First aid

13 December 2010

Packing for the holidays

When going on holiday you can forget you toothbrush or sunglasses at home. However, there is one thing that you should never forget to pack – a First Aid kit.

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When going on holiday it is easy to leave certain items at home by mistake; for example, a toothbrush, sunglasses or your camera. However, there is one thing that you should never forget to pack – a First Aid kit.

Shalen Ramduth, Principal of the Netcare 911 School of Emergency Critical Care (SECC), says it is imperative for all travellers to have a First Aid kit readily available for unexpected emergencies.

"Accidents can happen at any time," he points out, "which is why we always advise travellers to keep a First Aid kit at hand. This can serve as an interim resource until more qualified help arrives and can often make a real difference in an emergency situation. The kit will also assist you to deal with minor injuries that do not require the intervention of trained paramedic personnel."

Contents of a First Aid kit as specified by Netcare 911:

  • 4 packs of sterile gauze
  • Adhesive, hypoallergenic tape
  • Adhesive bandages in several sizes
  • 2 triangular elastic bandages
  • 2 crepe roller bandages, 1 large and 1 small
  • 2 large and 2 small sterile dressings
  • 2 sterile eye dressings
  • 2 eye pads with bandages
  • 1 pack of sterile cotton wool swabs
  • Assorted plasters
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Antibiotic cream
  • 1 pack of paracetamol tablets, including liquid paracetamol
  • Rehydration sachets
  • Any extra prescription medication (if going away on holiday)
  • Tweezers
  • Sharp scissors
  • 6 safety pins
  • Face cloth
  • Thermometer
  • 2 pairs of gloves
  • Torch and spare batteries
  • List of emergency contact numbers e.g. ambulance, family doctor, pediatrician etc.

According to Ramduth, having a First Aid kit handy at all times can be hugely beneficial, but even better is knowing how to do First Aid. "The SECC offers First Aid courses from level one to three. These programmes equip the individual to provide basic supportive care until healthcare professionals arrive. They cover medical, trauma and paediatric emergencies and are ideal for people dealing with children or the infirm."

The Netcare 911 SECC also offers basic CPR courses that focus on equipping individuals with life-saving skills. "All South Africans should learn how to do basic CPR, as every minute can count towards saving a life before paramedics arrive in an emergency situation. CPR before paramedic arrival has yielded greater survival rates internationally."

"Our First Aid and CPR courses are particularly popular with parents as there can be nothing more frustrating and upsetting than being unable to assist your child if he or she is in distress while you wait for medical assistance to arrive. At Netcare 911 we say that you will never forget the first time you saved a life, or the first time that you didn't," concludes Ramduth.

For more information please contact the Netcare 911 School of Emergency & Critical Care on 010 209 8383 or visit www.netcare911.co.za.

 

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