Remote Surf Travel First Aid Kit

Stu Nettle
The Depth Test

I've got a mate who loves to play the Lotto. Not so long ago he roped me into a syndicate on the promise of a big win. But when I told him my numbers he shook his head.

"You can't pick 17," he said with the certainty of a gambler. "History shows that number has come up fewer times than any other ball".

Clearly he knew his history, but my mate knew nothing about probability, 'cos if he did he'd know that fewer past appearances actually increase the odds of a future event happening.

While packing for a surf trip last month I was struck by a different version of the same argument. I'd never really hurt myself while on a surf trip, yet I'd been on a few, was it time for my number to come up?

With this in mind I walked to the chemist to fill my first aid kit. But with what? Twenty band-aids, a tube of Savlon, and a safety pin..? I'd never needed much else before.

As it happened I didn't need much that trip either - which takes me one trip closer to that dreaded number 17. But fortunately a package arrived in the post this week: The Remote Surf Travel First Aid Kit - marketed as the Calm As First Aid Kit.

The Calm As Kit has everything a travelling surfer needs, as collated by a bloke who knows. Dr Jon Cohen is an emergency surgeon and self-confessed frother, he's considered everything from sea urchin spike to the accidents that don't bear thinking about, and he's assembled a kit to deal with them all.

The kit is split into six smaller resealable packs, each labelled and divvied up for various injuries ("Reef Rash" "Urchins" "Dressings"). The whole lot then sits inside a water-resistant drawstring bag with a combined weight of 0.65kg. Bung it in your backpack and you'd hardly know it's there.

The Calm As Kit includes:

  • 10 alco wipes
  • 10 packs of gauze
  • 10 non-sterile emergency nitrile gloves
  • 5 x betadine wipes
  • 5 x30mL packs of sterile saline for wound irrigation
  • Sterile scissors
  • Sterile tissue forceps
  • 2 sterile packs of small wound closure strips (“steristrips”)
  • 2 sterile packs of extra large wound closure strips
  • 2 sterile 10mL syringes
  • 2 sterile 18G blunt needles
  • Sterile cotton applicators (“Q-tips”)
  • Triangular bandage (“Shoulder sling”)
  • 1.5m of flat-packed 3.75cm strapping tape
  • 50cm x10cm sheet of breathable fabric wound dressing (“fixomul”)
  • 2x medium water-proof transparent wound dressings (6x7cm)
  • 2x large water-proof transparent wound dressings (10x12cm)
  • 2x medium combines with waterproof backing (10x20cm)
  • 2x large combines with waterproof backing (20x20cm)
  • 2x tongue depressors (“finger splints”)
  • 5x fabric bandaids
  • 25g tube of Burnaid gel
  • Aeroform Snakebite bandage (doubles as a “tensor bandage”)

As far as I'm aware this is the first commercially available surfer's first aid kit. And while it's comprehensive, Dr Cohen is looking to make continual improvements on it over the coming years. Surfers have always copped the occasional injury while on the road, and as more of us travel further, the odds are the incidents will increase.

The Calm As First Ais Kit can be bought online for $79.95.

Comments

ojackojacko's picture
ojackojacko's picture
ojackojacko commented Thursday, 14 Mar 2019 at 10:43am

>>Clearly he knew his history, but my mate knew nothing about probability, 'cos if he did he'd know that fewer past appearances actually increase the odds of a future event happening.

brilliant stu :))) good to see some real science

Pops's picture
Pops's picture
Pops commented Thursday, 14 Mar 2019 at 11:08am

Probability theory isn't my strongest suit, but I'd contest that. The results of a past lotto draw and a future one aren't causally linked, so the amount of times number 17 has been drawn in the past can have no bearing on the probability of it being drawn in the future.

OHV500's picture
OHV500's picture
OHV500 commented Thursday, 14 Mar 2019 at 11:36am

Totally correct Pops - Just referencing my memory of permutations and combinations in Form 6 maths :))

kaybeegee's picture
kaybeegee's picture
kaybeegee commented Thursday, 14 Mar 2019 at 11:58am

Yep, Keep Stu off the roulette table.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Thursday, 14 Mar 2019 at 12:00pm

So my mate was also wrong?

If so, that's enough consolation for me.

