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post #1 of 37 Old 06-05-2008 Thread Starter
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First Aid Kit / First Aid Book

Over the weekend I found myself with a nasty cut. Because I was about 3 hours from the nearest medical services, I pulled out my on board first aid kit. I found that I had plenty of things to clean the cut out but no way to close the wound. I could cover the wound with Band Aids but because this cut was wide open, Band Aids only soaked up the mess instead of closing the wound. (ick...I know)

It made me think about the kit that I keep. It's apparant that it's not adequate, even for short sailing trips.

I see the there are nice kits available that range from around $20 to more than $1,000. It's hard to know what will be essential.

Can anybody recommend a good kit? I'm looking for one that would not only work for short weekends but also be good enough for off shore sailing.

I'm also wondering if anybody can recommend a good first aid book. I have no medical background so it has to be easy to read and understand in an emergency.

Thanks!

Julie D
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post #2 of 37 Old 06-05-2008
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I have an REI hiker first aid kit and found it to be excellent and very fairly priced. It also comes zipped up in it's own little bag. It has gauze and sterile pads you could have used to close up your wound. It did have a little book with it but I'm not sure you could really use it in an emergency.

REI Backpacker First Aid Kit from REI.com

I forgot to add that the red cross selles these "preparedness" packs I think they call them. They are similar to the REI concept. I've seen them at wal mart, target, supermarkets, etc. They usually come in a plastic box, not bad either

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post #3 of 37 Old 06-05-2008
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Where there are no doctors. I downloaded the pdf to my hard drive, many chapters but all you'll ever need to know.

Download here, middle of page:

Hesperian Foundation

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post #4 of 37 Old 06-05-2008
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We have an REI kit as well. We also have a West MArine kit. Both are the "compartmentalized" kind, i.e. they have mini-kits inside that are labelled for the kind of injury/emergency they are used for. Like "Cuts/Lacerations", "CPR", "Trauma", "Medication", etc (I'm making those titles up, so don't quote me). We like this arrangement, since it will help us to respond better in an emergency situation when the pressure is on.

Our kits are designed for 5-7 people, where emergency assistance can be reached within a few hours. It includes scalpel and suture needle, for stitching, as well as those special butterfly band-aids that can hold a larger wound closed without stitches. This is fine for coastal sailing. We'd need a much more comprehensive kit for off-shore cruising, with a sphygmomanometer, stethoscope, dental kit, etc.

One of the things I like about the REI kits is that they include a snake-bite kit. Not something you'd expect to encounter on a boat, but we all go ashore so there's always the possibility.


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post #5 of 37 Old 06-05-2008
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There is a real good article in the new Practical Sailor about medical kits. They do a good job of rating a number of them and it got me thinking along the same lines that you are.
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post #6 of 37 Old 06-05-2008
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You might want to do a forum search for this topic. There was a thread a while back that went into great detail on this subject. I personally like to make my own First Aid Kits as I find most OTC kits lacking. (much the way you did) I have worked as an EMT, Firefighter, and was the Head Athletic Trainer for a couple of High schools years ago and as such, have put my own kits together many times. For my boat (short cruising) I use a "worm binder" from Bass ProShops. These bags have pockets inside each cover and then have ziplock like bags secured in a ring binder fashion in the middle. They work really well to hold supplies and keep them dry and organized.
Bass Pro Shops Extreme Binder Bags or Replacement Pages

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post #7 of 37 Old 06-05-2008
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I'd suggest taking a Red Cross, American Heart, or other First aid course. Books are great, but it is hard to bleed, read, and patch things up at the same time. Any of these resources would have reccomended things to carry.

I'm an RN and trailer sail / coastal cruise. Being a responsible healthcare provider, my first aid kit contains band-aids, 4x4's, generic Neosporin, paper towels, and duct tape. No, I'm not kidding, 99% of the time they work, and if they don't work I have a VHF and a GPS. If I were going offshore I would add a few things, though.
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post #8 of 37 Old 06-05-2008
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I like this kit from REI. It has most of what you might need for an extended cruise. It is the basis for the medical kit I carry on my boat. I also carry a smaller, less extensive day first aid kit as well. This book, by Dr. Eric Weiss, is a pretty good one as a quick reference, and IIRC, it comes in the kit above.

I would also recommend taking a good wilderness first aid course. The regular first aid courses aren't as useful IMHO, especially if you're out cruising, since they really aim at quick treatment until first responders can get there. If you're a week out of the Marquesas, that isn't all that useful—wilderness courses focus on the measures needed when help is more than 24 hours away—which is far more likely the situation.


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post #9 of 37 Old 06-05-2008 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freesail99 View Post
Where there are no doctors. I downloaded the pdf to my hard drive, many chapters but all you'll ever need to know.

Download here, middle of page:

Hesperian Foundation
Thanks for the link. The book looks like it might be just what I'm looking for!

Thanks!

Julie D
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post #10 of 37 Old 06-05-2008
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I made my own

I went to Adventure Medical Kits and downloaded and printed out what they have in some of their boating medical kits. I can't remember is I used if it was for OffShore or Coastal or something else.

I then went to the local Pharmacy (Rite-Aid, CVS, Walgreens, etc.) and bought all of the stuff. In the end it was a little cheaper total outlay, but I was able to buy a lot more for the same money, so I used some to make smaller kits for kayaking, camping, and around the house. I then bought a medium sized plastic container, with a watertight lid, and put all the stuff into it. You can buy a basic first aid book for a few bucks, similar to the ones in the kits.

I segregated everything into little zip lock backs that I labeled. So in one ziplock, I have bandaids, another gauze, another, anti-sick medical, etc. That way everything is in it's place and stays dry.

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