The Triton


Sea Sick: Take a second to test first aid skills


Sea Sick: by Keith Murray

Last month, we created a CPR quiz to test crew’s knowledge about CPR and AEDs. This month we are going to once again test your skills, only this time in first aid.

Please take a few minutes and complete the quiz below. Then, have the members of your crew take it and see how they do. Scores of 90 percent or better get an A. For anyone below 75 percent, it’s time for a refresher class.

First Aid quiz

  1. A crew member is bleeding from a laceration on his forearm. You apply pressure to the wound and now the bandage is soaked with blood. Should you exchange the bandage for a fresh one?
  2. A crew member has accidentally been stabbed with a large knife in the abdomen. It is about 4 inches into his body. Should you remove it?
  3. A line has severed your finger off. What should you do?
  4. A cleaning chemical accidentally splashes in a crew member’s eyes. How long should they flush their eyes?
  5. The captain has a nosebleed. How do we treat this?
  6. A tooth gets knocked out. What do you do?
  7. A crew member accidentally drank a cleaning product (poison). What do you do?
  8. What is the proper way to remove a bee’s stinger after being stung?
  9. What is the best way to treat a snake bite? Should you suck the venom out?
  10. Is butter a good first aid treatment for a severe burn?
  11. What is hypothermia?
  12. If using the RICE method in First Aid to treat a muscle injury, what does RICE stand for?
  13. What are the symptoms of a heart attack for women?
  14. To help diagnose the symptoms of a stroke, we use the FAST method. What does FAST stand for?
  15. A crew member is choking on a piece of meat. How can you help?


Answers are below; please scroll down.




These are the answers to the first aid quiz in Keith Murray’s Sea Sick column

  1. No. Leave the first bandage in place and add an additional bandage on top. Removing the original bandage will disrupt the clotting and make the bleeding worse.
  2. No. Removing the knife can cause more injury or even death. The knife should be stabilized and the person transported to the hospital. The knife should only be removed by doctors at the hospital.
  3. Apply pressure to the injury to stop the bleeding. Then wrap the amputated finger with a dry sterile gauze pad, place in a plastic bag and keep it cool (not frozen). Transport it to the hospital along with the victim.
  4. A minimum of 15 minutes is suggested.
  5. The captain’s head should be slightly tilted forward, not back. Then pinch the nostrils together for 10-15 minutes.
  6. A permanent, adult tooth that is knocked out can sometimes be put back in place and replanted. Place the tooth back in the spot where it came out, so it is level with other teeth. Bite down gently on a gauze pad or a wet tea bag to help keep it in place — careful not to swallow it — and get to a dentist quickly. If there is no dentist nearby, place the tooth in a container and cover it with a small amount of milk or water.
  7. When possible, call poison control (800-222-1222) or 911. Do not dilute with milk or water or induce vomiting unless instructed to do so by emergency medical personnel.
  8. Use a credit card to scrape the bee’s venom sack out. Using tweezers often makes it worse by squeezing more bee venom into the body.
  9. No, never try to suck the venom out. And don’t use ice or apply a tourniquet as these may cause more damage. Instead, keep the victim calm and get emergency medical attention quickly.
  10. No. Never put any type of butter, ointment, grease, lotion, antiseptic, toothpaste or home remedy on burned skin. All of these are not sterile and may result in infection. Additionally, they can seal in the heat, causing more damage.
  11. Hypothermia is a medical emergency that occurs when the body loses heat faster than it can produce heat, causing a dangerously low body temperature. Normal body temperature is about 98.6 degrees F (37 C). Hypothermia happens when the body temperature goes below 95 degrees F (35 C).
  12. Rest, ice, compression and elevation.
  13. Heart attack signs in women can be different than men. As with men, women’s most common symptom is uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back. Other signs include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach; shortness of breath, with or without chest discomfort; breaking out in a cold sweat; and nausea or lightheadedness. Women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain. If any woman onboard has any of these signs, call 911 and get her to a hospital right away.
  14. FAST is an acronym used as a mnemonic to help us determine if someone is having a stroke. The acronym stands for Facial drooping, Arm weakness, Speech difficulties and Time to call emergency services.
  15. The abdominal thrust, formerly called the Heimlich maneuver, is the recommended treatment. To perform abdominal thrusts on someone, stand behind the person. Wrap your arms around their waist, positioning the fist of your weaker hand slightly above the person’s navel and grasping that fist with your stronger hand. Tip the person forward slightly and squeeze hard into the abdomen with a quick, upward thrust — as if trying to lift the person up off the floor. Repeat until the victim is able to breath.

Now, let’s rate your score.

No questions wrong: You are a pro. You should have been a doctor.

One or two questions wrong: Not bad. You still get an “A”.

Three questions wrong: You get a “B” for this test, but should brush up on your skills.

Four or more questions wrong: Your medical skills need first aid. Schedule a class quickly.

Please share this little test with the rest of the crew, other yachtie friends and family. Learning first aid is a skill that everyone should know as it could save a life.

Trained as an emergency medical technician, Keith Murray now owns The CPR School, which provides onboard CPR, AED and first-aid training as well as AED sales and service ( Comments are welcome below.

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