Most common injuries/illnesses during remote trips





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  1. #1
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    Question Most common injuries/illnesses during remote trips

    I would like to hear from other about the most common injuries/illnesses that they have actually experienced or seen on a trip to a remote area. Also what medication/first aid they would recommend for that specific injury/illness.

    The reason I’m asking is that I recently burned my hand with boiling hot water (2 degree burn wound) during the second day of a trip and although I thought my First Aid Box was well stocked, I realized after the incident that it lacked both in specialized items as well as in quantity of items.

    The items included in my First Aid Box were ‘burn shields’ and an anti-burn gel as well as normal gauze and bandage. The ‘burn shields’ worked OK initially but after 20 minutes plus even adding anti-burn jell the pain could not be controlled by it. The best was to keep it in a container filled with ice water. (I went to sleep with my hand in the container and luckily we carried some strong painkilling ampoules. The next morning I had a blister of about a centimeter high over the burned area. It was recommended to remove the blister and the dead skin under sterile conditions rather than it breaking by accident and getting infected.

    This was where my problem started as we carried no other specialized items for treating burn wounds. What was required was paraffin impregnated gauze as well as a cream that contains silver sulphadiazine. Luckily I was able to get the correct items, “Jellonet” and “Silbecor” cream from another group even though not enough for the duration of our trip. Also we carried only 6 ‘crepe’ bandages with us and as my hand had to be cleaned daily this was not sufficient.

    We carried on our trip as planned and with the correct treatment I was able to break up camp and set it up again another 3 times over 11 days.
    Since the incident I have added “Silbecor” cream and 16x “Jellonet” 10 x 10 cm gauze sheets to my First Aid Box. (The “Jellonet” can be bought in sterile packets containing single, 3 or 10 sheets) I also carry 10x 50mm 'crepe' bandages now. ( I also take a small old pot along for boiling the used bandages in for re-use as my wife would not allow me to use her cooking pots)

    Would like to hear (and learn) from other about likely accidents that they have experienced.

    Gerrie

  2. #2
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    Most common is probably diarrhoea. For this there are plenty remedies, but it usually preventable with hygienic handling of foodstuffs and treatment of water.

    For the burn: (I might get flamed for this) The BEST treatment I have ever come across is the application of Ballistol oil (obtainable in most gun shops). It is NOT medically certified so don't just take my word for it. Go and buy a bottle, and the next time you have a burn accident at home, apply your normal treatment to one half of the wound, and Ballistol to the other half. See what works best for you.
    Last edited by Flip Marais; 2011/07/15 at 09:25 AM. Reason: Grammar!!
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  3. #3
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    I spend a lot of time in very remote parts of Africa , what I find amazing is how many people think that diarrhea in adults in the first 24 hours is an emergency and they have to start taking 'IMODIUM' immediately , diarrhea is not an emergency its a discomfort and 99% of the time it sorts itself out in 24 hours , and the vast majority of times its preventable . Clean drinking water and hydration is more important than Imodium in the first 24 hours.

  4. #4
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    Been lucky only minor things like; the trots, sun/heat stroke / various bites and stings, minor burns, concussion, shock and hangovers.

    the trots = activated charcoal, imodium etc
    heat stroke = learn the procedure, google it.
    bites and stings = anti hystamines and knowledge of biters/stingers and what to do... not just for snakes and scorpions.
    minor burns = you have that covered.
    concussion = learn the procedure AND monitor the patient. Treat head wounds/ bumps to the head as serious until sure (pupil size, breathing, pulse, clammy skin, headaches, speech [incoherent/slurred] etc)
    shock = learn the procedure and symptoms (clammy skin, pulse, breathing, skin colour, etc)
    hangover = treatment revolves around replacement of liquids, sugars, electrolites and promising to never, ever,ever drink so much again!
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  5. #5
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    You can prevent a hangover by staying drunk.

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  6. #6
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    SWAMBO got bitten by a Violin Spider during our recent trip. The doctor prescribed Transact plaster as treatment.


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  7. #7
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    "gippo guts" is the most common by far.

    Below is my travel list of 1 st aid kit, I take with me.

