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Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Washington State
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I actually like the commercial first aid kits and own one. You can assemble them yourself without paying their prices, but you should get a list of what they have in them. They also have accomopanying books that tell you what to do and what to grab... but I have found them a bit vague for me. One of the things I really like about them is the way they section everything out based upon the injury and severity. If you have to stock a large kit, and don't section it out, it will look like the kids haloween bag after a very succefull Trick-or-Treat! You won't find anything quickly and you are never really sure what you have. A negative of the bag is its size and I think they understock the things you seem to use the most (like triple antibiotic cream, for example). But, they have a nice list of the script meds you need and most docs appreciate filling them knowing for sure where they are going and that you know how to use them (especially since there are controlled substances involved).
If you stock it with scripts, make sure you get the dry form as much as possible for antibiotics or any other med you can. You will usually see most pharmacist mixing these with water before they give them to you, but that starts the date-stamp, so to speak. They will stay longer in their original, sealed bottle and you can add the water when needed. I have also found many of the meds (like nitro) do not last very long in a humid environment. I had a doc on this forum reccomend injectable phen versus the suppositories which I would consider, but the idea of trying to punch a needle into me (or someone else) in a large sea is a little intimidating. I might still stick with the suppositories.
One good book is Advanced First Aid Afloat if you are going to sea with kids. The whole back half is dedicated to children. Another good one is A Comprehensive Guide to Marine Medicine. THis book is a good accompany to the kits but lacks the childrens section. It is nice and point-point and easy to undersatand and find things quickly.
Personally, I own both. I cannot have enough references. But I have kids with me, so it makes a difference.
Hope that helps. Take care.