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Old 03-09-2014, 16:33   #16
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Re: special items in a first aid kit for the South Pacific

Don't forget a decent sized bottle of Ibuprofen. Not particularly applicable to the tropics, but handy in general. Also a big pack of Band-Aids.
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Old 03-09-2014, 17:05   #17
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Re: special items in a first aid kit for the South Pacific

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Sorry, skipmac, I'm not clear whether you mean sterile salt water or sea water. These warm Pacific waters contain staphylococcus and they will enter where there is broken skin, so one shouldn't just soak in sea water. Warm sterile salt water is different.
Well to be honest I have used ocean water in the past and had no problem. Interesting point. I guess making a sterile saline solution would be the proper way. However my understanding is even fresh water from your tanks will have bacteria in it so whether from the ocean or your tank to cover that concern the water would have to be boiled at the least.

This brings up another question for me. Living and working on a boat I always have little nicks and dings (sometimes not so little) all over. So should I never get in the ocean? I just googled bacteria in ocean water and saw a report that 11 people died in Florida from bacterial infections they picked up swimming. To paraphrase the line from Jaws is it not safe to go back in the water?


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What we've done for prophylaxis is to treat cuts with Povidone gel, which disinfects well and prevents coral infections, too. You have to re-clean it if it gets sea water in it, but you can keep infections away. The time that Jim got infected, it was a fly bite when we were about an hour away from the boat, that the infection got started before we could disinfect it. *Stuff* happens.
Amazing. The bite was showing signs of infection in an hour? That's scary. Must have been a really nasty fly.

Betadine is a must in any first aid kit. Just don't get it on anything, it will be stained forever. Of course in life or death that's secondary.
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Old 03-09-2014, 21:13   #18
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Re: special items in a first aid kit for the South Pacific

Of course one goes in the water to play. Just, if there are skin openings, it's safest to hit it with the povidone or betadine till the new skin has sealed up the hole.

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Old 03-09-2014, 21:37   #19
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Re: special items in a first aid kit for the South Pacific

I grew up and have lived in the tropics and been involved with boats for most of my life.

Not a doctor so the following is my personal opinion.

I try to have a fair bit of Betadine liquid on hand. The local discount chemist sells large bottles for not very much money.

Small scratches/cuts I put a couple of drops on and forget. Larger ones I clean out and "flood".

If any infection develops it's time to find the local doc.

Again my opinion is that prevention is the best cure. Make sure your boat is mosquito proof (flyscreens) and carry a good insecticide spray.

Ensure you have good sun protection and don't get burnt.

Work on having good ventilation through the boat even in heavy rain.

Stay fit, get proper rest and eat a sensible diet.
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Old 04-09-2014, 11:04   #20
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Re: special items in a first aid kit for the South Pacific

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Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
Of course one goes in the water to play. Just, if there are skin openings, it's safest to hit it with the povidone or betadine till the new skin has sealed up the hole.

Ann
If I put betadine on every cut and scrape on my body I would look like I had some horrible disease and probably frighten all the locals and end up quarantined in the nearest medical facility.

Seriously, as I am not quite as young as I used to be I have found that my skin is very easily injured and just a small bump on the corner of a cabinet is enough to cause a cut. As a result it's not unusual for me to have half a dozen or more small cuts and scrapes. I think it would be almost impossible to keep up with every small skin opening and keep every one dosed with betadine.
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Old 04-09-2014, 11:09   #21
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Re: special items in a first aid kit for the South Pacific

don't forget several types of antibiotics. Get your doc to write the prescriptions.
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Old 04-09-2014, 12:00   #22
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Re: special items in a first aid kit for the South Pacific

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to the South Pacific, and I was wondering if there are some special items we should add to the boat first aid kit for this area. I'm looking for advice on anything specific that we'll need in the South Pacific tropical area (we have a good idea of general first aid, but our experience is mostly in the higher latitudes).

Band aids and pain killers.

just get a normal non-marine first aid kit. the marine ones are 4 times more expensive. Go inland to buy

There are really only 2 or 3 types of antibiotics that will cover most unusual problems. Ask your quack which he recommends.
I think the ones you need are for: Food poisoning; urinary tract infections; topical cream for cuts; serious weird stuff that the first 2 didn't fix.

People spend hundreds of dollars on them and have them all when they arrive home ten years later, so just be reasonable.

Ciguatara poisoning, for example, has no antibiotic treatment. Just grit your teeth and endure the pain till it goes away. Thats the same for a lot of stuff, so a few good pain killers are nice to have. Normal Panadol is great and if that doesn't work Panadine Forte (I would have used about 5 on my circumnavigation and none for me).

As I said in the beginning Band Aids are good to have because theres blood on boats. Stuffed if I know where it comes from


Oh, I did buy a instant fiberglass plaster for broken bones because it can double as a pipe/exhaust etc fix. But we have broken no legs... nor blown up the engine. Most stuff is bullsh!t because you could make a splint anyway. etc etc.

The worst medical kits to buy are the marine ones that have each section packaged off. So one sachet may be for hemorrhage for example. They are really good looking and at a boat show or at a lecture that might sound/look really good but they are just expensive junk.

But do buy a first aid book and do a course. Try to do a remote area course because the normal first aid courses say: "Ring an Ambulance!" Sorry Love, but we are 1,000 miles from land their aint no ambulances!

