Originally Posted by Dr. D
First, if there is a thread describing this, please point me to it; I was unable to locate one.
I'm preparing our boat
for some longer sailing (days, not months) and it occured to me the little kit of bandaids may not be enough. Looking around on the internet
there is a wide variety of kits. It seems, though, one could assemble a satisfactory kit.
However, what to put in it? Recommendations?
You're thinking right - half the stuff in fancy ($$$) dedicated kits you'll never use.
The best thing about those kits is the cool box that comes with it. We keep our stuff in a Tupperware box, clearly marked as 'First Aid'. Two cargo straps keep the lid on, and delicate items go in zip locks inside.
Generally, medications and first aid stuff should be kept apart.
In the first aid box: LOTS of Band-Aids, make them quality, fabric
, waterproof Band-Aids.
Bandages and dressing. We have some sterile pads, but prefer sanitary napkins (Kotex) with gauze (make it 'Cling' )and surgical tape.
An Ace bandage.
We carry a flexible finger splint for finger boo-boo's, plus a larger flex. splint for a broken limb.
Antiseptic wipes. A tube of Neosporin maybe.
Eye wash with a cup, or squirt bottle. Not just drops.
An eye patch - ya' scurvy dogs!
Butterfly tapes plus a couple of tubes of Super/Crazy Glue for closing lacerations. If you ever watched me sew you'd know why there is no suture kit onboard.
We have a large elastic knee brace, that could work as a neck brace.
A pair of stout, sharp scissors. EMT scissors if you can.
Latex/nitrile gloves if you're delicate. We have them but mostly use them for tidying up the Airhead.
We carry an AED (defibrillator) because we already had one but that's a little extreme, and of course worthless if you single-hand. It's always good to know CPR, and these days you can pass on the respirations (the mouth to mouth kissy part) and not feel guilty. I ALWAYS carry a little 2 pack of aspirin in my pocket for symptoms of heart attack. Always.
Without getting into the medication thing too much, we carry no narcotics onboard. Just too much trouble clearing in. Would have to rely on rum
, and a big dose (800mg) of ibuprofen. We carry prescription antibiotics, both Z-packs and a longer course of a good, broad spectrum medication. Plus seasickness meds. Nothing more on our boat that requires a prescription.
Plus plenty of over-the-counter stuff that we won't get into. Keep in mind that some of the non-scrip stuff can be a problem depending on where you are - our
naproxen (Aleve) was confiscated clearing into Canada
some years back...
A First Aid book is a good idea; I'd keep it simple. We have a friend whose (5 pound) Medical Emergency
book includes instructions for burial at sea!
As a former firefighter and EMT, I've a pretty good idea what we would need at sea. If you'll be doing ocean crossings it would of course be different. Our kit would deal almost exclusively with injuries.
Illness is an entirely different matter.