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Old 25 March 2004, 11:45   #1
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First Aid Kit

I am starting to put the last bits together for the season and I have got to the first aid kit. This does not seem to have been covered much in any threads that I have found.
I know prevention is better than cure, but sh1t happens.

So my questions are:-

1) What do you guys (& girls) carry, in addition to the standard off the shelf Boots type kit?
2) What are the most common injuries on or around a RIB?
(Redirected photos of MeMe's arse are not required )
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Old 25 March 2004, 12:14   #2
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This is the same question I ask students on boat handling courses and we eventually end up with a list of injuries which are broken bones, punchure wounds, major lacerations (from a prop) burns / fire from petrol, hypotermia / sun stroke and decompression illness.

This then give you a list of injuries which you might have to treat (albeit a worse case list) also you might have more than one casualty.

So I have the proper approved first aid kit for a coded boat and a second with lots of additional big bandages and bottled water. Its not cheap, takes lots of room but a big first kit will make a difference if you know how to use it so dont' dismiss the training to go with it. Casualties want lots of rest / reassurance and big bandages everywhere to make them feel that although there is a drama its going to be alright.

Before anyone suggests they no longer want to attend one of my boat handling courses, it was all put to a very real use on the last one when a yachtie had a heart attack and only survived because we carried oxygen (the oxygen cylinder from the ambulance ran out) and had an intensive care nurse instructor on the boat at the time who took control of the defib from the amb crew who looked a little young and lacked a sence of urgency.

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Old 25 March 2004, 13:18   #3
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A first aid kit is useful for minor things but to be honest the knowledge is FAR more important - which would you rather - a doctor with no kit or a lorry driver delivering a mobile hospital????

I remember the story of a plane passenger with a collapsed lung on a BA flight - in response to "is there a doctor on board" about 50 hands shot up - they were consultants coming back from a conference on lung problems! the 2 who came forward were top specialists and saved the persons life with a wire coat hangar and some cling film!

To be honest the sort of first aid kit most people carry is worthless for anything serious - most things can be improvised.

Of course for less serious matters they are great and I will carry one - especially things like sunburn creams - antihistamines(which COULD save lives) etc etc.
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Old 25 March 2004, 13:54   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by codprawn
but the knowledge is FAR more important
Agree with that statement 100%. A 1st aid kit is ONLY usefull if you know how to use it.
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Old 25 March 2004, 14:32   #5
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first aid kit

we carry along with the usual HSE approved first aid kit, a Laerderal
RNLI adapted mask. this is basicaly a pocket mask that goes over mouth and nose, but with a tube about 18 inches long, it is a great addition for any boat as you can do EAR/CPR in confined spaces, if you look at the deck space on your average rib there is not much room, so these bits of kit developed by the RNLI are great ,that and a TPA and MEDI WRAP BLANKET as used by the ambulance service but as others have said the knowledge is the best thing to have its probably one of the best courses to do.
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Old 25 March 2004, 17:50   #6
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Thanks all

I absolutely agree, you need to know how to use things. Equipment of any kind is only as good as the operator and a good operator can always improvise. I would only attempt basic first aid; anything more would probably endanger the patient. I know my limitations.
We have an excellent rescue service, and in the case of a life-threatening situation it is straight on the VHF and call for help.
My wife is a theatre sister and is probably as well trained in resuscitation as anyone outside a cardiac unit. I am booked to do a resuscitation course in April in case she is the one who needs CPR!
My past experience is in off shore yacht racing and I should imagine that the hazards are different to power craft. We used to cater for severe lacerations, head trauma, fractures, burns, hypothermia and seasickness. I would guess that the major incidents on a RIB would include bumps and bruises, lacerations, de-hydration, sun/wind burn, sunstroke, flying objects and the dreaded seasickness. (Best cure is dried fruit and ginger biscuits. You can keep drugs.)
My additions so far include
Bandages and pads
Waterproof elastoplasts (cut to size roll)
Steristrip
Antihistamine
Antiseptic wash & wipes
Strongest non-prescription painkillers available.
Codine or Paracetamol
Skin lotion
High factor sun cream
Water
Dextrasol (dextrose tablets)
Eyewash and bath
Sting/bite lotion
Scissors and tweezers
'Space blankets'
More water


Anything I missed?
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Old 25 March 2004, 21:06   #7
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Just aspirin - mixed with codeine known as Codis - very strong and over the counter in chemists - often stronger than prescription drugs!

Aspirin is also vital to give during or before a suspected heart attack.
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Old 26 March 2004, 03:07   #8
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Gaffer tape, If you need to improvise a splint, big wound dressing etc gaffer tapes the stuff, insulating tape for fingers.
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Old 26 March 2004, 03:49   #9
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Gaffer tape was on my list, but I thought some might think it a silly idea. I know and you know that you can use it for just about any thing. Always a roll or 2 of Gaffer and insulating tape in my kit bag when on someone elses boat.

Codprawn
Asprin added.

I am seeing a pharmacist this pm for further sugestions. Our kids are friends and we meet for the school run.
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Old 26 March 2004, 03:56   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Manos
A 1st aid kit is ONLY usefull if you know how to use it.
On that note, we are putting together an all new waterbased 1st aid course, to work alongside the RYA 1st Aid course we do currently. We use an experienced Paramedic who has also been ribbing for years.

