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Jeanneau 57
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My first-aid kits aboard need replenishing and updating (especially now that I just had a refresher course on offshore first-aid) and I'd like to know if anyone here can recommend an on-line supplier of first-aid items; I'm looking for things like catheters, disposable scalpels, suture kits, saline, forceps, stethoscopes, SAM Splints, and so on. I'll get the prescription medications elsewhere.

I did take a quick look through Google but the first two sites that I hit seem only to supply hospitals and clinics directly so I thought I'd see if anyone here might have a recommendation for a supplier. I don't want to get a prepackaged medical kit but want to pick-and-choose my own items and not have to pay the heavy surcharges I see here in Europe or in pharmacies.
 

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Jeanneau 57
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for all the recommendations. I have a shopping cart at Moore Medical but will check on the bigger ticket items at Amazon to compare.

I'm debating getting an AED after all, but the sticker shock at $1200 is quite high and I'm still not convinced that it would ever see any use.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Phil,

those types numbers are what has been keeping me from getting an AED, in addition the doctors I've spoken to say that getting the ticker going again is one thing, but keeping it ticking until I can get the patient to appropriate care (days or weeks) is a completely different matter.

Nonetheless, there are also secondary uses for AEDs such as monitoring cardiac activity and the placebo effects. I'm often in anchorages where perhaps an AED might see some use; but OTOH I usually sail alone and doubt that it would be of any use to me when I do so.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
MedSailor - I'm not at risk for arrest, and most doctors that I have spoken to on the matter would disagree with your conclusions. The statistics that I've seen on defililbrator use show that if one can get them used in time their success rate is quite good ... but the downside is that the patient needs immediate intensive care and if that cannot be provided the odds tend to get a lot worse.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I wanted to follow up on this thread and say thanks to all who responded. I did try some of the medical sites but in the end the USA has more restrictions than the EU on what equipment can be purchased without a prescription, so I opted to use Amazon in Europe and was surprised at some of the deals I found. For example, even though I wanted only a couple of 1, 2, 10 and 20ml syringes I ended up getting more than I immediately needed because the package prices were better and 50 on Amazon ended up costing the same as 5 elsewhere - so now I have spares :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
RichH - I see you missed the part of my post about the 3 days first-aid-at sea course (got to sew pig legs and put in intravenous infusions in live people). I've got my ticket and a prescription for everything from morphine and adrenaline ampules to antibiotics, but that is a different matter and my question wasn't about getting those items but the basic tools for first aid. For example, I wanted various syringes and catheters in my US order and they are not OTC.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
My current emergency kit is housed in a large airtight and watertight Peli case. Almost all of items were also packaged sterile (including forceps and other steel tools). Despite that storage and keeping the pack underneath the waterline, the contents have deteriorated in tropical conditions and that is why I'm now replenishing with fresh stuff. The surgical gloves have congealed to a solid mass, the paper packaging that started to crumble; I put all of the medical supply paperwork for the medicines and the user manuals in a sealed baggie which has kept that stuff in good condition.

I have eyed the Marine 3000 pack several times, more for the organization that has gone into separating the components into compartmentalized sections than for the rest of the contents. It has a lot of items that one might need but for my tastes it has too much of many items.

Although many of the things in there are unlikely to be used (what are the odds of needing Güdel tubes?) one should keep in mind that with modern communications one can have a doctor on the phone or SSB after an incident and he/she can guide you in using what items are on hand. I signed up for a British medical service last time around and they get a complete list of tools and medicines so that, in an emergency, they know what resources are available to them. There are similar services in the USA and in the EU using the GMDSS system will also get you an emergency doctor on the blower.

I think if I hadn't already had a kit aboard I would have purchased the Marine 3000. I have gotten differently colored vinyl bags and am separating the first-aid components into the bags so that for a typical injury only one of them is needed.

What I learned on my last refresher course had me add a blood-sugar testing kit, a pulse/oximeter and urine strips to my kit; I'd not thought about those before and they are so dirt-cheap that it is a no-brainer to add them to the kit. The oximeter should be one with both visual and aural signals so that one doesn't need to look at it while it beeps out the pulse.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 · (Edited)
I opened up my peli case quite often - since I kept oft used bandages and other junk in there as well; so it must have been the moist air that I let in that triggered the problems. I also kept saline and hydrogen peroxide in the same container and that, too, might have made things worse. I'll now keep tools and dry supplies separated from medications and from liquids. Also, my Peli case is not full and perhaps friction from moving about also played a role. The commercially available packs are packed tight but I don't expect the consumables to last more than two or perhaps three years before they need replacing. The first-aid bag I got here is a commercial first-aid item made of thick solid Cordura and although it is water-resistant it is certainly not waterproof. In addition to the modules I have gotten a number of re-sealable plastic containers that are air- and watertight and am going to try to use them gainfully.

In stocking the meds last time I was surprised at the short shelf life of most of them, so I'm holding off as long as possible before purchasing them. While I've known that antibiotics have a short lifespan, I expected that other items would be labeled with a couple of years - i.e. Epipens are about 1 year, and even burn crèmes were only about 2 years. I can now understand why the Docs teaching the course made such a big deal about the commercial first aid kits and their resupply, and how they would need to keep careful track of expiry dates and ports where they could stock up on expired items.

Of course I fervently hope that none of these items will ever see use! Hope for the best and prepare for the worst...

Addendum: I remember taking a picture of the bag holding the surgical gloves which was in the Peli case, here it is:

 
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