News & Features — 14 June 2013 at 6:31 pm

Monica Iverson on First Aid Kits

Monica Iverson / Expedition Doctor

Adventure Medic interviewed Monica Iverson, Fellow of the Wilderness Medical Association and a teacher on the WMS course. We asked for her top tips on what to take in your first aid kit.

Duck Tape / Always have duck tape. It can be used for anything from blisters to repairing equipment. Super glue is great for closing small wounds and also have bandages to hand as well.

Super glue / Super glue is great for closing small wounds and it’s also best to have bandages to hand as well.

Oral Painkillers / It’s best to use oral painkillers, as sterile injections in remote places are difficult to achieve and if you are wearing lots of kit also then its hard to give the injections.

Avoid Morphine if possible / I would also avoid taking morphine because it is so restricted and you need to consult the government of where you obtain it and where you take it in order to use it. On bigger expeditions where you may be more remote this may be necessary to do though. All UAE countries are a nightmare to transit kit through – opiates will be stripped out by customs.

Fentanyl Lollies and Methoxyflurane / Less commonly used are fentanyl lollies. These again are restricted but are good for patient-controlled analgesia. Along these lines you can also get a hand-held anaesthetic inhaler trade name Penthrox (methoxyflurane) which is also a safe way of providing analgesia for severe pain in the wild.

Irrigation / Most importantly have something to use to irrigate wounds, be it a needle and syringe or even a glove with a hole. If the water is safe to drink then you can use it for irrigation.

Adrenaline / Adrenaline, such as an Epipen is also useful to have close to hand.