I have had many inquiries over the past month or so as to what I would recommend your first aid kit should contain. This is a very general question, to which, in an article such as this I can only give very general advice. Below are some suggestions as to what I would keep in a “General Use” kit. This would serve areas such a household, office, or even a car kit. Kits for special purposes (sporting events, specific industrial areas) could be built around a general purpose kit such as this.
FIRST AID KIT
HOUSEHOLD & GENERAL USE.
LATEX GLOVES (1pr.)
SPARE BATTERY (2)
HEAVY DUTY SCISSORS (1) – For removal of clothing in order to treat affected area
IMPORTANT PHONE NUMBERS
FIRST AID MANUAL
Wound Treatment / Cleaning / Closure.
HYDROGEN PEROXIDE – Excellent for wound cleaning mixed 1 part H.P., to 3 parts water. The local (chemical) name for this is H2 O2. I would not recommend this be kept in your car as it forms gas bubbles in the heat, then tends to explode in your car!
AQUA (500ml.) – Bottled water is ozone sterilized, therefore excellent for wound cleaning & irrigation, cooling of burns etc.
DRESSING PACK (1)
SMALL SCISSORS (1)
COTTON BUDS (1 Pk.)
CREPE BANDAGE 5cm (1)
CREPE BANDAGE 7.5cm (1)
STERILE DRESSING (2)
GAUZE SWABS (2 Pk.)
COTTON BALLS (2 Pk.)
MEDIPORE TAPE (1)
TISSUES (1 Pk.)
ASST. SAFETY PINS
BUTTERFLY CLOSURES / STERI –STRIPS. (2)
STERI-STRIPS . (1Pk.)
EYE PAD (1)
EYE SHIELD (2)
NON-STICK DRESSING (3)
Sprains / Strains / Breaks.
HOT/ COLD PACK
ELASTIC BANDAGE (1)
COLD & FLU TABLETS (4) , & / or SYRUP.
PANADOL (6) & / or PANADOL SYRUP FOR CHILDREN
ASPIRIN (6) – I tend not to use this for analgesic, rather as a blood thinner if any one is suspected of having heart related chest pains. Naturally you should seek urgent medical attention as well as give the Aspirin tablet!
HYDROCORTISONE CREAM 1.5% – Use sparingly for insect bites, stings. Do not use for suspected skin fungus irritation
PHENERGAN CREAM – skin irritations and rashes
DIPHENHYDRAMINE TABLETS OR SYRUP – This is essential for the treatment of allergic reactions, and is an ingredient in many cough and cold formulas. As soon as a reaction is suspected, the recommended dose should be given to the patient (depending on age), then seek medical attention. This medication is sold at supermarkets and drug stores under the name of “Benadryl” or “Ikadryl”.
ORAL REPALCEMENT SALTS – Essential for athletes or just long hot days. Local band names are “Oralit”, “Pharolit”, or “Pocari Sweat” sachets.
INSECT REPELLANT (1)
VINEGAR (1) – This is the recommended treatment for jelly fish stings or other marine creature bites / stings. The patient should also seek medical attention as some of these bites can have severe reactions hours after the initial exposure.
NORMAL SALINE .9% – For eye washes. This can be purchased at pharmacies or opticians.
Contact numbers that you would be wise to keep handy might include the following. Other personal numbers such as office & school numbers could be added to this list. Please feel free to cut out this information and stick it on your fridge door, or above your telephone!
Hospital & Clinics
Darma Usada 227560
Dharma Yadnya 222013
Graha Asih 764860
Kasih Ibu 223036
Puri Raharja 462629
Sanglah 257496 – 257500, 227911
Surya Husada 223787
Prima Medika 236225
Int’l SOS 755768
Poisons Information Center (Australia) : 001-612-9845-0000.
(There is no locally available information service specifically for poisons information).
I would like to give you a number for a reliable community ambulance service, but up to date no such service exits. I have called the number in the yellow pages several times, and I don’t seem to be able to get an appropriate response in any language. Until this changes, the best numbers to call for emergency assistance would be Intl. SOS or BIMC.
It goes with-out saying that you can have all your cupboards full of first aid supplies, but it is completely useless if you do not know how to use it. Another point to ponder, is that even if your are a trauma surgeon, all your skills and knowledge are irrelevant if you are not the major care giver to your family. How many of us entrust our children to house maids and nannies, some of who have not been educated beyond primary school. Having been raised in a village environment, many are ignorant to the perils of electricity or other aspects of twentieth century technology.
A friend of mine tells a near tragic story of her pet dog who had somehow managed to find and latch onto a fallen electricity cable. As my friend lifted her gaze she saw not only the dog who was firmly stuck to the high voltage electricity, but the maid running frantically across the yard to retrieve the dog, followed by my friends son, who was chasing the maid. Had they all connected it would have been a tragic and deadly version of a pumpkin pull. All would have surely died if this horrified mother had not screamed at them to stop. Unfortunately the dog died, but a near tragedy was averted by this lady’s quick reaction. Had this lady not been at home , I dread to think what the outcome would have been. It’s worthwhile to take some time out to inquire just how much your house-staff are aware of health and safety. Perhaps you could even invest in a first aid course for those who take care for you and your loved ones.
Until next edition……….stay happy, stay healthy and stay young!
Kim Patra is a qualified Registered Nurse / Midwife, and mother of three, who has been living and working in Bali for past 15 years. She has assisted many traveller (… and others) either as a flying medical escort or just a voice on the end of the phone! Kim is happy to discuss any health concerns that your may have. Her e-mail contact is firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright © 2002 Kim Patra