Carry a First Aid Kit when Traveling, Duh!
Spoiler – there are no graphic injury photos in this post!
So far I have only used one bandaid on myself and that was to cover a blister I got when I started wearing my new sandals. However I have used my kit to patch up two other people who were less fortunate that I have been.
As I packed for this round the world trip I made sure to include a first aid kit. Considering my pack is only 40 liters I had to spend quite a bit of time deciding how large a kit I should bring. Then I had to consider what I should include in the kit.
I do have training on how to use a CPR Pocket Mask but they are pretty large so I left it out and decided to stick to the basics. If I need to perform CPR on someone Ill just have to accept the risks involved with direct contact.
Here is a list of what I ended up taking.
|First Aid stuff||Non first Aid but good idea stuff|
I bought my kit at Save-On-Foods in Victoria, BC, but here is a link to a kit on Amazon that would be a great one to take along on a world trip. Of course it takes up a bit of room in the backpack but that space can be made up by leaving one t-shirt at home.
Though I have not had to use the kit much on my self I am super glad I brought it. So far to date I have patched up two other people. In Anjuna a girl from the UK brushed her leg against the exhaust pipe of a scooter and got a nice burn. It was a simple case of cleaning the dead skin off, cleaning it with soap and bottled water, using antiseptic cream and covering it. The burn was really only the surface so it may leave a bit of a scar, but there was not really any danger of further infection.
The second person I patched up was in Hampi. Just as I was getting ready to move on to Bangalore. I was on my way to the shower I had to go down the stairs from the rooftop (where I slept under the stars) and the way was blocked by a girl from China who was bleeding all over the stairs and the ground. She had slipped on the stairs and her foot caught a part of the railing that was not welded very clean. It tore up the top of her big toe pretty good. She was sitting on the stairs surrounded by several people who looked concerned, confused, and who had no idea what to do as they watched the blood drip onto the ground.
I moved her off the stairs onto a stack of stored futons, got a bottle of clean water and soap, cleaned the gash, stopped the bleeding, and dressed with wound with some antiseptic cream gauze and tape. I told her to report it to the management, and to keep an eye on it. In my totally unprofessional opinion she will be fine as long as she keeps it clean.
Point of the story. Carry a first aid kit and learn the basics of how to use it. When you do use it replenish what has been removed. You never know when you need it and you may not need it yourself but someone around you surely will at some point on your trip.
Share your travel medical horror stories in the comments below.