What went in my First Aid kit for Jamaica?

By January 19, 2017 One Comment

A few friends of mine own a video production company called Evolvr. They’re going down to Jamaica next week to shoot some footage, and they asked me to come along to accompany them as a Paramedic in case anyone gets hurt. What I want to share with you guys today is what went in my First Aid kit for Jamaica.

A few considerations

First of all, I had to keep in mind what we’d be doing, how far we would be from medical help, and any prior medical history of the people I’m taking care of. A lot of my Wilderness EMT training kicked in for this planning.

We’ll be going parasailing, Jamaican bobsledding, river rafting, etc. Lots of potential for injury right there. I definitely want to make sure I’m prepared sprains, broken bones and bleeding.

Thankfully, no one on the trip has any serious medical conditions, so I’m packing a pretty generic kit.

Lastly, it’s difficult to research available healthcare resources. We take the internet for granted these days, but when you start looking at developing regions and different cultures, Google is not as helpful. It was difficult for me to identify appropriate hospitals because they’re not very searchable, their websites (or lack thereof) are not informative, and the terminology is different. I’ve done the best I can, and I feel pretty confident about what I came up with.

What’s NOT in my First Aid kit for Jamaica?

A few things I chose not to pack for Jamaica. I’ll share what those are and my reasoning.

I am not bringing a stethoscope or blood pressure cuff. I’m there to primarily to provide emergency care. There’s a lot that I can use a stethoscope and blood pressure cuff for, but most of what I can find out with those two things I won’t be able to treat. Those medical issues require medication or advanced procedures, neither of which I can provide. I can determine the severity of the problem, whether they need to go to the hospital or not, and I can keep them alive until we get there.

Similar reasoning applies to why I’m not brining a pulse oximetry. I won’t have oxygen with me.

I left out a few other things like a pen light, different sizes of tape, etc. Instead, I’m brining 2 inch tape that I can tear into whatever sizes I need. I’m also bringing a headlamp which I can use for more than just checking pupils. The goal is to pack things that will have multiple uses to limit the size of my bag.

What IS in my First Aid kit for Jamaica?

What I packed in my kit is very heavy on trauma supplies, but that’s primarily because most medical issues require medications to treat the illness. So here’s my list of supplies. If I was in a more remote area, I would have packed more quantity. However, I know that if I deplete some of my resources, I can replenish most of it from local pharmacies.

  • Philips FR2 AED
  • SAM Splint
  • Femur traction splint
  • CPR pocket mask
  • 3 Roller bandages
  • A lot of 4×4 gauze
  • ACE bandage
  • Mask and goggles
  • 4 triangular bandages
  • Emergency blanket
  • 8 ABD pads
  • 2 Israeli bandages
  • 2 Tourniquets
  • Work gloves
  • Several nitrile gloves

Based on my experience in the field, this will give me a lot to work with for almost any emergency I encounter. One note about the emergency blanket. I’m not bringing it because I’m worried about hypothermia in Jamaica. It’s something I’ll use for keeping someone warm if there’s major hemorrhaging which is standard of care.

Really excited about this trip! Hopefully nothing happens, but if it does, I’m feeling equipped for the adventure.

A quick note. If you’re involved in trips/adventures where you won’t have easy access to advanced care or you’re working with limited resources, you should consider taking our Wilderness First Responder course. It’s fantastic!

One Comment

  • Juan Randazzo says:

    Very insightful information, especially for someone not in the medical field. I’m glad everything went well and that you had fun in the process.

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