emergency

Influenza 2018 Alert

Discovery Health has recently received requests for medical advice for potential influenza affecting mariners at sea. Due to the risks associated with influenza, we applaud vessels that have taken the preventative steps of vaccinating their crew and carrying the vaccine onboard. Please click the link below to read more about preventative steps, symptoms, and treatment.

 

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Unavoidable Medical Evacuations At Sea

 

As 2017 comes to a close, Discovery Health’s team of physicians has responded to nearly 200 medical events at sea.  While 95% of these have been successfully managed at sea, there have been unavoidable medical evacuations and ship diversions, one of which is highlighted in the article below.

 

Other major events have included:
  • Stroke
  • Cardiac Arrest
  • Finger Amputations
  • Head Trauma
  • Mental Health Emergencies
  • Appendicitis
  • Chest Pain
  • Uncontrolled diabetes

In every instance, the medical response provided on board has been commendable and we greatly appreciate the opportunity to assist in the care of those who make their living at sea.  We wish to extend our deepest gratitude to the USCG and our colleagues at Lifemed Alaska both of whom are always at the ready to respond to a serious medical event at sea.

Raymond F. Jarris Jr. MD
Chief Medical Officer

 

Ann G. Jarris, MD, MBA
Chief Executive Officer
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Importance of Mental Health Support for Mariners

The video by the BBC (link below) highlights the pressures faced by people working at sea and the importance of addressing mental health and suicide prevention. Please take a moment to watch the video and become familiar with the resources linked to the article.  As physicians, we recently completed a required Suicide Prevention training program which, along with this video, reinforced to us the importance of screening interventions and ongoing mental health support for mariners. As a result, we have incorporated an assessment for suicide risk in our electronic Fitness-for-Duty screening platform.

Most likely, we have all been touched by the suicide of a friend, family member, community member or colleague.  At Discovery Health, we seek to enhance early detection of suicide risk among mariners and we start by sharing the material such as this video. We acknowledge that more can be done and is especially needed in the maritime.

This industry demands so much of mariners who by definition are isolated from immediate access to professional medical resources. Please let us know if your fleet or you personally have ideas on how to decrease the occurrence of suicide among the seafaring population.  Our goal is to bring all mariners home safely.

Best to all,
Drs. Ray and Ann Jarris

 

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The Use of Public Defibrillators

The important article below outlines the challenges we face as medical direction providers and responders involved with public access defibrillation programs.  Key take away points:
  • Educate employees about Sudden Cardiac Arrest and help them become familiar with the importance of early access for victims to your AED(s).
  • The AED should be visible and accessible at all times to first responders and by-standers.
  • Post signage where it is seen and noted by all on your premises.
  • Educate corporate management on the value of AEDs and liability protections in place for AED owners and responders.
We would appreciate hearing from you regarding your experiences and so that we can share lessons-learned and continue to educate our readers on the value and importance of AEDs in the workplace and community settings.

Best to all,

Ray Jarris MD
Chief Medical Officer
Discovery Health, LLC

 

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