AUTHOR: DRA MARIA RODRIGUEZ
SPECIALIST AND MAGISTER IN MARITIME MEDICINE
Maritime Medicine: It is defined as maritime occupational medicine, also known as maritime occupational medicine.
In an article published in 2012 on the page elmédicointeractivo.com, Dr. María Luisa Canals.
“Maritime Medicine is a discipline with anchors in the past, active in the present and with future prospects.”
Why does she say that maritime medicines are anchored in the past?
In the books on this subject we differentiate the history of medicine in three periods according to the basic form of propulsion in navigation: oars, sailing, machines (steam, internal combustion, nuclear …) for example in the Middle Ages, the Kingdom of Aragon (1345) decreed an ordinance stating that in each galley there should be “a surgeon barber”, this motivated by the high mortality and morbidity rate that was evident in them. “Beginning thus the maritime medicine”
In 1747, Dr. James Lind, of English origin, aboard the ship “Salisbury”, James Lind. He observed that out of 350 sailors on board, only 80 sailors arrived at the destination port (Plymouth). Being on the way, in areas called Lanzarote (points where the dead and sick from the ships disembarked for treatment).
This caught the attention of Dr. Lind and he began to provide treatments with different diets, to a group with vinegar, other nutmeg or sea water, to two of the patients oranges and lemons were added to the diet, showing that these had a faster and more complete recovery of your health. Determining that the shortage of fresh fruit and vegetables on board the galleys, produced that General weakness or even the death of the sailors. This is what was later called SCORBUTO (citric acid deficiency).
As the years passed, Spain restarted maritime medicine and by 1989 the Spanish Society of Maritime Medicine was born, which has as its objectives;
Hold national conferences or workshops for the dissemination of maritime medicine.
Actively participate in various research projects related to the maritime world.
Publication of the journal of Maritime Medicine, which started in 1995.
permanently collaborate with other scientific societies.
In 2000, they entered into an agreement with the University of Rovira & Virgili and dictated the “UNIVERSITY SPECIALIST IN MARITIME HEALTH”.
On the other hand, the ILO and WHO, meet and publish the “GUIDELINES FOR MEDICAL RECOGNITIONS PRIOR TO BOARDING AND MARINE PERIODIC”, they are guides for the doctor to determine if the crew member has a physical and mental condition, APT or NOT SUITABLE to navigate. With reforms currently in 2010, we find them in the MLC (Maritime Labor Convention).
So; what is the importance of maritime medicine.
Maritime medicine aims to be primarily preventive medicine, which is why it carries out:
Management and prevention of occupational risks.
Study and evaluate occupational diseases.
They review the vaccines required in international health regulations.
Conducts medical examinations of seafarers to determine their physical and mental health condition.
Collaborate in the control of the hygienic and sanitary condition of the ship, crew, passengers.
Among its functions is to review and certify the medical kit on board, which are in accordance with the number of crew, the time of navigation and the load they transport.
Evaluates the work condition, making recommendations for the required and necessary measures to avoid accidents or occupational disease.
Teaches health information and training course to maritime workers.
To continue the advancement of Maritime Medicine, the Venezuelan Latin American and Caribbean Society of Maritime and Port Medicine (SOMEMARPORT) was created in 2016 in Venezuela, consisting of Maritime Physicians, Merchant Marines and Maritime Lawyer.
The main mission is to promote Maritime and Port Medicine in Venezuela and contribute to national or international medical societies and world health.