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Old 30-10-2012, 09:37   #16
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Re: Medical kit

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Originally Posted by carstenb View Post
Beth Leaonards book !"The Voyagers Handbook" has a medical kit suggestion. They have been circumnavigating since sometime in the early 90's. Good list.
They list recommendations on medical kits from various experienced/reputable sources:

Open 40 transatlantic kit

Bermuda 1-2 kit (shorter passage)

MCA commercial vessel kit (very complete)

WHO medical guide (not specifically for vessels but for remote places)

Beth Leonard's blue water medical kit
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Old 30-10-2012, 13:03   #17
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Re: Medical kit

You might want to look at the Expedition Medical Chests. These were developed by Steve Roberts, of Nomadic Research Labs fame. I've not used these kits myself, but they look well thought out and Steve is a good guy.
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Old 22-11-2012, 18:23   #18
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Re: Medical kit

The danger with having a small pharmacy on board, is from self-diagnosing. You may not find your usual name-brand medications at a distant pharmacy, but you may find the generic equivalent in most places. In Moorea/Tahiti, I was able to find 3 equivalent antibiotics to a US name brand; for diver middle ear infection. There are side effects for any medications you take. For most external wounds, iodine based solutions are a must have; iodine in ethanol. Hydrogen peroxide cleansing followed by a triple antibiotic coating and a dressing should do; for healthy individuals. If you have medical conditions, wounds may not heal and infections may become serious. A large cruise ship or a cargo ship nearby, can assist you in a medical emergency - as a last resort.
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Old 28-12-2012, 06:54   #19
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Re: Medical kit

Preparing for cruising is tough for me because I'm always trying to guess what the future will bring. I had hopes that this thread would help. However, while this thread's replies started with suggestions of some simple medical supplies later posts have become much, much, more comprehensive. Honestly, while bowing to Beth Leonard's great experience and mean no offense to her or anyone else, when I read her medical list I feel totally overwhelmed and start to question what the heck I'm doing to think about cruising in other countries.

Lots of people actually leave to cruise every year. I can't believe that the standard medical kit that they take contains things like artery clamps, for example, or the knowledge to use them.
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Old 28-12-2012, 07:12   #20
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Re: Medical kit

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My partner and I did a 10 day wilderness first responder medical course at UCLA before embarking on a two year trip. I would highly recommend this if you're planning a major voyage. It was a huge comfort to have that first-aid knowledge.
In my opinion, this is the best advice in the thread.

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A leaking femoral artery will drain you dry and dead in less than a minute.
It takes about five minutes to bleed to death from a severed femoral artery.
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Old 28-12-2012, 07:54   #21
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Re: Medical kit

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I can spend a mint on a medical kit either from a kit supplier, or by tailoring my own. I am however of the opinion that carrying a complex pharmaceutical dispensiary onboard is of little true worth.



What medical care related items do you regard as essential for offshore voyaging?

You are spot on!

The ONLY things ever used on Sea Life have been band aids and Panadol. but the Panadol useage has stopped now I am solo sailing

When we first bought the boat in the Caribbean we ran out of money (currency fluctuation between the deposit and the balance) and we really had NO MONEY. The chandlery kits are crazy expensive! So I went to a good chemist (one with all the wheel chairs etc) and bought a Johnson and Johnson home kits for about $30 with all the essentials.

You are right that tweezers come in handy, some antiseptic cream....

But does one really need a ligature when a trouser belt could do? Do you need a Hemmorage Kit when compressing a bandage does the same thing? Do you need a surgeons scalple when there's a sharp paring knife in the kitchen and antibacterial hand wash and flame to sterilize it? Do you need a made sling or can you remember how to fold a pillow slip?

The medical "industry" of the USA is crazed with wasting money... Boats have defribulators on board even though neither cruiser has heart problems...

Go to Kmart and buy a cheap kits with LOTS of band aids etc, and buy the First Aid Handbook and do their course.

Drink your savings!
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Old 28-12-2012, 07:57   #22
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Re: Medical kit

Probably the single best source of information for cruisers far away from medical assistance:

Books and Resources | Hesperian Health Guides

No boat should be without a copy (hard or soft) of "Where there is no doctor"
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Old 28-12-2012, 07:59   #23
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pirate Re: Medical kit

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
You are spot on!

The ONLY things ever used on Sea Life have been band aids and Panadol. but the Panadol useage has stopped now I am solo sailing

When we first bought the boat in the Caribbean we ran out of money (currency fluctuation between the deposit and the balance) and we really had NO MONEY. The chandlery kits are crazy expensive! So I went to a good chemist (one with all the wheel chairs etc) and bought a Johnson and Johnson home kits for about $30 with all the essentials.

You are right that tweezers come in handy, some antiseptic cream....

