(trade name Imodium): Useful for diarrhoea, although the most
important thing to do is keep yourself hydrated. It is useful to
relieve pain if nothing else. Take two tablets with the first loose
stool and then one for every subsequent one.
Dioralyte: Or other
rehydrating mixture, especially if diarrhoea is severe.
Antibiotics: If you note
blood with the stool or develop a temperature, a short course of
ciprofloxacin should do the trick. If diarrhoea continues (especially
if it may be amoebic or giardiasis infection) with nausea, frothy
stools and lots of wind metronidazole would be a wise choice.
Cyclizine or prochlorperazine:
May help if nausea and sickness is a major problem.
Oral rehydration therapy (ORT):
Put one 5ml teaspoon of
salt with eight teaspoons of sugar in one litre of CLEAN drinking
water and take 1–2 cups with each loose motion.
(For example, Piriton) or promethazine is handy for most allergies,
including those to insect bites. It also helps in motion sickness. It
can make you drowsy, but this can also be an advantage if the
itchiness is keeping you awake.
Insect repellent: (And
often a net) are essential. See
malaria. If you’re really prone to being bitten, ‘after-bite’
type remedies are available.
(Or doxycycline) is handy for a bad sore throat, most chest infections
and skin that has become infected secondary to bites or sores.
Combinations of amoxycillin with flucloxacillin can also be used.
(aspirin or paracetamol or codeine/paracetamol combination). Note the
latter can make you drowsy and bung you up … handy when you’ve
finished the loperamide.
Bandages and plasters:
Handy for blisters.
Syringes and cannulae:
These are for the adventurer who is going places you really don’t
want to be getting ill. Areas with high HIV and hepatitis levels are
not areas to have accidents. Although taking your own cannulae may
protect you from contaminated needles, it won’t help you much if it
is being used to give you infected blood. If you really are going to
take such risks, a bag of gelofusin or similar may be a good idea
(although the chances are if you need it, you’re not going to be in
a fit state to set it all up).
Water purification tablets/iodine drops
Scissors ± tweezers
Antiseptic cream/Fucidin ointment
Elective medical packs
are available from Trebova Medical Student and Junior Doctor Supplies,
7 Burton Close, Gustard Wood, Wheath Hampstead, Herts AL4 8LU. These
include some syringes, Sterets™, cannulae, suture kit, Steristrips™,
triangular bandages, pins and scissors. You may be able to obtain
these from your school or occupational health department. You are
well-advised to carry a letter (get a qualified friend to sign it)
stating that you are a medical student or doctor caring medical
supplies in case of any trouble with customs.