First Aid Kits

By Laurel Reyneke
An important part of any adventure is to ensure that in the event of any mishap, from a minor scratch to a serious cut, you are prepared. Having a first aid kit that is easily accessible and contains from the very basics to whatever you as the individual feel you require is part of being prepared.
A first aid kit should contain the following items:
  • Waterproof plasters
  • Antiseptic to clean wounds
  • Antiseptic cream to apply if required
  • Gauze swabs to clean wounds
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Safety pins and/or bandage grips
  • Micropore tape
  • Cream for stings and bites
  • Calamine lotion for excessive itchiness if you have had the misfortune oftouching or standing in plants that sting
  • If you are travelling to a high-risk malaria area, the appropriateprophylaxes against malaria for that specific area
  • Crepe bandages or self-adhesive bandages, preferably with a differentwidth and length
  • Cotton wool
  • Hot and cold packs
  • Voltaren cream for muscular strain
  • Betadine cream
  • Headache tablets
  • Antiemetics
  • Antihistamines
  • Rehydrate
  • Glucose gel
  • Burnshield
  • Sun block, especially for children but also for adults (an SPF of morethan 40 would be preferable for younger children)
Points to Ponder On
It is important to remember that, in the event of an emergency or injury, you must ensure that prior to offering anyone medication that they are able to take the medication safely, i.e. they are not allergic to it. A good rule to adhere to is if they don’t know, don’t give it to them. Also, if they are not fully conscious, it is never recommended to give a person medication.
Should you as the traveller be taking prescription medications and you’renot going to be near a pharmacy or hospital, it is advisable to take extramedication with you to prevent you running out and so that if anythinghappens to your medication, you will at least have morewith you. Also, don’tkeep all your prescription medication stored together. To prevent you losingit all, keep one set with you and another set somewhere else. Furthermore,it would be advisable to have a copy of your prescription and your treating doctor’s details available in the event that you are not able to provide thedetails yourself.
If you are allergic to various food products or bee stings, it isrecommended that you have enough of your prescription medication withyou, that you keep it in an accessible place and that those travelling withyou know how to use it (i.e. an EpiPen). The same would apply for a personwho is diabetic or epileptic; ensure that whomever you are travelling with isaware of your medical status and knows what needs to be done in the eventof an incident, especially if you are going on a holiday in a remote area wheremedical facilities are far and few. Having a bracelet indicating any allergies,medical conditions, your organ donor status and your identification details arealways a plus in an emergency situation.
Keep your DAN member card, medical aid and travel insurance in a safeplace (a sealed plastic bag seems to be a very popular way to transport thesedocuments) for if the unthinkable happens and you or a family member needsto be transported to a medical facility by air ambulance, helicopter or roadambulance. This will ensure that whichever emergency service is contactedwill have the relevant information at hand. This will also ensure that as littletime as possible is lost in the dispatching of an appropriate form of transferto the correct facility for medical attention. If your medical aid providesinternational cover or insurance, ensure you declare your trip to them prior toleaving the country. This could ensure that you are adequately covered, shouldthe need arise.
These are just a few points to ponder on. No one wants to go on holidaywith a sense of doom and gloom, but preparedness is key and can be timeaswell as life-saving. If something goes wrong in a foreign country, it isimportant to know what the emergency numbers are and take a few minutesto look up what medical facilities are available (even if you will only betravelling out of your province).
Once all these items are sorted out, it’s time to set off on your adventure.Have some well-deserved relaxation and have a great holiday.


After anaesthesia Air Quality Air exchange centre Air hose failure Altitude changes Altitude sickness Ama divers Anaerobic Metabolism Annual renewal Apnea Apnoea Arterial gas embolism Arthroscopic surgery Aurel hygiene BCD Badages Bag valve mask Bandaids Barbell back squat Bench press Blood flow Bouyancy compensators Boyle's Law Boyle\'s Law Bradycardia Brain Breast Cancer Breath Hold Diving Breath hold Breath-hold Breathing Gas Breathing Bruising Buoyancy Burnshield CGASA CMAS CO2 Cabin pressure Camera settings Cancer Remission Cancer treatments Cancer Cannabis and diving Cannabis Cape Town Dive Festival Carbon dioxide Cardio health Cardiomyopathy Chamber Safety Charles' Law Charles\' Law Charles\\\' Law Charles\\\\\\\' Law Charles\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\' Law Chemotherapy Cleaning products Coastalexcursion Cold Water Cold care Cold Compressed gas Conservation Contaminants Contaminated air Corals Courtactions Crohns disease Crystal build up Crystallizing hoses Cutaneous decompression DAN Courses DAN Profile DAN Researchers DAN medics DAN report DCI