Magazine article Geographical

The First-Aid Kit: Medical Advice from Jason Gibbs, Head Pharmacist at Nomad Travel Stores and Health Clinics

Magazine article Geographical

The First-Aid Kit: Medical Advice from Jason Gibbs, Head Pharmacist at Nomad Travel Stores and Health Clinics

Article excerpt

People often ask me what they should carry in a first-aid kit. This depends on a number of factors, such as where you're travelling, for how long and where the nearest city is with good medical help. As a rule the contents of any medical kit can be broken into three broad groups, with a few extras, depending on the above.

THE BASICS

All travellers should carry basic first-aid items such as plasters, non-adherent dressings, hypoallergenic tape, antiseptic (iodine-based), gauze swabs, scissors and tweezers. Walkers should also add a crepe bandage for injured joints, and the new blister dressings that are on the market.

STERILE EQUIPMENT

Depending on medical facilities in-country, you may consider packing sterile equipment--needles, syringes, IV cannula, suture equipment, giving set for fluids, scalpel and sterile gloves. The chances are they won't be needed, but if required they can prevent infection from Hepatitis B and C and HIV.

These items cannot be taken in hand luggage and should always be well packed, labelled and a certificate of verification carried with them.

MEDICINES

As for medicines, all travellers should carry general painkillers--either paracetamol or an anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen which is good for trekkers with joint problems. …

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