What is required is necessary, but what is not, is unnecessary.
Unfortunately, this saying doesn’t hold for the maritime domain. How can a local football field, 10 minutes from the nearest hospital, be required to be equipped with a defibrillator when a cargo ship thousands of miles from the nearest hospital, does not?
Working as a Chief Officer onboard a Gas Tanker I had the luxury of operating some of the most expensive ECG machines on the market. It was comfortable to have one machine that could record all of the vitals in one place. (In theory)
But there was a problem - complexity. Why do I have to read thoroughly another manual in order to perform a basic function, such as taking a person’s vitals. Even for a person familiar with the equipment, it wasn’t a 15-minute task. Attaching 12 leads to one person and then recording the result on a hospital-grade monitor took anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.
What if the company had a policy where all crew was to have a basic ECG every month. That would literally take an entire working day if not two, and if one of the crew was a female, attaching 12 leads on her just for regular testing could even be considered intrusive, as she would have to be in underwear.
On top of that, that is a piece of equipment that costs thousands of dollars, making its purchase a luxury for most shipping companies and understandably as its a very competitive business.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Allow me to introduce Vital Signs Pro+