AVOID this type: $795 for a medical kit http://www.oceanmedix.com/?action=sk...cOM-marine3000
Look and read but don't buy! Its a waste of money!
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Old 04-09-2014, 12:49   #23
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Re: special items in a first aid kit for the South Pacific

Cipro-about 120 pills,Microdine for soaking ALL foods foriegn bought(also snaitise cuts),clear betadine.Perhaps basic surgery kit and basic surgical book.IV solution(sucrose)
Everything mentioned above.
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Old 04-09-2014, 20:08   #24
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Re: special items in a first aid kit for the South Pacific

Thanks all for your suggestions! Mosquitos and fungus are something that we are not used to for sure, so they are additions to the list...

We both have first aid training (including in remote areas). We already have a first aid kit aboard that just need some additions/replacements. We also have some books on first aid and wilderness medicine, and "Where there is no doctor" by Werner is a good one we like for its simplicity. I will post later the list of things in our first aid kit in case it is of use to some.

We will get most of the stuff that we are missing/need replacement from the hospital here, and we will ask the doctor here on town for some extra advice before we leave. But we live (and worked) closer (and some times in) to the southern ocean than to the tropics, so that's why I was asking for specific advice from people that had spent some time in those lower latitudes.
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Old 04-09-2014, 20:27   #25
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Re: special items in a first aid kit for the South Pacific

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I just googled bacteria in ocean water and saw a report that 11 people died in Florida from bacterial infections they picked up swimming.
True that several people in florida die each year from bacterial infections they pick up while swimming, BUT, these were in fresh water lakes, not in the ocean.
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Old 06-09-2014, 03:28   #26
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Re: special items in a first aid kit for the South Pacific

I know that folks keep bringing up infections, & such is a very relevant point. And one thing which runs through my mind is that there are a lot of natural oils out there which possess built in antibiotic properties.

Well, at the end of the day, even when on H2O rations, I still try & make a habit of scrubbing off the mung of the day, including sunscreen residue, sweat etc. And it's nice to put back some protective oils onto the skin, just so one doesn't dry out via sun, wind, heat, & activity.

In doing so I reckon it'd be easy enough to find a blend of natural oils, which, either on their own, or to mix with your regular old standby skin rejuvinator, keep you from drying out, as well as keeping those little scrapes which you may not have noticed from getting infected.

Er, just test them out first to make sure that they aren't a magnet for say flies, which would of course make the whole problem worse.

And if there's enough serious demand for it, I can put together a listing of sites which offer supplies for handling more serious field type medical emergencies, and to some degree offer the training to go with. Ditto on suggested inventory lists for heavy duty med kits. But be advised, NOTHING in that realm is cheap.

Also, LMK, if you haven't yet figured out how to get clean using not much of your daily fresh water allotment. It ain't rocket science, nor new, I'm just in need of a cup of java @ the moment :-) AKA tired of typing.
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Old 06-09-2014, 06:41   #27
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Re: special items in a first aid kit for the South Pacific

apart from the normal stuff.

i would make sure you have malaria treatment for all onboard,something like fansidar or artemeisen.

at least 2 types of broad spectrum anti biotics.
keflexin,amoxicillin,
falgyl for dysentry,food poisening

metromidizanol,for dental abcesses/infections.

citric acid for mild urinary tract irritation

betadine,antibiotic powder for cuts etc

antihistamine tablets,bites and stings,allergic reactions.

tea tree oil,surgical alcohol,hydrogen peroxide,cleaning cuts and skin infections.

after sun lotion,zink sunscreen for lips and ears,noses.

oral rehydration solution sachets for dehydration.

we also carried a few liters of saline solution,and dextrose solution,with a few intravenous drip kits,for severe shock and rehydration.

seasickness suppositories.

for cigutera dont eat reef fish!,or pelegic fish that feed near the reef,wahoo,barracuda,kingfish,jack etc. in know areas(tuna,dorado etc no problem)

taking multi vitamins will increase your resistance

,keeping out of the sun and hydrated is allways a good policy.

wear proper foot ware,as jigger worm is not uncommon in remote villages.

wash all salad veg in light bleach solution,peel fruit before eating.

one of the best guides is the "lonely planet" tropical medicine handbook
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Old 06-09-2014, 07:07   #28
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Re: special items in a first aid kit for the South Pacific

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one of the best guides is the "lonely planet" tropical medicine handbook
Is that out of print now? It's not listed on Lonely Planet's shop site. Or did you mean the Oxford handbook of tropical medicine; which is the only one I can find with that title?
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Old 06-09-2014, 07:08   #29
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Re: special items in a first aid kit for the South Pacific

Most of what I'd recommend has been mentioned, but I'll add:
a couple large bottles of hydrogen peroxide - very good disinfectant for everything from bug-bites to washing out wounds ;
a bottle of vinegar - most effective treatment for jellyfish stings;
OTC antibiotic eyedrops and eardrops - Polysporin makes both; and
OTC antibiotic ointment such as Polysporin Triple.
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Old 06-09-2014, 07:41   #30
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Re: special items in a first aid kit for the South Pacific

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Is that out of print now? It's not listed on Lonely Planet's shop site. Or did you mean the Oxford handbook of tropical medicine; which is the only one I can find with that title?
this was what i was referring to,there is also one that covers asia and south america,i think the title is lonely planet "healthy travel "

Lonely Planet Healthy Travel - Africa - Lonely Planet - Google Books

also definitly get some anti biotic ear drops,as ear infections are common, i find putting a bit of alcohol in the ear after diving or snorkelling is a good preventative.
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