Pops's picture
Pops's picture
Pops commented Thursday, 14 Mar 2019 at 12:05pm

Yep, you're both wrong for the same reason.

ojackojacko's picture
ojackojacko's picture
ojackojacko commented Thursday, 14 Mar 2019 at 12:28pm

the real lesson here - don’t try to make a joke on the internet

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Thursday, 14 Mar 2019 at 12:30pm

Jokes are fine. Mathematics is the problem.

ojackojacko's picture
ojackojacko's picture
ojackojacko commented Thursday, 14 Mar 2019 at 12:33pm

that just doesn’t add up ...

Pops's picture
Pops's picture
Pops commented Thursday, 14 Mar 2019 at 1:20pm

Yeah, I feel like a bit of a dick for the correction.

ojackojacko's picture
ojackojacko's picture
ojackojacko commented Thursday, 14 Mar 2019 at 1:32pm

all good pops - just some friendly banter

Pops's picture
Pops's picture
Pops commented Thursday, 14 Mar 2019 at 1:36pm

Always hard to gauge tone via text!

blackers's picture
blackers's picture
blackers commented Thursday, 14 Mar 2019 at 1:50pm

Dont worry about it Pops, you saved me from correcting him. My gran always said never miss an opportunity. Peace and love all, go get some waves.

Ralph's picture
Ralph's picture
Ralph commented Thursday, 14 Mar 2019 at 5:31pm

"amount of times number 17 has been drawn in the past can have no bearing on the probability of it being drawn in the future"
Thats my understanding too. Do you know how that reconciles to the concept of "reversion to the mean"?

Pops's picture
Pops's picture
Pops commented Friday, 15 Mar 2019 at 1:47pm

This example from the Wiki page on the topic explains it quite well (yeah, I know wiki isn't always the best source, but it tends to be pretty good on things like maths);
"Consider a simple example: a class of students takes a 100-item true/false test on a subject. Suppose that all students choose randomly on all questions. Then, each student’s score would be a realization of one of a set of independent and identically distributed random variables, with an expected mean of 50. Naturally, some students will score substantially above 50 and some substantially below 50 just by chance. If one takes only the top scoring 10% of the students and gives them a second test on which they again choose randomly on all items, the mean score would again be expected to be close to 50. Thus the mean of these students would “regress” all the way back to the mean of all students who took the original test. No matter what a student scores on the original test, the best prediction of their score on the second test is 50. "

Ralph's picture
Ralph's picture
Ralph commented Friday, 15 Mar 2019 at 3:16pm

Thanks Pops, that's a good example.

chook's picture
chook's picture
chook commented Friday, 6 Sep 2019 at 11:49am

you are right pops. it's called the gamblers fallacy to think that a past roll of the dice (or lotto drum) has any bearing on future rolls.

Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead Probability Coin Toss...

Chipper's picture
Chipper's picture
Chipper commented Thursday, 14 Mar 2019 at 11:03am

Well packaged and looks like a good kit.

But where's the "China Red" ..... and the Bactroban, antibiotic cream for skin infections. Cannot recommend those 2 items enough!

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Thursday, 14 Mar 2019 at 11:07am

Doc Jon said the while the kit is comprehensive, it can also be used as a base for a fully kitted out kit. The bag it comes in has plenty of room to "add in your other medical goodies like tablets, potions and snake-oil."

Pops's picture
Pops's picture
Pops commented Thursday, 14 Mar 2019 at 11:10am

Yep looks pretty comprehensive. Probably worth grabbing one to keep in the car.

surfstarved's picture
surfstarved's picture
surfstarved commented Thursday, 14 Mar 2019 at 12:09pm

And the half limes for Tahitian reef rash?

Don't let the bastards grind you down

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Thursday, 14 Mar 2019 at 12:32pm

Two days after I got home last month...

Next time more lime and more scrubbing.

derra83's picture
derra83's picture
derra83 commented Thursday, 14 Mar 2019 at 2:30pm

Whats with the black line?

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Thursday, 14 Mar 2019 at 2:42pm

Demarcation. Doc already had me on antibiotics but he said if the red extends beyond the texta line then the scorched earth campaign would begin.

Pops's picture
Pops's picture
Pops commented Thursday, 14 Mar 2019 at 3:02pm

Checking if the infection is growing or shrinking, yeah?
FWIW, I've found manuka honey the best for those kinds of infections. Needs to be decently strong stuff, mind.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Thursday, 14 Mar 2019 at 3:07pm

Yep. By this stage he was worried about the infection going into my shin bone. The doc is usually all for natural remedies but he was prepared to call up Blackwater in this case.

