I based our medical kit contents on 3 key factors:
- Past/Current medication use and medical conditions
- Possible events/conditions that might arise
- Cruising location
For us, we have no current medical conditions requiring regular medication. Besides a little Aleve or Excedrin Migraine once in a while, we rarely take anything. Therefore our meds mostly consist of allergy, cold, stomach relief type of remedies. That said, I am going to add an epi pen to our kit solely due to family history. Let me tell you a little story....Ron's dad loved shrimp, he ate it all the time until one day he had a serious, out-of-the-blue reaction and can't eat shrimp or shellfish any more. Sad story, but with the amount of seafood we plan on eating we probably shouldn't chance in. Yup, we'll throw one of those bad boys in if only for the shear enjoyment it would give me to stab Ron in the
neck leg. <--TOTALLY kidding! I'd only enjoy it once the meds kicked in.
One area that I did go a little heavy on was supplies for cuts and lacerations of various sizes. With all the hazards on land and on the boat I wanted to make sure we would be prepared should anything happen to us or someone else nearby. We have an entire sterile suture kit, various packs of sterile gloves, multiple needle/thread suture packs, isopropyl alcohol and hydrogen peroxide, gauze pads, Bandaids, butterfly bandages and skin glue. I'll also be adding lidocaine (local anesthetic) to the kit before leaving.
|Our medicine cabinet|
Another major consideration in deciding what to put in our medical kit were the places we plan to go. Yes, we're going to find ourselves a ways from medical care at times but we're not going to be thousands of miles away from care so I felt comfortable not getting too crazy. I think it's also valuable to think about all the other items that you're bringing for other purposes that could also help in a medical situation if needed (for example magazines and fishing poles could be used to stabilize a fracture, baking soda can be used on burns, lots of resources on board).
I found this Medical Kit List on the Facebook Women Who Sail page (If you're female and you sail, you should be on here! If you sail but you're not female too bad). I really like this list because it's easy to see what requires a prescription so when we see the doctor we can easily discuss the need for these items and possibly others.
Again, it's all about personalizing. Some items on the list weren't appropriate for us so we skipped them and I added other items that I felt we needed: ear plugs, eye drops (allergy and art. tears), Azo UTI relief, Icy Hot/Tiger Balm, licocaine, skin glue, gloves.
Piece of advice - DON'T FORGET THE GLOVES! They are not on the list above but are a very important piece of any medical kit. No, they don't need to be sterile but you do need them. Protect yourself while helping others.
|Our "minor injury" box|
I broke up our medical kit into 2 separate boxes; 1 for minor cuts/scrapes and a larger one for more serious injuries. I like the idea of being able to easily grab a smaller kit and not having to rummage through more items in the larger kit for something minor. Some people have items split by type of injury but, again, I like having items readily available (many items have multiple uses for various situations). To each their own.
|I've also added my stethoscope to this kit|
|Thank you to Ron's mom for all these goodies!|
|I really love that our big kit is still a 'grab and go'|
We still need to add a slew of antibiotics, bacitracin (for eye infections), pain meds, silvadene salve and an epi pen to our arsenal, but you have the basic idea.