Building a Marine Medical Kit: Part 2

Our marine medical kit is complete. It includes:

  • first aid supplies
  • over-the-counter medications
  • prescription medications

When I was building our kit, I felt like I was building a field hospital. That is, until our travel doctor sent me a link to a medical list prepared by a cruising doctor. Her list is far more exhaustive than mine. But, she is a doctor. The following sections describe the components within our medical kit.

First aid supplies

Our first aid kit borrows heavily from the supply list for the Adventure Medical Kits’ Marine 3000 medical kit. But, unlike this pre-packed kit, I store our kit in a carry-on sized suitcase. I arranged modules, such as “Burns” using XL Ziploc bags and a label machine.

The Marine 3000 medical kit cost about $750 US. Factoring in the cost of over-the-counter medications, our kit cost about $1100. But, I have supplies to last us for two years and beyond. I also have more extensive Burn and Dental supplies than you might find in a pre-packaged kit.

For example, the Marine 3000 kit includes 2 cold packs. I have 100 chemically-activated cold packs. Why so many? We have four children!

Module Component
Airway/Circulation/Breathing ADC Berman Oral airway kit 6 sizes in poly bag
Airway/Circulation/Breathing MCR Medical CPR Rescue Mask, Adult/Child Pocket Resuscitator, Hard Case with Wrist Strap
Airway/Circulation/Breathing MD One Stainless Steel Premium Dual Head Stethoscope – Aqua Green (MDF777-09)
Airway/Circulation/Breathing Airway Kit – Nasopharygngeal Respiration Tubes In 5 Sizes – With Surgilube Jelly Packets
Books Adventure Medical Kits Marine Medicine, Eric A. Weiss, MD and Michael E. Jacobs, MD
Books The Ship Captain’s Medical Guide, 22nd Edition
Breaks and Sprains Dynarex Instant Cold Pack, 4 Inches x 5 Inches, quantity: 100
Breaks and Sprains SAM Rolled Splint 36″, Orange/Blue (x1)
Breaks and Sprains SAM Splint Junior (18″) from Rescue Essentials (x2)
Breaks and Sprains SAM Medical Finger Splint, Orange and Blue, 3 Count
Breaks and Sprains Singer Assorted Safety Pins, Multisize, 50-Count
Breaks and Sprains ACE Elastic Bandage with Clips, 6 Inches
Breaks and Sprains ACE Elastic Bandage with Clips, 4 Inches
Breaks and Sprains ACE Elastic Bandage with Hook Closure, 3 Inches (Pack of 2)
Breaks and Sprains 3 Non-Woven Triangular Bandage with 2 Fastening Hooks, 56″ Length x 40″ Width
Burns Water Jel Burn First Aid Dressing 4×16 Each
Burns First Aid Only 4″ X 4″ Water Jel Burn Dressing, Sterile (Pack of 3)
Burns Water-jel Emergency Burn Dressing 12″ X 16″ Face Mask
Burns Waterjel 2618 Water-Jel Sterile Gel-Soaked Burn Dressing, 18″ Length x 8″ Width
Burns Water Jel, First Aid Burn Relief, Burn jel, 25 count
Burns Aloe/Lidocaine Sunburn gel
Dental Osung D-MDSS-04H Double Sided Dental Mirror with Handle, SS
Dental Think Safe V12080 Save-A-Tooth Tooth Preservation Kit
Dental Dentemp Maximum Strength Lost Fillings and Loose Caps Repair, 12-Count, (Pack of 6)
Dental Nature Hue Organic Clove Essential Oil 10 ml, 100% Pure, Undiluted
Dental Butler G-U-M Orthodontic Wax
Dental Cement Spatula Dental Instrument
Dental Dental floss
Dental New toothbrush
Dental Syringe 60cc Luer Lock Tip Sterile (Pack of 2)
Other/General Ear Thermometer
Other/General Blood Pressure machine
Other/General SafeTouch Nitrile Exam Gloves, Non Latex, Powder Free, Large, Box/100
Other/General Adventure Medical Kits Sol Survival Blanket, Two Person, 3.2-Ounce (pack Of 2)
Other/General Adventure Medical Kits Sol Two Person Emergency Bivvy Blanket
