Free download – The Ship Captain’s Medical Guide – Childbirth

Suppose you were at sea and went into labor.  What would you do without a doctor on board?

The same question could be asked of any situation where a woman went into labor without a doctor or midwife available.  I’ve been reading through The Ship Captain’s Medical Guide and want to encourage you to download the entire guide, or at least selected chapters.

According to their web site,

“The Ship Captain’s Medical Guide is intended primarily for use on ships where no doctor is carried and it is necessary for laymen to assess and treat injuries and to diagnose and treat ill health. The Guide can also be recommended for use in other situations where professional medical advice is not readily available, for example on expeditions.

“For the 22nd edition the Guide has been comprehensively reviewed and updated. It contains a wide range of authoritative advice – from birth to death, from first aid, general nursing, hygiene and the prevention of disease, to the treatment of injuries and diseases. The recommended measures for prevention and treatment can be safely carried out by an intelligent layman.”

Chapter 10 entitled Childbirth covers labor, delivery, and immediate care of the newborn, enough for a layperson to help with a normal delivery.  It can be downloaded for free at the web site below.

Note – This publication is intended for UK ships, and mentions giving ciprofloxacin or erythromycin to a mother if she has a fever.  In the U.S. it is unlikely that ciprofloxacin would be given to a nursing mother, but is safe for non-nursing mothers.  (Ciprofloxacin is excreted in breast milk and may pose a risk of joint damage in children.)  Erythromycin is considered safe for both mother and child.

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About Cynthia J. Koelker, MD

CYNTHIA J KOELKER , MD is a board-certified family physician with over twenty years of clinical experience. A member of American Mensa, Dr. Koelker holds degrees in biology, humanities, medicine, and music from M.I.T., Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, and the University of Akron. She served in the National Health Service Corps to finance her medical education.
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