Pops's picture
Pops's picture
Pops commented Thursday, 14 Mar 2019 at 3:11pm

Heavy.

surfstarved's picture
surfstarved's picture
surfstarved commented Thursday, 14 Mar 2019 at 3:09pm

Well seeing you posted that Stu, wanna see a pic of my finger post-planer? It's pretty gruesome...

Don't let the bastards grind you down

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Thursday, 14 Mar 2019 at 3:10pm

Stick it up...

surfstarved's picture
surfstarved's picture
surfstarved commented Thursday, 14 Mar 2019 at 4:10pm

Let's see if this works...

Don't let the bastards grind you down

surfstarved's picture
surfstarved's picture
surfstarved commented Thursday, 14 Mar 2019 at 4:11pm

Apologies to anyone who's squeamish.

Don't let the bastards grind you down

Pops's picture
Pops's picture
Pops commented Thursday, 14 Mar 2019 at 4:19pm

Sheesh. Apology accepted. How'd that one heal?

surfstarved's picture
surfstarved's picture
surfstarved commented Thursday, 14 Mar 2019 at 4:50pm

Still healing Pops. Four weeks out of the water and counting. Hopefully it won't be much longer, given that the autumn swell patterns are starting to form down off Heard Island and I am, as my handle would seem to indicate, even more surfstarved than usual.

Plus I've got a board to glass and I haven't been able to wear gloves for over a month now.

Don't let the bastards grind you down

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Thursday, 14 Mar 2019 at 4:58pm

Gawdsheesh....bet you never make that mistake again!

surfstarved's picture
surfstarved's picture
surfstarved commented Thursday, 14 Mar 2019 at 6:12pm

I fucken hope not.

Don't let the bastards grind you down

I focus's picture
I focus's picture
I focus commented Thursday, 14 Mar 2019 at 8:33pm

Bragging rights surfstaved

Pops's picture
Pops's picture
Pops commented Friday, 15 Mar 2019 at 1:38pm

Hope you heal up quick mate!

AndyM's picture
AndyM's picture
AndyM commented Thursday, 14 Mar 2019 at 5:05pm

Oh man, that's so fucked!

You didn't do things by halves!

blindboy's picture
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blindboy commented Friday, 15 Mar 2019 at 3:12pm

First trip,to Bali bloke in the same losmen hit the reef hard with his elbow and took some skin off. He didn't look after it and it got infected. Woke up a couple of days later with an arm the same diameter as his leg. The doctor at the Bali beach stuffed him full of sntibiotics and we dressed him up with his arm hidden so they would let him on the plane. He had fractured his humerus (I think) and the infection had entered the bone. Ended up losing 30% of the bone and had a metal plate put in. Look after your cuts kiddies!

Jon Cohen-_-Calm As...'s picture
Jon Cohen-_-Calm As...'s picture
Jon Cohen-_-Cal... commented Thursday, 14 Mar 2019 at 4:21pm

Good comment Chippa. Topical antibiotics are crucial to preventing minor infection from spreading. Even more important is preventing the infection from starting - this kit has all the sterile gear to pick the little bits of sealife out, sterile saline for a final rinse after you've diluted the bacteria in the wound with fresh / drinking water, and betadine wipes to dab on the wound after you've stopped all bleeding. Close it and cover it with the other gear in here, and you may never need bactroban, limes, betadine or savlon (my favourite 'cause it doesn't stain anything, doesn't sting and seems to work). But yea, I always pack a tube of savlon for the times when something gets left in the wound and it starts to turn a day or two later...

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Thursday, 14 Mar 2019 at 1:29pm

Agree Bactroban for sure also for any Cardiac problems Aspirin 100mg and
Nitrolingual pump spray which is avail without prescription .
Lime on Reef cuts have been a no no for 10 yrs or more...

inoshishi sex

Jon Cohen-_-Calm As...'s picture
Jon Cohen-_-Calm As...'s picture
Jon Cohen-_-Cal... commented Thursday, 14 Mar 2019 at 4:24pm

Good point Udo - anyone with pre-existing medical conditions should be sure to have an ample supply of their meds with them. Even at Joyo's Camp at G-Land where Surfing Doctors have been manning / stocking an infirmary for the past decade, the only way to be 100% that the meds you need are in date and accessible (medication cupboards have been known to be ransacked...) is to have your own. Especially if it's something your life / ability to surf comfortably depends on.

