Maritime Medical Support on the Research Ship RRS James Cook

We have served maritime vessels in various offshore worksites over the years. One of our recent marine assignments had a scientific component connected to it.

Dr. Dilia Martínez-Méndez, a Medical Advisor at Remote Medical International (RMI), recently returned from a maritime medical staffing assignment. It was the first phase of a research mission to determine the impact of the giant A-68a iceberg on one of the world’s most important ecosystems.

Researchers and Engineers

Dr. Martínez-Méndez accompanied a team of researchers and engineers on the research ship RRS James Cook, operated by teams from the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) and National Oceanography Centre (NOC).

Dr. Martínez-Méndez’s duties on board the RRS James Cook had her reporting directly to the captain. She was responsible for all aspects of medical care and onboard resource maintenance. Dr. Martínez-Méndez arrived ready to deal with emergencies arising from both injury and illness.

Her primary responsibilities included:

  • Maintain the hospital and other medical facilities and equipment to an excellent hygiene standard.
  • Encourage the reporting of accidents, incidents, and near misses by patients.
  • Treat patients to the level of her medical qualifications.
  • Maintain records of drug usage and complete the medical logbook.
  • Seek clinical advice, as required, from the BAS Medical Unit.
  • Be a member of the ships’ first aid team.
  • Provide first aid familiarization and appropriate training to marine, technical, and scientific staff on board.
  • Assist qualified marine staff in the use of first response equipment.

She carried out training with the crew and the scientists on burns, transferring and immobilization of the wounded, injections, use of bandages, essential life support, and use and interpretation of drug tests.

Fortunately, and thanks to everyone’s conscientious work on board, there were no accidents, and the trip was a success in terms of safety.

Medical Staffing for Maritime Vessels

The practice of medicine on ships involves different challenges, including dealing with isolated environments, limited resources, specialized equipment and support, and dealing with harsh weather conditions.

According to Dr. Martínez-Méndez, “The onboard doctor relies on personal skills, knowledge, and some navigation skills that you don’t learn in medical school.”

Sometimes our medical assignments in marine settings involve offshore oil installations, shipping and logistics, or an active commercial fishing vessel. In this case, it was offering medical assistance to a crew of scientists deploying robotic gliders on a giant iceberg mission.

Get the Best Medical Care at Sea

Access medical and safety services for maritime vessels and other offshore worksites. Our medical team has the experience, topside support, and global supply chain to care for your organization’s employees while at sea.

Maritime Medical Support

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