Other/General Purell 9652-06-ECDECO Advanced  Design Series Hand Sanitizer, 8 oz Bottles (Pack of 4)
Other/General Clauss Titanium Bonded Bent Snips, 7″
Other/General Scissors
Other/General Duct tape
Other/General Puritan Junior Tongue Depressor, Cherry Flavored, 50/box
Other/General UCO Stormproof Matches, Waterproof and Windproof with 15 Second Burn Time – 50 Matches
Other/General Eye wash cup
Other/General Bug Spray
Suturing and surgery BETADINE ANTISEPTIC SOL HOSP 16OZ
Suturing and surgery Syringe 60cc Luer Lock Tip Sterile (Pack of 8)
Suturing and surgery Surgical Tweezers – Grade A Bent Tip Fine Point Serrated Tip Tweezers SET – BUNDLE, 2 PCS – Long Nose, Long handled – Dental Curved Tip – Heavy Stainl
Suturing and surgery Skin Staple Remover, Sterile, Disposable, 3 Pack
Suturing and surgery 3M Precise Multi-Shot Disposable Skin Stapler, Skin Stapler 15 Disp, (1 EACH, 1 EACH)
Suturing and surgery Thumb Rat Tooth Tissue Forceps 1X2Teeth 5.5″
Suturing and surgery Premiere 9411 Disposable Scalpels with #11 High-Carbon Steel Blades, Plastic Handle, Sterile, Individually Foil Wrapped, Box of 10 pcs
Suturing and surgery 5.5″ KELLY Hemostat FORCEPS (Straight)
Suturing and surgery Medi-Pak Performance Sterile Lubricating Jelly – 4 oz Tube – Pack of 3
Suturing and surgery Single Disposable Enema Bag Set, Qty 1
Suturing and surgery Mayo Hegar Needle Holder Standard 5 Straight
Suturing and surgery Adventure Medical Kits Suture Syringe Medic kit  (1 person single use)
Suturing and surgery Enema kit
Wounds and Bleeding 3M Steri Strip Skin Closures 1/4” X 3” – 20 Packages of 3
Wounds and Bleeding Skin-TacTM Adhesive Barrier Wipes 50 count
Wounds and Bleeding QuikClot Advanced Clotting Sponge, 1.75 oz (50g) x2
Wounds and Bleeding QuikClot Sport, Advanced Clotting Sponge 25G x2
Wounds and Bleeding Trauma Pads, 5″ x 9″ COMBINE ABD (PACK OF 5)
Wounds and Bleeding Trauma Pads, 8″ x 10″ (x2)
Wounds and Bleeding Super Glue The Original Super Glue 15187, .07 Ounce, 12-pack
Wounds and Bleeding Ever Ready First Aid Israeli Bandage Battle Dressing First Aid Compression Bandage, 6 Inch
Wounds and Bleeding 3M Transpore Clear 1-Inch Wide First Aid Tape, 10-Yard Roll (5 Rolls) + FREE BONUS 3M Micropore Paper Tape – Tan, 1″ Wide (1 Roll)
Wounds and Bleeding Surgical Brushes – x6 (plastic fine-bristled, sensory brushes)
Wounds and Bleeding Dynarex Stretch Gauze Bandage Roll, Non-Sterile, 4″, Box/12
Wounds and Bleeding Pac-Kit 7-200 Sterile Eye Pad and Strip (Box of 10)
Wounds and Bleeding GoodSense Maximum Strength Triple Antibiotic Ointment plus Pain Relief, 1 Ounce
Wounds and Bleeding 3m Tegaderm Transparent Film Dressing 2.375″ x 2.75″/Picture Frame Style/Package of 20
Wounds and Bleeding 3M Tegaderm Transparent Film Dressing – 4″ x 4 3/4″ – – Box of 10
Wounds and Bleeding McKesson Performance Plus Gauze Sponge Cover Dressing Sterile 4″X4″ Latex Free – 2 pack with 25 count in each (Total of 50)
Wounds and Bleeding Johnson & Johnson 2 Inch x 2 Inch hospital Grade Gauze Pad, 25 Count (Pack of 2)
Wounds and Bleeding Johnson & Johnson Red Cross Gauze Pads, 3 Inch x 3 Inch, 25 Count (Pack of 2)
Wounds and Bleeding Dr. Scholl’s Moleskin Plus 4  5/8-Inch X 3 3/8 Inch  Padding, 3 Count Package
Wounds and Bleeding Spenco 2nd Skin Dressing Kit Sports, 8 count
Wounds and Bleeding Johnson & Johnson Red Cross Non-Stick Pads, 3 Inch x 4 Inch, 10 Count (Pack of 2)
Wounds and Bleeding Assorted bandaids
Wounds and Bleeding Finger/toe protectors (toe condoms)
Wounds and Bleeding Antiseptic wipes (100)
Wounds and Bleeding Isopropyl Alcohol

Over-the-counter medications

The following Table itemizes our over-the-counter medications.

