Island Medical Information
General Medical Information
Star is a small island in a remote location with access only by boat. Although there is a first aid station, it is equipped for only basic emergency and first aid treatment. The First Aid Station may not be staffed at all times. In addition, travel time to an off island medical facility is a minimum of two hours and may be much longer depending upon weather and sea conditions.
There are inherent risks in traveling to and staying on Star Island which cannot be eliminated, such as exposure to elements on a remote island including but not limited to inclement weather; wildlife and unmonitored terrain; the potential for others participating in conference programs to act in a negligent manner that may cause or contribute to injury, harm, or death; and lack of access to a medical facility without extensive travel by boat and motor vehicle.
Star Island Corporation strongly recommends not coming to Star Island in any capacity if you suffer from any medical condition which might reasonably require emergency medical response including but not limited to heart conditions, last trimester of pregnancy, severe allergic reactions, dementia, illnesses which require ongoing medical treatment or monitoring and other similar conditions. Due to operational costs, conferees who knowingly come to the island with any of the above conditions and then require emergency medical evacuation will be charged for the full conference period. Individuals with assisted living requirements are asked to make the necessary arrangements to ensure the requisite level of care during their visit, including accompaniment by a health aide. Additionally, if you have had or expect to have had recent surgery, neurological problems resulting in impaired mobility, mental health issues requiring use of medications, or other similar conditions, or if you use or expect to use specialized medications, medical equipment, portable oxygen, or other similar items, Star Island Corporation strongly recommends consulting your physician to ensure that Star is a suitable environment for you to visit. Guests are responsible for their own medical condition while on the island, including monitoring of health conditions and making sure that they have adequate medication to address any possible medical issues which may arise.
In the event that a serious illness (e.g.: a communicable disease) is present on island, the Island Manager may deem it necessary to initiate a communication plan to inform people on and off island. The Island Manager or his/her designee will work with conference leadership, especially the conference registrar, to create a contact list for email and/or phone communication. For youth whose parents or guardians are off island, Star Island staff will make every effort to keep those parents informed in a timely manner.
No conferee should come to the island with a known communicable disease. Additionally, anyone who arrives on island with an acute illness or any serious disorder requiring specific medications is expected to check in at the First Aid Station. Handling of any such situation is at the discretion of the Island Manager, in consultation with our medical staff.
First Aid Station Reporting Requirements
As a matter of protocol, first aid reports must be filed for all serious illnesses, accidents or injuries. Conferees seen with minor cuts, scrapes, bruises, colds, skin rashes, diarrhea, or other mild illnesses that only need basic treatment do not require filing of a first aid report. The medical staff will consult with the patient to complete the paperwork, which requires the patient’s signature – or that of a parent or guardian if the patient is a minor.
If a claim against the blanket accident insurance policy is going to be filed for an injury sustained on Star Island Corporation property requiring additional off island medical treatment and is not covered by the patient’s own insurance (see “Blanket Accident Insurance”), the patient’s administrative contact at the Star Island is the Finance Director, who can be reached at (603) 430-6272.
- In an emergency, island medical staff can and should be reached at any time through the Front Desk. Do not report to the First Aid Station, as the medical staff might not be on duty when you report.
- The First Aid Station is not a hospital or clinic, but rather exists to provide first aid and emergency treatment until the patient can be transported to a hospital emergency room or other medical facility. “Sick call” hours are posted at the first aid station and in the lobby. Medical staff may defer treatment of a patient for any illness or injury that clearly does not require prompt attention. In particular, this would apply to any minor problem that a conferee may bring to the island, but could be treated when the conferee returns to the mainland.
- Hospital: Travel time to an off island medical facility via the Portsmouth Fire Boat or Coast Guard emergency transport can be a minimum of two hours and may be much longer depending upon weather and sea conditions. All conferees should be made well aware of the remoteness of the island from emergency services. The nearest mainland hospital is Portsmouth Regional. Air Transport services through DART (Dartmouth Air Rescue Transport) is now available but is restricted to life threatening emergencies with a cost charged to the patient in the $17,000 range.