I focus's picture
I focus's picture
I focus commented Thursday, 14 Mar 2019 at 8:37pm

Hey Udo why no lime still used most of outer Indo

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy commented Thursday, 14 Mar 2019 at 11:49am

Probably cheaper than assembling it yourself!

filthyphil's picture
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filthyphil commented Thursday, 14 Mar 2019 at 11:53am
Island Bay's picture
Island Bay's picture
Island Bay commented Thursday, 14 Mar 2019 at 2:18pm

Looks good.
I'd add Bactroban, suture and needles.

Jon Cohen-_-Calm As...'s picture
Jon Cohen-_-Calm As...'s picture
Jon Cohen-_-Cal... commented Thursday, 14 Mar 2019 at 4:33pm

Most medically trained crew I know bring at least a set of sutures, suture equipment and the gear to instill local anaesthetic. We couldn't provide local anaesthetic so trimmed the suturing gear (pretty exy and less likely to be used) from this version of the kit. This kit has enough "steri strips" or butterfly bandages to close a wound until you can get somewhere with medical backup. Also water resistant "combines" and a tensor bandage that will help arrest bleeding, and mop up any slow trickle from the wound while you're travelling to get help. This feature of the kit is just as helpful at your local as it is overseas - heaps of crew come into the Emergency Department straight from the beach with blood soaking through their (or their mates') clothes from using them as compression bandages. I'm sure some of their cars looked like murder scenes.

loungelizard's picture
loungelizard's picture
loungelizard commented Thursday, 14 Mar 2019 at 2:23pm

agree with island bay and try to score a 5 day course of broad spectrum antibiotic from a friendly doc and start munching them before your leg starts to look like stu's (nasty..)

Jon Cohen-_-Calm As...'s picture
Jon Cohen-_-Calm As...'s picture
Jon Cohen-_-Cal... commented Thursday, 14 Mar 2019 at 4:38pm

Agree with you about the antibiotics, but not so much about the "broad spectrum" side of things. You can choose tailored AB's for what you're likely to need them for. The (included) eBook / app we're launching is going to touch on subjects like this in a bit more detail for those who are interested. Providing medications in this kit was problematic, but depending on where you're going and what you're doing there are definitely some "extra" over the counter and prescription meds you should talk to your doctor about getting before heading off...

loungelizard's picture
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loungelizard commented Thursday, 14 Mar 2019 at 4:49pm

not a clinician but my understanding is you can get some pretty weird bugs from coral cuts ?

dazzler's picture
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dazzler commented Thursday, 14 Mar 2019 at 8:48pm

I go the my GP and a course of antibiotics for reef / fin cuts. I think it is “Keflex”.

Also throw in the antiseptic powder, great for drying out cuts.

A small tub of sudocream (nappy rash cream) is great for treating boing boing.

Garryh's picture
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Garryh commented Thursday, 14 Mar 2019 at 2:54pm

Must include Medical Grade Super glue (for "suturing up cuts") and a scrubbing brush for cleaning wounds

WinterSwells

Jon Cohen-_-Calm As...'s picture
Jon Cohen-_-Calm As...'s picture
Jon Cohen-_-Cal... commented Thursday, 21 Mar 2019 at 7:09pm

Histacryl / medical glue can be a good option to have on a surftrip.
Disadvantages are that it's expensive, single use / vial, and it can break down if you get it wet in the first couple of days as opposed to staples or sutures.

Ape Anonymous's picture
Ape Anonymous's picture
Ape Anonymous commented Thursday, 14 Mar 2019 at 4:42pm

Condoms?

surfstarved's picture
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surfstarved commented Thursday, 14 Mar 2019 at 4:51pm

Or at least some strong clip-lock bags and a few rubber bands.

Don't let the bastards grind you down

VicRhino's picture
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VicRhino commented Thursday, 14 Mar 2019 at 6:21pm

It’s not a holiday if I don’t end up requiring some type of medical assistance. Always get travel insurance...

Jon Cohen-_-Calm As...'s picture
Jon Cohen-_-Calm As...'s picture
Jon Cohen-_-Cal... commented Friday, 5 Apr 2019 at 11:09am

Good point Vic, and also make sure they cover sporting injuries!

redmondo's picture
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redmondo commented Thursday, 14 Mar 2019 at 8:28pm

The red wetsuit man photo is a beauty.

filthyphil's picture
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filthyphil commented Thursday, 14 Mar 2019 at 8:55pm

Udo I see lime used all the time. Why would it not be used anymore?