DCS Decompressions sickness DCS DM training DReams Dalton's Law Dalton\'s Law Dalton\\\'s Law Dalton\\\\\\\'s Law Dalton\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s Law Deco dives Decompression Illness Decompression Sickness Decompression illsnes Decompression treatment Decompression Diaphragms Diseases Dive Chamber Dive Industry Dive Instruction Dive Instructor Dive Pros Dive Research Dive Training Dive accidents Dive buddies Dive computers Dive gear Dive health Dive medicines Dive medicine Dive safety Dive staff Diveleader training Diveleaders Diver Profile Divers Alert Diving Kids Diving career Diving emergencies Diving guidelines Diving injuries Diving suspended Diving Domestic Donation Dr Rob Schneider Drysuit diving Drysuit valves Drysuits EAPs EAP Ear pressure Ear wax Ears injuries Education Emergency action planning Emergency decompression Emergency plans Emergency underwater Oxygen Recompression Emergency Enviromental Protection Environmental factors Environmental impact Environmental managment Equipment care Evacuation Exercise Extended divetime Extinguisher Extreme treatments Eye injuries FAQ Failures Fatigue Faulty equipment Fire Coral Fire Safety Firefighting First Aid Equipment First Aid Training First Aid kits Fish Fitness Flying Francois Burman Free diving Free flow Freedive Training Freediver Freediving performance Gas Density Gas laws Gas mixes GasPerformance Gases Gastric bypass Gear Servicing Gordon Hiles HELP HIRA Haemorhoid treatment Hazard Description Hazardous Marine life Health practitioner Heart Health Heart Helium High temperatures Hot Humans Hydrate Hydrogen Hydroids Hydrostatic pressure Hyperbaric Chamber Hyperbaric research Hypothermia Immine systems In Water Recompression Indemnity form Indian Ocean Inert gas Infections Instinct Instructors Insurance Integrated Physiology International travel International Irritation Kidneys Kids scubadiver Labour laws Legal advice Legislation Leukemis Liability Risks Liability releases Liability Life expectancy Lifestyle Low blood pressure Low pressure deterioration Low volume masks Lung function Lung injuries Lung MOD Maintenance Mammalian Dive Response Mammalian effect Master scuba diver Maximum operating depth Medical Q Medical questionaire Medical statement Middle ear pressure Mike Bartick Military front press Mixed Gas Mono Fins Mooring lines More pressure Muscle pain Mycobacterium marinum Nautilus Nitrogen build up Nitrox No-decompression Non-rebreather Mask Normal Air Nosebleeds O2 providers O2 servicing OOxygen maintenance Ocean pollution Orbital implants Oronasal mask Oxygen Cylinder Oxygen Units Oxygen deficit Oxygen deicit Oxygen ears Oxygen equipment Oxygen masks Oxygen supply Oxygen therapy Oxygen P J Prinsloo PFI PJP Tech Part 3 Photography Pistons Planning Plastic Pneumothorax Pollution Pool Diving Preparation Prepared diver Press Release Professional rights Provider course Pulmanologist Pulmonary Bleb Purge RAID South Africa RCAP Radio communications Rashes Recompression chamber Recompression Recycle Regulator failure Regulators Regulator Remote areas Renewable Report incidents Rescue training Resume diving Risk Assessments Risk assesments Risk elements Risk management SABS 019 Safety Stop Safety Saturation Diving Save our seas Science Scuba Air Quality Scuba Injury Scuba children Scuba dive Scuba health Scubalearners Sealife Skin Bends Skin outbreak Skin rash Snorkeling Snorkels Sodwana Bay Splits Squeezes Standars Supplemental oxygen Surgeries Surgery Tattoes Technical Diving The Bends The truth Thermal Notions Tides Tips and trick Transplants Travel tips Travel Tweezers Unconsciousness Underwater photographer Underwater pho Vaccines Vagus nerve Valsalva manoeuvers Vape Vaping Vasvagal Syncope Venting Volatile fuels Washout treatments Wastewater Water Weakness Wetsuit fitting White balance Winter Woman in diving Work of Breathing Wound dressings Wreck dive Wreckdiving Youth diver abrasion air-cushioned alert diver altitude anemia antibiotics antiseptics bandages bent-over barbell rows body art breathing air calories burn cardiovascular checklist chemo port child clearances closed circuit scuba currents cuts dead lift decompression algorithms decongestants dehydration dive injuries dive medicing dive ready child dive reflex dive tribe diver rescue diver training dive diving attraction doctors domestic travel dri-suits dry mucous membranes dry suits dry e-cigarettes ear spaces elearning electrolyte imbalance electroytes emergency action plans emergency assessment equalizing exposure injuries eyes fEMAL DIVERS fire rescue flexible tubing frediving gas bubble health hospital humidity immersion pulmonary edema (IPE join DAN knee longevity lower stress marine pathogens medical issues medical procedures medical risk assesment mental challenge minor illness mucous membranes nasal steroids nasal nematocysts newdivers nitrogen bubbles off-gassed operating theatre operations orthopeadic outgas pain perforation phillippines physical challenges pinched nerves plasters polyester-TPU polyether-TPU post dive preserve prevention rebreather mask rebreathers retinal detachment risk areas safety stops saturation scissors scuba equipment scuba single use sinus infections smoking snorkeling. spearfishing stings strength sub-aquatic swimmers ears tattoo care tecnical diver thermal protection training trimix unified standards vision impaired warmers water quality