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  » Advice for travelers  »  First Aid

You should seek medical advice for anything more than simple complaints that you are confident in treating.


Insurance
Health insurance certificate is usually essential and check repatriation is included.

Personal medications
Remember to take adequate supplies of any personal medications. These may not be easily obtained at your destination. They may also be known locally by different names.

You must carry documentation to show that any medications are for personal use only. These includes sterile equipment for the prevention of blood borne infections and in some circumstances (e.g. when oxygen is being carried) this should be backed up by a doctor's letter or certificate.

A first aid kit
(A check list of items you should consider including)

Emergency medications: these may include paracetamol tablets for headache and antacids for indigestion.

Diarrhoea: fluid replacement powders can be useful especially for children. Anti-diarrhoea tablets can be obtained from your chemist and are normally used only by older children and adults (carefully read the instructions).

Minor injuries: gauze squares, non-adherent dressings, bandages, fabric plasters, adhesive tape, scissors, tweezers and safety pins.

Bites: insects repellants and an antihistamine cream may be helpful.

Sterilising water: tablets for emergencies (especially if filters are not being used)

Sun exposure: sun-block and a cream for using after sunbathing (you should not allow yourself to become burnt!).

Infections: selected antibiotics may be needed by those venturing away from good medical facilities. This needs a careful discussion with your doctor on how and when to use them.

Malaria: you may need to take preventive (prophylactic) tablets and emergency treatment for malaria if going to remote areas.

Sterile pack: consider taking a sterile pack for prevention of blood-borne infections if going to areas where health care facilities may be poor.

A good first aid book can be helpful.