First-aid kit essentials

May 5, 2004
Outside Magazine
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Andean Adventure

First-aid kit essentials
Every traveler should carry a basic first-aid kit. Outdoor Research and others have ready-made kits. Consult the Pocket Doctor by Steven Bezrushka. Medicine for Mountaineering by James Wilkerson, M.D., has more detailed info.

Besides items basic to all first-aid kits ours includes:

Diamox (Acetazolamide): Useful as a prophylactic for acute mountain sickness (AMS), and as an aid to acclimatization.

Dexamethasone: This is an anti-inflammatory steroid. We carry it for emergency treatment of high-altitude cerebral edema (HACE).

Nifedipine: For emergency treatment of high-altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE).

Tylenol 3: For major pain relief.

Ofloxacin: A broad spectrum antibiotic particularly useful for intestinal infections.

Metoprolol: An adrenergic blocking agent for emergency treatment of poisonous scorpion stings.

Hydromorphone: For emergency treatment of severe pain due to major trauma.

Cephalexin: An antibiotic particularly suited for skin infections.

Lariam (Mefloquine): A prophylactic against malaria. We are carrying only a small quantity. It is very expensive in the United States; less expensive alternatives are available over-the-counter in South America.

Syringes and hypodermic needles: We carry these to eliminate worry over contaminated needles.

©2000, Mariah Media Inc.

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