Whether you going overseas or just going camping locally, are you medically prepared for your trip?
The Independent Community Pharmacy Association (ICPA) recommends that all travelers include a basic travel medical kit when packing. This kit should include the usual essentials and any specific medical requirements that could arise at the destination.
“Accidents and illnesses happen and are particularly difficult to manage when you are in a foreign or remote location and it is for this reason that as pharmacists we urge all travelers to have a well-stocked medical kit in their luggage. We also recommend that you source any information you may need for further local assistance ahead of time – it can often make a real difference in an emergency,” says Jackie Maimin, the CEO of ICPA.
5 Medical Kit Essentials:
Antiseptic, Dressings And Plasters
For minor cuts and grazes. Take along a bottle of antiseptic spray or wipes. These are easy to use and very handy when you are on the go. Any medical kit must always contain a selection of plasters, sterile gauze dressings, bandages, medical tape and of course surgical gloves. Antiseptic cream or ointment are also a valuable addition to any medical kit.
Make sure you have a burn gel dressing in your kit. These are sterile and very effective at soothing a minor burn or scald. Never put butter on a wound and try not to burst any blisters that form. If the burn is over a large area or is a deep burn seek urgent medical attention.
Scissors, Safety Pins & Tweezers
Scissors and safety pins are useful for cutting and securing bandages. Tweezers for removing splinters.
Over the counter antihistamines, which are available as tablets and syrups, are used to treat hayfever and can help reduce itchiness and inflammation caused by contact allergies and insect bites.
Prescription And Chronic Medication
If you take any regular prescription medication, such as high blood pressure tablets or inhalers for asthma, make sure that you take enough with you on holiday. “It is also important to take along a copy of your prescription. You may require this at customs when traveling across boarders or for repeat medication should you run out while on holiday, or if your luggage containing your medicines is lost,” advises Maimin.
“A good idea is to take a photograph of your prescription and your medication so that should it get lost you can show the pharmacist what you require. Telling a pharmacist that you are on a white pill for your heart is not helpful when trying to identify a medicine!”
3 Key Medical Considerations For Travelers
Illegal medications: Maimin goes on to advise that if you are traveling abroad it is wise to check the rules before trying to take medication into that country. “For example, codeine is classed as an illegal drug in Greece, and individuals possessing it could conceivably be arrested, even if they were legitimately prescribed it in another country. Any medicines deemed to contain narcotics could have severe penalties in certain countries such as Indonesia if not declared at customs and the traveler must have a covering letter or prescription from their doctor.”
Emergency Numbers: Do some research about your destination and compile a list of emergency medical numbers such as local doctors, hospitals, poison help line numbers, ambulance services, a paediatrician etc.
Local pharmacy: Pharmacists are always on hand to help. In nearly every South African town you visit you will find a local pharmacy with a pharmacist who is able to advise and assist you should you find yourself in need of medical advice, repeat prescriptions, and over the counter medications.
SOURCE: CATALYST COMMUNICATION