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Thursday, 14 Mar 2019 at 9:11pm

To harsh and cause more damage to the wound.

inoshishi sex

mattlock's picture
mattlock's picture
mattlock commented Thursday, 14 Mar 2019 at 9:14pm

Don't forget the Anusol for the older fellas.

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Thursday, 14 Mar 2019 at 9:18pm

Local anesthetic in that stuff works great on rashes.

inoshishi sex

MRsinglefin's picture
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MRsinglefin commented Friday, 15 Mar 2019 at 11:27am

Its always a plus to have a doctor or two on your boat trips to the Metts

The MIDdleman.'s picture
The MIDdleman.'s picture
The MIDdleman. commented Friday, 15 Mar 2019 at 11:30am

No mention of dettol...which is close companion of mine when about.

I'd be down a few extremities had I not had it once or twice.

Signature.

Bnkref's picture
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Bnkref commented Friday, 15 Mar 2019 at 7:28pm

Have heard mixed things about the red Chinese medicine stuff. Anyone on here medically trained and know whether it’s worth having or avoiding?

mundies's picture
mundies's picture
mundies commented Monday, 18 Mar 2019 at 8:41pm

Tieh Ta Yao Gin. I have no medical background related to the use of this but have used it for 25+ years and it's the best thing I've used for stopping coral cuts from going skanky and septic. Apparently you have drink and gargle it, but I've only ever used it topically.
The thing about it having mercury/mercurochrome in it... It's herbal (made from 8 Chinese herbs apparently) but that doesn't preclude it from having anything harmful in it. I've never noticed any side effects and it's done the job I've asked of it pretty well. Mind you, a bottle can last me a handful of years at least, its probably 50ml.
Blindboy had some input on this topic in 2014:
https://www.swellnet.com/forums/wax/198736?page=1

mundies

mikehunt207's picture
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mikehunt207 commented Sunday, 1 Dec 2019 at 9:24pm

The "Chinese Medicine" fantastic for reef cuts, drys out fast and kills bugs (if it stings when you put it on its killing stuff still)like Betadine but works . I always buy a spare / new one to bring home too as unavailable in Aus, lasts for ages. A well travelled Surfing Doctor who spends a lot of time in Indonesia told me the reason Mecuracrome (pardon my spelling)was banned in Australia was they soaked a rat in it for a year and it eventally got cancer or the like so typical Australian over regulation killed it off . Used as a first aid for a short period of time (couple weeks in the jungle or the desert) and its fine, actually heals and havent had a staf infection since . It is actually getting harder to sorce in Bali, you used to get it at most chemists(apoteks) but as with big Pharma everywhere its disappearing of the shelves . Still can get it at the Warungs at Ulus,s and usually they have it at Gland too for sale. Also works well with using the aerosol spray bandage (available in Aus chemists) over the top when its dry and keeps out the dust and also allows surfing to continue (depending on injury obviously). Nothing worse than a big sea ulcer developing and hanging around for months just from a tiny scratch.

mikehunt207's picture
mikehunt207's picture
mikehunt207 commented Sunday, 1 Dec 2019 at 9:30pm

Also another (possible fake news ) rumour I have heard about Betadine and Iodine is they are actually made using something out of the ocean (could have possibly been seaweed or shellfish based?) so they dont work that well with reef cuts. Not sure about that one but have been told same story by more than one source

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Sunday, 1 Dec 2019 at 10:09pm

Can buy the Tieh Ta Yao Gin Chinese medicine from Zak surfboards.

inoshishi sex

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Friday, 15 Mar 2019 at 8:09pm

Mercurochrome/ Mercury content high ?
Mercury build up in the body.
Dr Dave Jenkins says....why risk using it.

inoshishi sex

I focus's picture
I focus's picture
I focus commented Friday, 15 Mar 2019 at 8:28pm

Used Mercurochrome by the gallon surfing the NW in the 80's worked unbelievably well ...........might also explain a few things.

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Friday, 15 Mar 2019 at 8:33pm

He he same here..then went over to Gentian Violet...

inoshishi sex

Distracted's picture
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Distracted commented Friday, 15 Mar 2019 at 8:02pm

Don’t forget the Aquaear and 3B cream for the rashes.

stunet's picture
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stunet commented Friday, 15 Mar 2019 at 8:37pm

+1 for taking Aqua Ear.

