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Old 01-13-2011, 01:41 PM   #15
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That Crewmedic 180 First Aid kit is, in my opinion, is not worth buying - for "up to 180 minutes" is not an offshore first aid kit, nor is it a liveaboard cruiser's kit.

The Hesperian Society's Where There Is No Doctor provides practical information and advice for those people who find themselves far away from medical aid. Designed for medical practitioners in primitive areas, there is an enormous amount of practical information, helping with diagnosing illnesses, locally-obtained treatments, simple treatments, and a list of suggested medications.

The well-prepared cruiser will modify this by considering what he has on board that can be used in a medical emergency, such as sail battens for splints for a broken bone - though I think that an inflatable splint is a worthwhile device to carry. I don't have the 2010 edition, so don't know what has changed, but I have some pretty strong ideas of some of the things one ought to carry.

Ace bandages, particularly one for bandaging one's torso if there is a possibility of broken ribs.

Elastic bandages for securing sterile pads for large wounds. After tearing open the web between my thumb and index finger, I have come to really appreciate these bandages in such a humid environment.

An old-fashioned antibiotic is Gentian Violet. It works for staph infections as well as thrush (yeast infection). I think that one of the reasons it has fallen into disfavor is that it stains your skin a brilliant purple and doesn't wash off. A few benefits, though - it is water-soluble, and so one can carry a small supply of gentian violet crystals and rehydrate a small supply as needed. It isn't Iodine, which I believe (though can't find any supporting studies) is relatively ineffective in a salt-water environment, since sea water contains iodine and I would expect bacteria in the water to have developed tolerance to it.

A good oral antibiotic, recognizing that it should be replaced annually if not used.

Steri-strips for closing wounds. I challenge any non-surgically trained person to use sutures successfully on a moving, rocking boat.

Oh, I've used regular Super Glue to close wounds.

For offshore, strong pain-killer, such as morphine. If you do this, you will need to carry the prescription with you to prove you came by the stuff legally. We were never questioned about this, though.

A strong NSAID. We carried injectable Toradol (Ketorolac). Most amateurs can inject this easily. Intramuscular, best in one's thigh, it worked for my bone cancer pain better than morphine (I think because I wanted to remain conscious and alert). For the cancer it only barely controlled the pain, but the doctor said bone cancer is the worst pain there is so I had to reduce expectations or be barely conscious until surgery, etc. I just learned that there is a nasal spray to deliver Toradol. WARNING: This must be discussed with one's doctor, the maximum duration of treatment with this drug is 5 days in a row (though I received it for more than 14 days with minimal problems. But I was only 52 and extremely healthy due to our cruising lifestyle).

Acetominophen (Paracetamol) - in US the most common is Tylenol(R). I can't/won't use this, but if you suspect that you are suffering from Dengue Fever ("break-bone fever"), this is the recommended pain killer. Aspirin is not to be used for pain of Dengue Fever. Dengue Fever is more prevalent in more places than in the past, apparently now prevalent in the Caribbean as well as the South Pacific, two very popular cruising grounds.

Lots and lots of bandages of all sizes and shapes.

Emergency dental kit.

Rehydration solution. Pedialyte is one, available in individual powder packets. More information in my Cruising Dictionary, under Dehydration

Charcoal Tablets - again, more in the Cruising Dictionary. Especially if you are traveling with children. Cannot hurt, can only help.

- told you I had strong opinions
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Old 01-18-2011, 12:23 PM   #16
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Are you looking for the team medical kit then CERT Team Medical Kit is a best choice-a larger kit designed for team emergency/disaster response.Check the www dot chinookmed dot com for more information.
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Old 04-26-2011, 03:16 AM   #17
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My medical situation is a little different from that of average cruisers.

My boyfriend and I are sailing to the South Pacific soon, and want to assemble a small medical kit. However, we aren't sailing our own boat, but plan to crew on various vessels, hopping from one to another.

The size of our med kit, therefore, will be very limited, since it must fit in our backpack, along with everything else we own. Does anyone have suggestions for what they would take if their entire med kit had to be the size of a lunchbox?