But does one really need a ligature when a trouser belt could do? Do you need a Hemmorage Kit when compressing a bandage does the same thing? Do you need a surgeons scalple when there's a sharp paring knife in the kitchen and antibacterial hand wash and flame to sterilize it? Do you need a made sling or can you remember how to fold a pillow slip?

The medical "industry" of the USA is crazed with wasting money... Boats have defribulators on board even though neither cruiser has heart problems...

Go to Kmart and buy a cheap kits with LOTS of band aids etc, and buy the First Aid Handbook and do their course.

Drink your savings!

+A1..... mines a large Appletons
PS: inflatable water wings are also very handy..
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Old 28-12-2012, 08:15   #24
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Re: Medical kit

Quote:
Originally Posted by Auzzee View Post
I can spend a mint on a medical kit either from a kit supplier, or by tailoring my own. I am however of the opinion that carrying a complex pharmaceutical dispensiary onboard is of little true worth.


What medical care related items do you regard as essential for offshore voyaging?
Hydrogen peroxide, iodine, bandaids, vinegar, ear flusher, super glue. The rest is vague just-in-case stuff....

Go crazy, live life on the edge, highway travel is still more dangerous than trans-oceanic cruising, in spite of the distance from medical help while on the ocean. So lighten your carīs medical kit (you do have one, right?) and reduce weight on your boat!
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Old 28-12-2012, 08:23   #25
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Re: Medical kit

If you don't know how to use something in your kit you don't need it. I have two kits. The first has the usual stuff in it - Topicals, bandages, pain and nausea meds etc. It gets used often. The second kit is not for just anyone to use. It has a suture kit with related injectables and antibiotics and some other cool stuff. The meds went out of date last year and got replaced having never been opened. I keep it on hand anyway. When I start crusing, they both will go with me.
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Old 28-12-2012, 08:36   #26
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Re: Medical kit

Does anyone take their same boat medical kit in the car, due to the increased chance of dying in a car accident before the ambulance arrives? The fatality statistics indicate that a medical kit in your car is a much much better investment in your longevity than the same medical kit in your boat....

Cruising is so different. We took out our sonīs appendix before cruising. Did you spend an hour or two or a day or two to check those stats? What will you do on a long term cruise away from civilization if your kid goes down with appendicitis?
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Old 28-12-2012, 08:57   #27
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Re: Medical kit

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We took out our sonīs appendix before cruising.

What, just on the off chance he should get appendicitis? Wi no previous history of appendicitis?


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Old 28-12-2012, 08:58   #28
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Re: Medical kit

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... Cruising is so different. We took out our sonīs appendix before cruising. Did you spend an hour or two or a day or two to check those stats? What will you do on a long term cruise away from civilization if your kid goes down with appendicitis?

No criticism: wow, that seems drastic. What are those stats? And yes, my appendix had to be removed at 10.
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Old 28-12-2012, 09:30   #29
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Re: Medical kit

An important consideration is how long you will be away from medical care. This will affect how self-reliant you need to be. If you are going to be in the Bahamas or going up/down the Eastern Caribbean, it is different from going Galapagos to Marquesas for example.

Some of our observations:
- I would not be comfortable with the minimalist approach suggested by some here. At the same time, it is possible to get so much stuff (equipment and meds) that you almost need to be a medical pro to be able to use everything properly.
- one antibiotic is not enough. I had a huge infected boil on my leg going from Easter Island to Gambier Islands. As well as using hot compresses and antiseptics we tried Cipro which we thought was very general purpose in nature. Found out in Tahiti that it is not good for skin infections and skin infections in a tropical, marine environment are not nice things. Mine lasted from Easter to Fiji and required two courses of antibiotics in addition to the Cipro
- medications are often, but not always, cheaper in cruiser locales. For some reason an antibiotic we bought in Bali was almost $40, while in Fiji it was $6.
- a wilderness first aid course is an excellent idea since it gives you more confidence in dealing with a medical emergency. We took a two day course offered through Columbia U (I consider that that makes me an Ivy League grad of sorts.
- a surgeon friend offered to teach me how to suture, but suggested a skin stapler instead. I asked him how to use it and he asked me if I have ever used a regular stapler. Only downside is that it tends to leave more noticeable scars. Apparently they come with two units in sterile packs within one larger bag and you only need one, at least for most orthopedic surgeries, so he gave me one.
-Silvadene is apparently incredible for burns
- When medications reach their expiry date they don't become dangerous, just gradually less effective. Not nice to throw out expensive prescriptions, but I guess that means that you did not need to use them which is good.
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Old 28-12-2012, 09:56   #30
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Re: Medical kit

I've done the STCW Medical Care Aboard Ship course twice. This is a proper merchant navy qualification, usually held by Ship's Masters and First Officers.

It is probably the most comprehensive medical course you can do as an amateur. The book the couse is based on is available as a PDF

Ships Captain's Medical Guide

Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.
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