Jon Cohen-_-Calm As...'s picture
Jon Cohen-_-Calm As...'s picture
Jon Cohen-_-Cal... commented Thursday, 21 Mar 2019 at 7:14pm

Outer ear infections are super common when on tropical trips.
The go-to treatment in ED for this condition is something like sofradex that covers bacteria, fungus and has an anti-inflammatory to help with symptoms. You'll need a prescription in Oz, but I got some over the counter in Mexico on a trip when I was underprepared. Definitely not for use if you've popped the drum (can happen pretty easily if you wipe out and your ear smacks flat against the water), and won't help at all for middle ear infections.

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Friday, 15 Mar 2019 at 8:43pm

How about pain relief...Panadine Forte a must and always a couple of Oxycontin in the kit

inoshishi sex

Feralkook's picture
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Feralkook commented Sunday, 17 Mar 2019 at 4:38pm

I would add a couple of things to that kit.
Tablets in case you get a bug.
Some sachets of hydrolyte.
Toothbrush (soft) cut down handle for debriding wounds.
Some quick clot gauze and an Olaes bandage or SWAT stretch tourniquet, I like the latter as they are easy to apply under stress, they stretch and tuck and have guide marks that change shape to tell the applicator wether it has been applied as compression only or as a full tourniquet.

Jon Cohen-_-Calm As...'s picture
Jon Cohen-_-Calm As...'s picture
Jon Cohen-_-Cal... commented Thursday, 21 Mar 2019 at 7:28pm

Good post Feralkook.
I take advantage of being a doc and bring antibiotics with me for sure.

Hydrolyte's good to have - I bring my favourite sports drink tabs 'cause they're palatable enough to use even if you aren't sick, just to top up your electrolytes / keep you hydrated during long days in the water.

I'm not a huge toothbrush for wound cleaning guy, but I have some other medical friends who are. Brushing hurts if you don't have local anaesthetic, and causes trauma to the underlying tissues. With non-purpose built scrubs like toothbrushes, you have the added problem of potentially leaving some bristles behind in the wound - the exact opposite of what you're trying to achieve by scrubbing. My approach is copious irrigation, pick out the obvious bits with the sterile forceps (tweezers) in this kit, and if you need to scrub gently you can use saline soaked gauze, which is also in the kit.
The eBook that comes with the kits has brief summaries as well as more detailed explanations on how to use the gear in the kit to sort out all of these scenarios like a a paramedic / Surfing Doctor would.

I couldn't agree more about the SWAT Tourniquet - even though it's not commonly used in Emergency Departments (or the military) yet, as a surfer it's my hands-down favourite - cheap, compact, no hard parts. You can add one to the Calm As kit - they're on sale at the same website listed in the article so ship free with the kit:
https://bettersurf.com.au/shop/tourniquets/swat-t/

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Sunday, 17 Mar 2019 at 5:40pm

Yunnan Baiyao - any one used this Chinese Medicine
Supposed to be best Coagulant ?

inoshishi sex

rj-davey's picture
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rj-davey commented Monday, 18 Mar 2019 at 7:18pm

I've always been a fan of Mercurochrome. Dries it out really well. Why is it frowned upon?

Biggest issue I find is not so much cleaning/patching wounds up, but keeping them patched up/dryish while you keep surfing for the balance of the trip, cos realistically no one really stays out of the water.

Then I hear mixed things on how bad sea water is for open cuts. Some say its teaming with bacteria just waiting to give you an infection, while I have heard others say so long as you are out to sea a bit and away from say rocks the water is quite clean.

I dunno. Just keep surfing and dry it out each night with mercurochrome seems to work okay. I second the super-glue too.

gavanclark's picture
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gavanclark commented Monday, 18 Mar 2019 at 7:46pm

I use Betadine on cuts and reef grazes. Clean out the wound throughly with clean water, swab with Betadine and then Fixmull or Hyperfix. Leave this on as it heal underneath it. Only use the Betadine once, it will kill off the bugs but if you keep using it it will kill the new cells coming through.
We use this procedure at the Billabong Pro in Tahiti.
PS. If you want to experience unneeded pain use Lime, all your mates will enjoy it :-)
Cheers
Gav (WSL Event Paramedic)

Jon Cohen-_-Calm As...'s picture
Jon Cohen-_-Calm As...'s picture
Jon Cohen-_-Cal... commented Thursday, 21 Mar 2019 at 7:32pm

Agreed rj-davey - once you've cleaned it, biggest issue is keeping that cleanness in and the bacteria out. The kit has 3 types of dressings for different types of wounds, all of which stay on in the surf.