- Lock Box for Drugs: “Lock Boxes” are available at the first aid station to ensure proper security of medications brought to the island. Controlled medications must be kept under lock and key at all times. An adult conferee must either leave controlled medications at the first aid station, where they will be available during regular hours and kept secure at all times, or check out a lock box for the duration of the conference. Conferees under age 18 must either have their parent, guardian, or official conferee sponsor use the lock box service and dispense controlled medications to the minor on an as needed basis, or leave the controlled medications at the first aid station to be dispensed during regular hours. At no times can a minor be in sole possession of more than the currently needed dosage of any controlled substance. For non-controlled medications, the lock box service is still available and all are encouraged to use it.
- Payment for services: Due to the increasing costs of medical supplies and equipment for the First Aid Station, it is necessary to institute a $10 flat service fee per person with your initial visit and treatment. There will be no additional fee for follow-up visits for the same problem. Each patient pays for hospital laboratory tests, prescriptions, durable medical goods, crutches (if kept) and similar kinds of supplies.
Medications & Prescription Drugs
We keep a small supply of over the counter with few select prescription medicines on the island and cannot guarantee that we will have a particular type or dose available when needed. Everyone must bring enough of any needed medicine to cover their length of the stay plus an extra four days. Although island medical staff are able to telephone a needed prescription into a local pharmacy, there is no guarantee that we can get prescriptions back to Star in a timely fashion secondary to weather, messenger and boat schedules. We do require payment of the full retail price as well as a service fee which can be added to the hotel bill. We can provide the pharmacy’s receipt, but cannot submit insurance reimbursement paperwork.
There are first aid boxes around the island for conferee and staff use with basic first aid supplies such as bandaids, antibiotic ointment, ace bandages. However, the Front Desk has a larger box with more substantial supplies to include acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil) and supplies as Tecnu (poison ivy neutralizer), and antibacterial soap that conferees may utilize at no cost during off hours of sick call. The Lobby Store carries many over the counter medications/health care supplies.
Any drug requiring refrigeration must be kept in one of our two secure locations, the first aid station or in the accessible lobby bathroom.
All used syringes, or “sharps,” must be taken to the first aid station or accessible lobby bathroom for disposal; they are not to be disposed of in guestrooms or in public trash containers. If someone is unfortunately “stuck” as a result, the individual who disposed of the “sharp” may be responsible for all expenses resulting from necessary subsequent blood testing.
Controlled medications must be kept under lock and key at all times. Controlled medications include, but are not limited to, the following: all medications to treat ADHD or ADD; Methylphenidate (Concerta, Metadate, Ritalin); Amphetamine (Adderall XR); Atomoxetine (Strattera); Clonidine, Tricyclics, Bupropion, & SSRIs; and all prescription scheduled pain medications (including, but not limited to, OxyContin, Percocet, Tylox and related medications). New medications come on the market frequently; if there is any question regarding which medications are covered by this policy, the prescription should be brought to the first aid station immediately after orientation so the island medical staff can provide clarification and assistance.
The Star Island Corporation strongly recommends not participating in an on island conference if you are in the last trimester of pregnancy.
Psychology, Psychiatry & Group Therapy
In planning, conferences are urged to discourage hypnotic experiments and other ventures into those areas of psychology, psychiatry, and individual or group therapy which are commonly considered to be realms reserved for experienced professionals. The island’s remote setting increases the difficulty of getting competent psychiatric assistance in an emergency. If your conference wishes to have a licensed professional lead a workshop in any of these areas, contact the Conference Center Director well in advance of your conference. A copy of the license and insurance certificate of the professional leading the workshop must be submitted to the conference center director prior to the start of your conference.
If island emergency management personnel determine that there is a medical emergency, the Rye Fire Department or other service will be notified and will attempt to evacuate the person(s) if weather and other factors permit. In other emergency situations, depending upon the nature of the emergency, it may be possible to arrange one of the following options:
- Travel to Portsmouth aboard the Thomas Laighton, which runs on most days, might be possible.
- Travel to Rye aboard the Uncle Oscar, which runs multiple trips each day, might be possible.
- Travel to Portsmouth or Rye aboard an independent charter service.
NOTE: Emergency departures might be delayed or not even possible due to weather and/or other factors.