Another issue: We are not sure how to get prescription medication for this type of a medical kit. Above, Lighthouse said the they were able to get prescriptions by ensuring that the meds would stay on the vessel unless administered. We obviously wouldn't be able to make that promise, since they would come with us from vessel to vessel. Any suggestions on how to get scrips such as antibiotics, antifungals, other basics in this situation?

Hopefully the vessels we crew on will have adequate medical supplies and will let us use them if we are ill or injured; but it never hurts to have a few things of our own.
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Old 04-26-2011, 12:11 PM   #18
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This is a quick answer, just because I'm out the door in a few minutes.

Please check with each boat to be sure they have the big stuff, the strong painkillers, the splints, steri-strips, etc.

One of the problems I've noticed is that a change of location, routine, food, etc., will cause temporary discomforts in most people; most of what is below is what you personally might need.

What you probably will not be able to get:

Pepto-Bismol tablets (Bismuth is available in most places outside the US only by prescription) I have shared my stash with U.S. doctors backpacking who never thought that this would be difficult to find.

Charcoal capsules (find in a health food store, you want the gel caps with fine activated charcoal granules) - with vomiting and/or diarrhea, one or two of these can never hurt, but will help if what you have is food poisoning rather than an infection.

Mild laxative - Milk of Magnesia tablets are probably the gentlest and easiest to carry.

Antihistamine - a small bottle of Children's Benadryl is useful. You might find that you're allergic to something you'd never encountered before (scombroid poisoning, an allergic reaction, is a common one in the S. Pacific.) I recommend the liquid because some allergies will swell soft tissue, making swallowing capsules difficult. But carry a few of them, also.

The easiest antiseptic, and probably the most useful in the tropics, is vinegar. It will work better for coral cuts, anemone stings, fungal infections, than true antseptics, and I would expect that it would be on just about every boat you travel on.

got to go. also, stuff in my CRUISER'S DICTIONARY on the Cruising Wiki.

I'll be back tonight, so ask questions.

J

Individual alcohol wipes. Easy to carry, no spill.
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Old 02-13-2012, 02:35 PM   #19
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Any advice on provisioning, and receiving medications while sailing would be highly appreciated. I'm epileptic, and have to get my meds....there are also pain meds I take that I have to visit my doctor every month to get. Also, I want to set up a really good first aid kit, and would love to know of any books on first aid on the water I would love to have them. We are going to be cruising...so all of this is super important as we will not always have access to a port.

Thanks! Heather
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Old 02-13-2012, 09:28 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heatheremmett1 View Post
Any advice on provisioning, and receiving medications while sailing would be highly appreciated. I'm epileptic, and have to get my meds....there are also pain meds I take that I have to visit my doctor every month to get. Also, I want to set up a really good first aid kit, and would love to know of any books on first aid on the water I would love to have them. We are going to be cruising...so all of this is super important as we will not always have access to a port.

Thanks! Heather
I hope that some of the information in this thread is helpful to you.

Sailors who have serious medical conditions which require meds and monitoring have their own unique challenges. You need to contact your doctor and get an outline plan of action for your health maintenance from your own doctor. Explain to him what you will be doing--the level of stress involved and so forth. You will need to make sure that you've got the resources you need aboard but only your own doctor is going to be able to work with you on the matter.

If you haven't made passage aboard some one else's boat, you may not be fully aware of the physical challenges that you will encounter and how those challenges will impact the management of your epilepsy and your pain. You will surely do small, coastal trips before embarking on very long voyages.

You should be able to assess the situation on those trips and at least get some idea of what you're headed for. I only know two people with epilepsy but in both cases, stress and uncertainty were major factors in bringing on unexpected seizures. If you are also similarly impacted by stress, then certainly you and your partner will have to have good planning and perhaps take on additional crew to deal with the physical stresses that can arise during long passages or just unexpectedly rough conditions during a day sail.

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Old 02-14-2012, 01:22 AM   #21
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Thank you, very good advice!
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