If any one has any ideas or anything in particular they would like to see in a waterbased hands on 1st aid course, please let me know.
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Old 26 March 2004, 04:11   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by codprawn
Aspirin is also vital to give during or before a suspected heart attack.
... and a hang over
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Old 26 March 2004, 04:12   #12
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1st aid course

Hi Jono
i would like to see what you come up with, and pinch as many ideas as possible, Peter White is doing something similar with the St Johns it would be good to see if it would be worth extending the RYA 1st aid at sea to two days one of theory and one of practical
on the boats (various if possible)so students get some hands on scenarios .rather than comfy classrooms.
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Old 29 March 2004, 07:19   #13
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Hi folks

a few more items for you first aid kit

cling film, with gaffer tape or insulation tape.
cold packs
tubigrip elastic stocking
Idoine spray (savlon spray)
Eye patchs, 2 off min
triangular bandage.
scissors shound be "tough scissors" which can cut think fabric, boots etc.

I would not carry codine & paraceamol mixed
carry paracetamol & ibuprofen, they can be used together upto typically 1000mg paracetamol & 600mg ibuprofen ( max adults)
You still need to carry asprin though but these should not be mixed with ibuprofen.

As far as water goes it should be sterile water.

Think this covers whats in my first aid kit that can be bought over the counter, the rest wont be easily available.

Regards Gary
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Old 29 March 2004, 07:38   #14
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Just a question.

How big a first aid kit suppose to be on a RIB?

My 1st aid kit is a small box bought from BOOTS (measures 23cm x 15cm x 7cm) with a few things that I put in it such as:

savlon dry anticeptic spray,
savlon cream (is good for sunburns too),
germoline,
aspirin and paracetamol,
a few bandages (non woven triangular bandanges 96cm x 96cm x 135cm),
a few plasters (various sizes),
tape,
latex examinatiion gloves,
melolin adhesive,
sterile gauze swabs bp,
a small pair of seasors
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Old 29 March 2004, 07:43   #15
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I know the bloke doing Jono Gartons first aid course, and he really is and excellent lifesaver and very experienced guy. I definitely am a great believer in being taught by an expert and am going to redo my course with them.

I am a bit concerned about the advice to distribute and administer aspirin and anti hystimene. Whilst there are lawyers in this country I would never offer anybody a tablet. (unless a doctor was telling me to do it).

The first aid on the actual boat idea makes sense to me
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Old 29 March 2004, 08:00   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rogue Wave
I am a bit concerned about the advice to distribute and administer aspirin and anti hystimene.
Antihistamene cream is good for stings (wasp, jelly fish, scorpion fish, dragon fish, pine rush etc etc). Also there are sticks that you can apply on bites. And is better to do that rather than pee on a jelly fish sting or a wasp sting (women don't like fresh wee). People use antihistamene cream for rushes and any type of skin irretations although I have found that SAVLON does a similar job. Tablets I don't know, although we have used them when family gets pine rushes but make everyone feel drawsy. Prefer the cream.

Amonia sticks are also availiable (they do the same job as a pee). Cannot see the reason for not using any of those and in case you didn't know, you do not need a doctor's persctiprion - in the UK - to buy any of those by the way

When one uses medicine one needs to have common sence!

Aspirin is even good for preventing heart attacks. So far no one has died from taking aspirin!
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Old 29 March 2004, 08:08   #17
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Just some thoughts

For those who ever wondered VSMM on my signature stands for:-
Voluntry Services Medical Medal (basically a long service medal)

I have spent more years than I care to remember with both The British Red Cross and now the St John. (ok since I was 13!)

I am an instructor with C & G Qualification (NVQ C23,24 D 32, 33)

When not playing on boats i can be found at Brands Hatch as part of the medical team there.

Ok now we have done me credentials here are my thoughts:-

Only take what you can use.

A basic boat or Boots kit would be fine (maybe the motorist type kits.) most should these day's carry a pocket mask or face shield for doing mouth to mouth.

If you need anything more than is in there you should be getting the emergency services involved ASAP.
Call them, you can alway stand them down if you manage to get things under control.
If it needs more than a plaster it will need hospital attention.
If you your bleeding badly shock will set in even quicker in a cold wet boat!

Having said that my kit has extra things like airways and bag and mask for resus only because I am used to and can use them.

As someone said better to have a doctor with no kit than a lorry driver with a mobile hospital well unless he is a part time medic!

Just IMHO.

Kind regards
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Old 29 March 2004, 11:14   #18
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first aid kit

I am a bit concerned about the advice to distribute and administer aspirin and anti hystimene. Whilst there are lawyers in this country I would never offer anybody a tablet. (unless a doctor was telling me to do it)

unless you are carrying cat c medical kit then its not advisable to administer any lotions or potions we are not medicalyqualified to administer drugs, the RYA basic one day first aid at sea is an excellent course to do.unless you are medicaly trained i would steer clear of administeering any form of drug (think allergic reactions)
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Old 29 March 2004, 17:31   #19
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good call

Tim

Would have to agree there.
All pills should be for own use only (or direct family members)
Would never suggest offering any other lotions or potions.

You could find yourself in all kinds of grief if you "give" someone a pill or potion and they have a bad reation.

Regards
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Old 29 March 2004, 18:12   #20
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I am sorry but I would far rather take the risk and give someone aspirin if they are having a heart attack - or anti histamine to prevent anaphylactic shock - rather than stand aside and watch them die!!!!

A conscience is a hell of a thing to have to live with.......

Obviously other drugs have to be treated with extreme caution but aspirin and anti histamines are very safe - anyway it wouldn't hurt to ASK the patient first.

I remember being told NOT to give a guy having a heart attack aspirin - what was the FIRST thing the paramedics did? Exactly!

It is very worrying that people have to think before they offer to help someone!
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