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Old 02-02-2012, 13:55   #16
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Re: $900 Marine First Aid Kit for ~$500

I am starting to think there really needs to be 2 medical kits.

1. For trauma - which houses the surgical items and major issue materials
2. For small first aid, cuts bruses, apsrin, cold meds.

And the reason I am thinking this is that if you have it all in one package, then just to get to some of the things that are used all the time it would disturb the packaging that you have for the serious stuff.
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Old 22-02-2012, 10:22   #17
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Re: $900 Marine First Aid Kit for ~$500

What about a shorter list for inland, near shore, and doing day charters?

So far I have:
band aids
Advil
Neosporin
Pepto
Tums
antiseptic wipes

Would simply adding the following do it?
Peroxide
bandages
a roll of tape
some over the counter sea sickness meds

I'll never be more than a few miles out, if that, so I figure I don't need much, since I'll be well within range of a go fast boat or chopper if it was a major emergency. Also with a very small basic kit for trips close to shore, is having this stuff in a kit even really necessary vs. just storing it in the medicine cabinet, and/or other storage space in the head if it doesn't all fit?
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Old 22-02-2012, 10:38   #18
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Re: $900 Marine First Aid Kit for ~$500

Peroxide, iodine, mercurochrome, all have been discouraged for years now for "first aid" purposes. The problem is that they kill all living tissue, leaving a nice "dead tissue soup" where bacteria can feast and grow. They are best used for things like an axe gash, a deep wound that can't be properly cleaned at the time but must be sterilized and bandaged until proper treatment.

Betadine is also discouraged, as the nice red color hides the spread of infection from a wound.

Dressings (i.e. non-stick guaze pads) and bandages (the cotton, etc., rolls that you use to secure dressings in place) are always a good idea, cheap and no expiration date.

But if you are taking charters...you should be able to discuss this with whoever gives your first aid or medical training. Which one hopes a charter captain has taken.

A lot of "first aid" tends to be very subjectively oriented, i.e. the ambulance guys always assume the victim is going to an ER in ten minutes and their work will be removed and redone. If you are planning to "fix" something and leave it stable for a few days, you may make other choices.
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Old 22-02-2012, 11:02   #19
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Re: $900 Marine First Aid Kit for ~$500

I bought a used medical kit on ebay- Sea Pak Emergency Medical First Aid Kit

It's a $500 kit that I got for $50. I took the stuff with expiration dates out of the pack and replaced... I have a total of $90 into this pack now, and will add a few more things before I'm done.
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Old 22-02-2012, 11:03   #20
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Re: $900 Marine First Aid Kit for ~$500

Asked a friend of mine who is an emergency DR and he told me to let him know when I was close to doing my trip and he'd fix me up.

This also reminds me I need to update my case at the cabin, most everything is well expired. Antibiotics that have expired won't hurt you, you might double up on them as they lose their umph over time.

Don't forget small splints. Small pieces of aluminum that are stiff, but bendable in different lengths might help. You can also make do for imobilizers, a life jacket might work to keep the head and neck imobile, slings from a pillow case, etc.

The Red Cross puts on free basic first aid training, I got much more in the Army and you can google Army First Aid FM and get the field manual (forgot what number), might be able to download it it...don't know these days.

Streaming video can be set up with some doctors and hospitals, might check that out and get the connections required, if assistance is needed.

I would never pay 900 bucks for stuff you can put together yourself....
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Old 22-02-2012, 11:24   #21
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Re: $900 Marine First Aid Kit for ~$500

From our experience:
- We have two medical kits onboard. One is the quick first aid stuff in an old West Marine first aid box. The other is the serious one that is actually in two boxes and includes more serious medications and tools (splints to BP meter). One gets used a lot, the other very rarely.
- We took a wilderness first aid course offered by a group in New Hampshire whose name I forget. They have their courses all over the eastern US - we took ours at Columbia U. (so we can say we are Colombia grads) It was designed for people who might be a couple of days from a hospital. They said they occasionally (rarely?) will have an offshore marine course. It was particularly handy in the sense that they talked about figuring out a solution to a problem in the field eg is you have a fracture that really needs two SAM splints and you only have one how do you improvise. It was also good because it provided confidence that you could do something in an emergency that would help the victim not hurt him/her.

- In 20,000 miles we have only had one serious issue, a staph infection that produced a boil the size of a softball. A couple of lessons from this - broad spectrum antibiotics don't work very well on skin infections. We had ciproflaxin onboard and it did not do much. Turns out we should have also had a skin infection antibiotic like Keflex as well. BTW, we also had Fucidin which is a topical antibiotic for skin rashes and it did not do much (or maybe it and the Cipro did work and things could have been worse). We had a box of gauze pads in the kit (30 or 50?). It is amazing how many of these you go through when you need to clean out an infection twice a day (you don't want to know what came out and kept coming out) and then dress it. The replacement box of gauze pads is huge.