As for sea water - like our skin, even if it's super clean it still has bacteria in it.
The problem with sea water is that it has a few bugs that don't mind setting up shop in human cuts, and the antibiotics that we would usually put people on with infected skin / wounds won't always work on these bugs. If you ever have a cut that's gone mank be sure your doctor knows you were in saltwater with the open wound.

gavanclark's picture
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gavanclark commented Monday, 18 Mar 2019 at 7:36pm

Most importantly if you are going remote like the Mentawais do your homework and pick a good boat with a first aid trained surf guide.
Pay peanuts and you will end up on a shit boat and a long way from medical help :-(
We train The Perfect Wave and World Surfaris surf guides and many of the long established boat operators in full First Aid/CPR and Surfer Rescue and supply them with Floatable Spine Boards and Defibrillators, what has your boat got ???
Gav Clark
Ex Paramedic / Instructor
Aable Training Aus

Jon Cohen-_-Calm As...'s picture
Jon Cohen-_-Calm As...'s picture
Jon Cohen-_-Cal... commented Friday, 5 Apr 2019 at 11:14am

Good point Gav,
A few other options with medical backup include Joyo's at G-Land, and Macaroni's Resort in the Ments, both of which roster a member of the Surfing Doctors to be on site during the season. Surfing doctors oversee the stocking of the medical infirmary at both camps, and thus have a bunch of "doctor only" medication to use when things get really hairy.

Bnkref's picture
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Bnkref commented Thursday, 11 Jul 2019 at 3:10pm

I've just had one of the kits delivered for an upcoming Indo jaunt. It's a handy size. Not much bigger than 2-3 magazines stacked on top of one another and it's light.

Hopefully don't have to use it...

$80 including (free) postage. Seems like a good price.

daryl.cashmore's picture
daryl.cashmore's picture
daryl.cashmore commented Friday, 6 Sep 2019 at 9:44am

Just about to purchase a kit for my kids...and more likely me. Noticed several comments for additions ... what are a few extra well worth additives to the kit ?
We have all had urchins and reef cuts ... all dealt with thus far with lime, or betadine, or pee... urchins always left to pop out eventually.
But preparing for the day, more is needed.... my kids possibly more exposed than many with surfing, snowboarding, kite surfing and scuba diving as sports/hobbies.
On another note, with several docs in here experienced with remote doctorage... can any recommend a remote first response course in Victoria for myself to complete....idea being to gain ability to keep someone alive in very remote location to best of ability, for time required. Have completed a couple of st john courses years ago... looking for much more emergancy class course. Hope someone can help here. Cheers.

Jon Cohen-_-Calm As...'s picture
Jon Cohen-_-Calm As...'s picture
Jon Cohen-_-Cal... commented Saturday, 7 Sep 2019 at 3:01pm

Hey Daryl thanks for supporting the cause! Hope the kids don't need anything much more than the urchin kit and some basic dressings.

As for additions to the kit, it really depends where you want to take it. We stopped short of putting medicines in this version but plan to release some "medicine modules" that you can throw in sometime next year. Some of the comments above had good suggestions for Indo / tropical trips - basics like paracetamol / ibuprofen for pain, antibiotics like cephalexin / doxycycline of reef cuts, antihistamines like loratadine / promethazine for allergies. With Scuba it's going to be more about awareness of what can go wrong than having extra gear, except for a tourniquet if the diving's in sharky waters. As for the snow a splint like the SAM splint is a decent idea if they're not going to be immediately accessible by ski patrol who should have one with them.

If the kids are going to be using it mostly as a car kit in Australia, I can't recommend throwing in one of the tourniquets highly enough. This is probably the one piece of lifesaving gear that anyone can use to stop someone from bleeding to death in the horrifying event of a legit shark bite or really heavy fin chop that reaches an artery. The SWAT which we sell on the site is the one that the Surfing Doctors crew and Big Wave Risk Assessment Group guys seemed to take to the most when we did lectures with them earlier this year:

https://bettersurf.com.au/shop/tourniquets/swat-t/
- super easy for non-medical people to use, low failure rate, and you can even tuck it into the chest zip on your wettie if conditions are particularly sharky.

