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Old 19-04-2014, 04:55   #1
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What Medication Needed Aboard

Hello all, preparing our boat for long distance departure, I wondered
about what to take with us, and what not,
There are standard items for the first safety kit when travelling the world,
but as medications also have expiration dates, I wanted to ask those
experienced sailors what they have used really, which could give us
an idea to take some stuff maybe even double and leave other ashore.
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Old 19-04-2014, 05:30   #2
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Re: What Medication Needed Aboard

There are a lot of sample medical kits and lists out on the web that you can choose from, so you can get an idea of what is commonly accepted as necessary. All medications do have limited lifecycles. Unlike food, the expiry date on medicine doesn't indicate when a medicine goes "bad" but when it may start to lose 100% dosage and effectivity.
I recently had to open one of my medical boxes (an airtight Peli case in the bilges) to get out a tube of Flamazine to treat a burn on a neighboring boat, and was shocked at how the contents of the case had deteriorated. A sealed supply of surgical gloves had turned brown and congealed into one big unusable mass. All of the syringes had coverings which had yellowed and the rest of the contents looked aged. This box of the medical emergency was only 5 years old. Thus it isn't just the medicines that age on a boat (in the tropics) but also all of the other supplies such as bandages, needles, compresses, etc. A couple of weeks before, I had to resort to using a broad-spectrum antiobiotic aboard and I hadn't been refreshing it regularly and found, to my dismay, that it had expired 6 years ago . This was a shocking reminder form me to regularly check on the expiry dates in the medical kit and add that to my boat checklist.

An offshore medical kit will, by its nature, contain antibiotics and analgesics and other medication that is not over-the-counter and you will need to consult with a doctor who will prescribe the medications and large amounts necessary. Once you have decided upon the correct medication, the doctor can help in choosing which actual brand is used (original, generic or other) and when filling the prescription you can talk to the apothecary and explain that longevity and freshness is important.
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Old 03-05-2014, 07:27   #3
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Re: What Medication Needed Aboard

would like to add, that as much time is spent on MOB and life boat drills.. few spend time researching an expensive medicine kit.

All pills for nausea (not antibiotics), can be dissolved under the tongue (no liquid), as well as absorbed in the rectum (gross I know, but life saving). Practice tourniquets, fingers can be pulled off from lines. Ensure there are two epi pens. Eating new local food on board is not the time to find a new life threatening anaphylactic allergy (uncap press and live). Life threatening allergies are the result of repeat exposure. benadryl and an H2 blocker like pepsid as well may need to be given with a bad reaction.

Steri strips are tough pieces of tape that close deep gashes in place of much needed sutures and can create a better scar line and decreased risk of infection. (about a half inch deep of a cut)... have those for knife and jagged robe and miscellaneous cuts. Steri-strips come in many sizes.. too large just cut to the need. Ensure or buy 2 inch medical clear tape. It can be ripped to size to close a wound temporarily, secure a dressing and hold mosquito netting holes, tape down surprise loose objects and such. Leaves minimal to no stick residue.

For comfort there are liquid packs of heat and cold that once twisted provide that for injuries... first 24 hrs cold, then maybe heat depending.

There is so much more.. but thought I'd add the stranger components.

Please never assume because it's a "KIT", it has everything. look at my list of oddities.. they are really essentials.
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