, Maritime Administrator; Marine Notice No 7-042-1, Rev Jan / 2018.
  3. International Maritime Organization: Section A-VI/4, STCW conference .2/34 , 3 August 2010.
  4. International Medical Guide for Ships. 3rd Edition, World Health Organization. 2007. ISBN 978 924 154720 8 pages 325-326.
  5. International Medical Guide for Ships. 3rd Edition, World Health Organization. 2007. ISBN 978 924 154720 8 pages 293-295.
  6. Chernyadyev SA, Ufimtseva MA, Vishnevskaya IF, et al. Fournier's Gangrene: Literature Review and Clinical Cases. Urol Int. 2018; 101(1): 91–97.

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