    AFTER SUN / FRIDGE
    ANTI HISTEMIENE ROOM EN TABLETTE
    ANTI MAAGKRAMP STROOP
    ANTI SEPTIESE SALF
    ANTIBIOTIKA BREE SPEKTRUM
    BABA SPELDE
    DEEP HEAT / VOLTAREN / ARNICA/REPARIL
    DETTOL/SAVLON
    DIAREE PILLE EN SUSPENSIE
    HOES MIDDEL
    INSEK BYT/STEEK SPUIT
    KAMFER ROOM
    KEEL SEER SUIG TABLETTE
    LIP SALF
    MALARIA PILLE EN TOETS
    METHIOLATE
    NAARHEIDS MIDDEL
    OOG DRUPPELS
    OOR DRUPPPELS
    OOR PLUISIES
    PLEISTERS
    PYNPILLE
    REHIDRASIEMIDDEL
    REISNAARHEIDS PILLE
    SKALPEL EN LEMME
    SKER
    SOOI BRAND MIDDEL
    STEEK NAALDE
    STEKE VIR OOP WONDE
    TWEEZER
    VEL ROOM
    VERBANDE
    VICKS SMEER
    WATTE
    ZINK OINTMENT
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  8. #8
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    Hmmmm, Gerrie is also not telling that in his first aid kit he carried a doctor with

  9. #9
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    What do you guys do on the expiry dates of this stuff?
    I realized I carried plenty around without ever using anything and it keeps expiring.
    So what to do for all the expenses?
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by James Mackay View Post
    I spend a lot of time in very remote parts of Africa , what I find amazing is how many people think that diarrhea in adults in the first 24 hours is an emergency and they have to start taking 'IMODIUM' immediately , diarrhea is not an emergency its a discomfort and 99% of the time it sorts itself out in 24 hours , and the vast majority of times its preventable . Clean drinking water and hydration is more important than Imodium in the first 24 hours.
    100%. Most times, it's best to just let the runs run their course. We only use Immodium if the diahrroea is interfering with work. Learn to recognise the symptoms of more serious infections, eg giardia etc, and carry an antibiotic like Flagyl (metronidazole).
    After stomach bugs, the most common problems we have encountered are burns - we usually end up treating other people, as we have very strict rules on the use of leather gloves around fires, for wood handling, and in fact for anything involving hand work.
    Next up is soft skin infections which very easily turn into tropical ulcers if left untreated. These are particularly common on the coast and in wet and humid conditions. Besides being meticulous in cleaning out small cuts and wounds and treating with a disinfectant and then with Bactroban or similar, we carry the antibiotic Augmentin - also used for treating tooth abscesses.
    Thrush and cystitis are also common in woman travellers.
    Note: I am NOT a doctor or trained medic, just a bush traveller who does lots of remote trips. Ask your doctor for proper advice.

  11. #11
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    Got an email from a freind in UK about bee stings.
    Apparantly you put a penny on the sting & hold it there for 10 minutes & there is no pain, infection etc after that.
    It is the copper that does the trick, so maybe carry a bit of flattened Cu tube around.
    No comments about our magnetic 5c coins please!
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by steamer View Post
    Got an email from a freind in UK about bee stings.
    Apparantly you put a penny on the sting & hold it there for 10 minutes & there is no pain, infection etc after that.
    It is the copper that does the trick, so maybe carry a bit of flattened Cu tube around.
    No comments about our magnetic 5c coins please!
    May work on those whimpish european bees but the african honey bee is the scud missile of bees

    Also I encourage everyone to do a first aid course. It is good fun, and you always learn something. The actual certification expires every 2 years but the knowledge lasts a little longer. It also helps to know what to do with all the goodies in your amazingly expensive 1st aid kit. A hot toddy of mecurochrome will not ease an upset tummy...
    Last edited by gazza1210; 2011/07/21 at 03:53 PM.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by gazza1210 View Post
    May work on those whimpish european bees but the african honey bee is the scud missile of bees
    Also I encourage everyone to do a first aid course. It is good fun, and you always learn something. The actual certification expires every 2 years but the knowledge lasts a little longer. It also helps to know what to do with all the goodies in your amazingly expensive 1st aid kit. A hot toddy of mecurochrome will not ease an upset tummy...
    We carry a copy of "Where There Is No Doctor" and a second handbook on travel medicine whose name eludes me.

  14. #14
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    Burn wounds
    Stings / bites
    Cuts
    are the major things we worry about on a trip. I got a very bad burn wound earlier this year from a cast iron pot. It left a mark of about 5cm x 3cm. I had gloves on, but as I let the bread fall out, the pot swung back and came to rest on my arm. Thank goodness for the first aid kit
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