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Posted October 29th, 2011 at 05:42pm
It's a question travel clinic nurses hear all the time; "I'm going abroad. Do I need to take a travel first aid kit?" OK, maybe not if you’re off to London to catch "The Lion King", but in areas where medical facilities aren't on the same level as in the UK it’s a sensible question. It’s always a good idea to have first aid equipment when travelling, but if visits are planned to remote areas, where medical facilities may be inadequate, you should take a sterile travel first aid kit containing needles and syringes.
In many countries rates of infection with blood borne viruses such as HIV and Hepatitis B and C are higher than in the UK. Some countries do not have medical standards as high as those in the UK and equipment used may not be adequately sterilised, blood used for transfusions may not be screened for HIV, Hepatitis B and C. You quickly realise how, even if you are careful, a sterile travel first aid kit can quickly mean the difference between life and death.
You should be carrying adequate supplies so you can self-treat common traveller ailments, such as cuts, grazes and burns. In hot climates where there may be dust or poor hygiene you are more susceptible to infection. Wounds should be cleaned immediately, covered and if any signs of infection develop you should seek urgent medical help.
Things can go wrong when travelling, accidents can occur or you could get sick or injured on your trip. You might get hit by a dangerous driver, twist your ankle playing football, or just catch a good old fashioned stomach bug. Ensure you have comprehensive travel insurance that will adequately cover you in the event that you get sick or injured. Don't miss out any pre-existing medical conditions, because even minor conditions can invalidate your claim if they were not disclosed beforehand.
Make sure your insurance covers you for all the activities you wish to experience on your travels and includes cover for medical evacuation, personal injury and terrorist activity. A frightening statistic is that only 60% of insurance policies cover terrorism, so make sure you read the small print and have adequate cover.
What should my travel first aid kit contain?
Contents of a travel first aid kit will vary according to each traveller’s needs. Things to consider adding to your travel first aid kit include:
Emergency Medications: antibiotics for wound infections, pain killers, prescribed medications - keep these in their original packaging.
Diarrhoea Treatment: oral rehydration saltsare particularly important if you are travelling with children. Prevention is the best cure, so start taking antidiarrhoeal medication from a couple of weeks before you leave. Alcohol hand gel can be useful for when there are no hand washing facilities available.
Injuries: a selection of swabs and dressings.
Lotions: you can purchase treatments for eye infections from your local pharmacy. It might also be useful to have an antibiotic ointment to treat skin infections (such as fucidin) and a cream to apply to burns. An antihistamine cream is useful for treating rashes and insect bites.
Equipment: a digital thermometer, sterile gloves, ticket removers and safety pins, tweezers, scissors.
Mosquitoes: mosquito nets, insect repellents (especially if travelling to areas where malaria and other mosquito borne diseases are present).
Sterile Equipment: sterile needles and syringes, intravenous cannula for a drip, suture material for sewing up skin. These should be in a specially designed kit. It's advisable to get these in a specially prepared sterile first aid kit. This should contain a declaration signed by a doctor that the syringes are intended for medical use. This should reassure customs officials that you are not a drug addict and, in an emergency, can also be used to explain to foreign doctors what the kit is for.
Documentation: first aid book, details of blood group and regular medication, copies of prescriptions if carrying prescribed medication.
Posted October 27th, 2011 at 06:06pm
So, you want to buy a conservatory, but you’re on a budget. You don’t want to sacrifice quality: if you're going to end up with a conservatory you don't want, you might as well not waste your money. You can save a lot of money by erecting the conservatory yourself. From “Changing Rooms” and “Home Improvement” all the way through to the more grandiose plans of “Grand Designs”, DIY has become a popular past time over the last couple of decades. We’re all busy putting up shelves and curtain poles, so why should a conservatory bother you?