Ailment Product
Acid reflux Tums Antiacid and Calcium Supplement Extra Strength
Antibiotic (topical) Triple Antibiotic Ointment and Pain relief ointment
Antibiotic (topical) Neosporin antibiotic and pain relieving cream
Athlete’s foot Lamisil AT Athlete’s Foot Cream – 1 oz
Cold sores Oraljel
Constipation Kirkland Signature Stool Softener Docusate Sodium 100 mg, 400 Softgels/Bottle
Constipation Senekot-S (about 4 pills left)
Constipation Metamucil (300 capsules)
Diarrhea Kirkland Signature Anti-Diarrheal Loperamide Hydrochloride 2 MG Caplets, 200-Count Bottles (Pack of 2)
Lice Nix, and excellent thin-toothed comb, and zapping tool
Lice Cetaphil skin cleanser
Hemmorhoids Equate Maxium strength Hemorrhoidal Cream (1 tube with applicator)
Hemmorhoids Tucks Medicated Cooling Pads (100)
Rehydration RecoverORS for Hangovers, Food Poisoning, Diarrhea
Rehydration Pedialyte Large Powder Packs, Orange, .6 oz, 6 Count
Seasickness Dramamine Tablets Less Drowsy Formula, 8 tablets (14 packs)
Seasickness (kids) Dramamine Motion Sickness Relief for Kids, Grape Flavor, 8 Count
Skin itch, rashes Caladryl Lotion, Calamine Plus Itch Reliever, 6-Ounce Bottle
Skin itch, rashes Top Care Anti-Itch Cream Diphenhyudramine Hydrochloride2%
Skin itch, rashes Top Care Hydrocortisone 1% antipruritic (anti0-itch) cream
Stomach ache Equate Stomach Relief Caplets 40ct Compare to Pepto-Bismol
Stomach ache (kids strength) Pepto-bismol Children’s Pepto, Bubble Gum Flavor Chewable Tablet, 24-Count Units (Pack of 3)
Sunburn and other burns Aloe and lidocaine gel and cream
Swimmer’s ear Ear Drying Aid Ear Drops for Swimmers
Tooth Pain Anbesol Liquid Oral Anesthetic Maximum Strength Gel – 0.41 Oz
UTI AZO Standard Urinary Pain Relief Tablets, 30 Count
Warts Compound W Gel
Yeast infection Monistat 7 (x1)
Allergy (kids) Children’s Benadryl (we already own 10 Epipens)
Allergy Kirkland non-drowsy AllerClear (Loratadine 10mg/tablet)
Coughs, Colds Kirkland Daytime/Nightime relief Acetaminophen and antihistamine combination
Fever/Pain Tylenol Extra Strength 500mg
Fever/Pain (kids strength) Children’s Tylenol
Muscle ache Advil
Musle ache (Kids strength) Children’s Advil

Prescription medications

I was proactive in purchasing a years’ worth of daily prescription medications for our family. But, before we left Ottawa, I should have also ordered prescription medications to have on hand for our “Ship’s medical chest”.

In the end, I approached our Ottawa-based travel doctor, Dr. Robert Birnbaum to get his recommendations and prescriptions. With his help, and the help of some friends and Fedex, I arranged to have antibiotics and antibiotic creams shipped to us in Tavernier, Florida.

It wasn’t actually as easy to ship medication across the border from Canada to the US. But, I won’t bore you with the details. Suffice it to say, I’d recommend ordering medications for a Ship’s Medical Chest before you leave your home country.

The prescription medications in our Ship’s Medical Chest borrow from the OceanMedix Cruiser Prescription Kit. However, Dr. Birnbaum provided us with child-strength Azithromycin powder, which must be reconstituted by a pharmacist. By arranging the medication ourselves, rather than buying a pre-packaged kit we saved about $500 US.

Our prescription medications are stored in a locker in double Ziploc bags. For greater organization, I plan to create an inventory list to attach to the inside our the locker.

4 comments

  1. Lorraine, as a ex CG medic, I didn’t see a couple of things I think you should have for major bleeding like an artery or vein. A couple more hemostats, with curved ends, so you can reach in and clamp off a bleeder and tape it to the body. Also a couple of tourniquets the modern ones that military now uses are quite handy with Velcro straps and built in tensioner, much better than a rag and a stick like we used to use back in the day. First action is the tourniquet and then go in and try to clamp off the bleeding vessel. Pat Date: Tue, 15 Dec 2015 06:55:29 +0000 To: preischmann@msn.com

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  2. For our medical kit – constipation I bought laxido. They are powdered sachets that work rather well.

    I thankfully don’t have to majorly think about ours for another six months but I have antibiotics and Tons of paracetamol.

    Sent from my HTC

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  3. Happy to learn it reached you OK. Sorry unable to be the courrier. Another time perhaps. Have a great Christmas. Waiting to see a photo of the fully decorated and treed cat!!! 8 degrees here today, people are actually hoping for winter! Maybe… Hugs to all.

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