I’ve just ordered the components for our onboard medical kit. Our medical kit is extensive and was not cheap. My goal was to be able to treat ailments and injuries in an off-shore situation where help might be 24+ hours away. I also wanted a kit that was sized for our family. We have four little kids.
Most off-the-shelf medical kits are designed for adults. Medication strengths and ready-made splint sizes, for example, are different for children. And, who among us, wouldn’t want a cherry-flavored tongue depressor if there was one available.
I really enjoyed researching the components of our medical kit. My research took me to web sites for off-the-shelf medical kits – from the cheapest imaginable to expensive, comprehensive professional kits.
I read web content from industry experts and doomsday preparedness folks. This self-sufficiency web site will teach you how to staple skin by practicing with bed sheets, for example.
I should point out that I am not a doctor, dentist or burn expert. But, I have taken Wilderness Medicine and CPR courses. The purpose of this blog post is to share some of the resources that I discovered while researching the contents of our marine medical kit. (Don’t sue me if you decide to buy a skin stapler and ruin a perfectly good bed sheet.)
Medical kit resources
To build our medical kit I used the collective wisdom and supply lists of various off-the-shelf medical kits, including:
- Adventure Medical Kit Marine 3000
- OceanMedix Prescription Medicine Kit
- WaterJel Large Soft-sided Burn Kit
- Suture/Syringe Medic Single-Use First Aid Kit by Adventure Medical Kit
The Adventure Medical Kit Marine 3000 is organized into colorful, ailment-specific pouches. The supply list is detailed enough that I could order my own products online.
The OceanMedix Prescription Medicine Kit includes over-the-counter medications and prescription medications. The premise behind the prescription kit is described by OceanMedix co-founder, Denny Emory as follows:
…getting sick is far more common than getting injured. Six out of every 10 calls for medical consultation at sea result from illness rather than injury, according to the U.S. Coast Guard and offshore sailing organizations.
I’ve ordered virtually all of the medications online. The first of our over-the-counter medications arrived today as my husband awkwardly said, “Here’s your bottle of…” and trailed off as he abandoned our new bottle of Stool Softener on a counter.
The WaterJel Burn Kit may be overkill for our needs. But, like the cautious mom that I am, I want to be prepared.
The Suture/Syringe Kit is there if we need it. I don’t know how to suture or insert needles. But, I’d like to have my own supplies in case we need them at a hospital in Cuba, for example.
Our medical kit was further enhanced after reading the following websites:
- How to Make Your Own Dental First Aid Kit
- Build Your Own First Aid Kit, It Might Save Your Life (by Indefinitely Wild)
The dental website drew my attention to the Save-A-Tooth product. There’s probably a DIY method to store a tooth for up to 24 hours. But, with sketchy Internet access, and in a toothless panic I shall defer to the dentist’s suggestion, and just buy the product he recommends. I also learned that not all dentist mirrors are created alike. Some use glass mirrors and others use cheap plastic.
Finally, IndefinitelyWild’s survival website suggested duct tape. Excellent. And, it was on this website (and some poking about elsewhere) that I learned about SAM splints, and that I can buy a SAM splint sized for children.
I expect to complete our medical kit in the next two weeks as products arrive. I will also be building a separate medical kit for our ditch bag for our life raft. Following the modular layout of the Adventure Medical Kit Marine 3000 I plan to organize the contents by ailment and bag and label absolutely everything.