These skin infections do not receive much attention but can be very nasty. We met other people who had them as well as us (my wife got a minor case). Once the bacteria are in your body they pop up in new places all the time. We met one woman in Papeete who had 6 or 7 dressings on the bits of the body that we could see. I think my record was 4 at a time. Mine started just after we left Easter Island and I was getting treated in Fiji months later. Apparently the bacteria can enter the body through any scratch or even down a hair follicle.
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Old 22-02-2012, 13:43   #22
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Re: $900 Marine First Aid Kit for ~$500

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
But if you are taking charters...you should be able to discuss this with whoever gives your first aid or medical training. Which one hopes a charter captain has taken.
I'd hope so, considering it's a USCG requirement. Wish I had thought of asking this at the time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
A lot of "first aid" tends to be very subjectively oriented, i.e. the ambulance guys always assume the victim is going to an ER in ten minutes and their work will be removed and redone. If you are planning to "fix" something and leave it stable for a few days, you may make other choices.
Very true. There's a great captain's group on scubaboard, but they often assume diving, which is sometimes overkill for what I'm doing. For example, I really don't think I need an O2 kit, but that's definitely a must if you're doing diving.
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Old 22-02-2012, 16:57   #23
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Re: $900 Marine First Aid Kit for ~$500

Quote:
Originally Posted by riversandbar View Post
I am starting to think there really needs to be 2 medical kits.

1. For trauma - which houses the surgical items and major issue materials
2. For small first aid, cuts bruses, apsrin, cold meds.

And the reason I am thinking this is that if you have it all in one package, then just to get to some of the things that are used all the time it would disturb the packaging that you have for the serious stuff.
Absolutely. We have a disaster kit that never comes out and a band-aid, etc. small box. That way, the serious box is not churned or exposed to weather, dirty hands loss.
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Old 22-02-2012, 17:09   #24
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Re: $900 Marine First Aid Kit for ~$500

Pelican sells specialized cases for emergency services, i.e. ambulance, fire rescue etc. They have a 1500 and a 1550 that come with internal dividers. We have both, the small one is bigger than most cases/bags sold for boats, most of which are a joke. The big one is really big: besides medical supplies it is also our abandon ship bag with EPIRB, SOLAS signals etc.

These cases cost more empty than most complete ones and we only bought them after having a very nasty accident with long term care needed aboard. It made us see how ridiculous the bag was that we had (and most contents expired too).




ciao!
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Old 22-02-2012, 17:12   #25
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Re: $900 Marine First Aid Kit for ~$500

What every medical bag on a boat must have (saves lifes):


cheers,
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Old 22-02-2012, 17:42   #26
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Re: $900 Marine First Aid Kit for ~$500

You can often find the Pelican cases on Craigs, Amazon etc. Even the used boxes are expensive but well worth it. Consider heading for the life raft with a less than reliable box for your med kit.
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Old 13-05-2015, 10:23   #27
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Re: $900 Marine First Aid Kit for ~$500

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Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
Pelican sells specialized cases for emergency services, i.e. ambulance, fire rescue etc. They have a 1500 and a 1550 that come with internal dividers. We have both, the small one is bigger than most cases/bags sold for boats, most of which are a joke. The big one is really big: besides medical supplies it is also our abandon ship bag with EPIRB, SOLAS signals etc.
The one on the picture looks like Pelican 1600 EMS Medical Case. Serious stuff, no doubt about it! I have one on my "to have" list.
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Old 15-05-2015, 03:26   #28
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Re: $900 Marine First Aid Kit for ~$500

No, the pictures are for the 1500 series. The 1600 has extra closing snaps on the sides and is what I use for abandon ship bag. It is very big and I would recommend the 1500 series instead which is the perfect size.
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Old 15-05-2015, 11:01   #29
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Re: $900 Marine First Aid Kit for ~$500

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No, the pictures are for the 1500 series. The 1600 has extra closing snaps on the sides and is what I use for abandon ship bag. It is very big and I would recommend the 1500 series instead which is the perfect size.
Thanks for clarification! I didn't know 1500 exists in EMS modification. Looks perfect to me!
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Old 17-05-2015, 10:20   #30
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Re: $900 Marine First Aid Kit for ~$500

I did a lot of backpacking around the world years ago when I was a paramedic. When fellow travelers learned what I did for a living the reaction was often "wow, you must have a great medical kit". In truth, my 'medical kit' consisted of Polysporin, toilet paper and duct tape. Now that I am a doctor and doing the same thing on a boat I find that my medical kit has not changed all that much. In addition to the above I carry a handful of antibiotics, some lidocaine and syringes, a scalpel for abscesses and sutures for lacerations.

Just as important as what you bring is how you use it. Don't take any antibiotic until you have some idea what you are treating and why. An onboard medical reference would be useful, but better yet to establish a relationship with a doctor prior to leaving home who you can contact with questions via email.

Point is, you really don't have to over think this or spend a lot of money on tools and medications that will likely sit in your kit until they are long-expired. Health care is readily accessible in most countries (excepting the USA) and with modern communications medical advice is readily accessible offshore. I think it would be far more useful to spend $200 on a wilderness first aid class (NOLS) than to spend $900 on a medical kit.
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