As for a course, I think the St Johns is a good option for a basic refresher.
For some surf specific medical knowledge, we've done an ebook that accompanies the first aid kits with tips on managing common surf trauma. You can get it for free on the site for the moment since it's still in it's first edition. Feel free to reach out to us on the email at the site if you have any specific questions - it's very much early stages of this project and we love getting feedback and tailoring our stuff to what people want / need.

Spuddups's picture
Spuddups's picture
Spuddups commented Friday, 6 Sep 2019 at 11:32am

What really surprises me these days is how few people wear reef booties. If you've got them on you can plant your feet on the reef when you wipe out, rather than shredding your back on the reef for example. Prevention's gotta be better than the cure.

dsc72's picture
dsc72's picture
dsc72 commented Friday, 6 Sep 2019 at 6:35pm

I usually carry a small aerosol of spray plaster. Does anyone else rate this stuff?

Vic Local's picture
Vic Local's picture
Vic Local commented Saturday, 7 Sep 2019 at 7:02pm

A second triangular bandage would be handy. Also that kits lacks large bandages for serious wounds, glue for stitching, and a bunch of preventative medication (probably due to used by dates.) I always take a couple of courses of general antibiotics, over-the-counter meds like anti-inflammatories, aqua ear, antihistamines, aspirin, etc. I even pack a bunch of Adreniline + needles just in case someone goes into anaphylactic shock. Athletic tape is always handy just in case someone rolls and ankle or needs knee support. The most important thing to pack is knowledge and training. Having all the gear and no idea is pointless.

"angry online, smiley in the brine"

Jon Cohen-_-Calm As...'s picture
Jon Cohen-_-Calm As...'s picture
Jon Cohen-_-Cal... commented Sunday, 8 Sep 2019 at 2:49pm

Some good points Vic Local - especially about knowledge.

Anaphylaxis is one of the top 5 "sexiest" cases to sort out in Emergency Medicine. Young person comes in about to die, jab them with adrenaline and they're back. All of the surfcamps that have the Surfing Doctors on site have adrenaline to sort this out, and in the free First Aid for Surfers book that comes with the kit it's suggested that anyone with a pre-existing condition throw their meds in the kit as well, including epipen / adrenaline for those with severe allergies. That being said, feedback on the first batch of kits we shipped was that most people didn't like having the needles and syringes in the kit, so we actually took them out to make the second batch less intimidating to open up and play with.

The kits do come with strapping tape - enough to strap an ankle or knee, but it's primary use in the kit is as an adhesive dressing for small cuts to the feet (hats off to Uli from Surfers of Bali for the suggestion). I've got glass ankles and end up treating a bunch of other peoples feet when I travel so I generally throw a whole roll in my kit, but added too much weight for the "everyman" kit we tried to put together here.

As for your statement about the kits not having big bandages, that's not true. There are 2 super absorbent combines and a pressure bandage that will soak up the blood from any fin chop or reef rash I've seen come to the Emergency Department or a surf camp infirmary. Glue and stitches are crucial for people with medical background, but can be dangerous in untrained hands. We've included enough steri-strips ("butterfly bandages") to permanently close small wounds, and some huge ones to temporarily close even massive gashes to a leg while professional medical attention is sought. If you throw in one of the SWAT tourniquets then this kit has the basics required to even stop major haemorrhage from arterial bleeding and shark bites to the limbs.

Keep the comments coming, the feedback is really helpful!

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Sunday, 1 Dec 2019 at 7:50pm

"While packing for a surf trip last month I was struck by a different version of the same argument. I'd never really hurt myself while on a surf trip, yet I'd been on a few, was it time for my number to come up?"

Well, last Friday my number came up. Thankfully packed the Surfer's First Aid Kit and I give it the thumbs up.

Patrick0710's picture
Patrick0710's picture
Patrick0710 commented Monday, 2 Dec 2019 at 4:09pm

Second photo makes you look like you've joined the Psychos.

Rick Snowden's picture
Rick Snowden's picture
Rick Snowden commented Tuesday, 3 Dec 2019 at 10:52am

Second shot – new SN display picture?

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Sunday, 1 Dec 2019 at 8:04pm

Now Stuart ive told you before about the Holiday Gudang Addiction
Were the injuries early in the Trip ?

inoshishi sex

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Sunday, 1 Dec 2019 at 8:06pm

Yep. Third surf. Barely begun.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Sunday, 1 Dec 2019 at 9:05pm

Is that your place in Thirroul ?

To be honest mate , you could have done a better job finishing off the edge of that slab.

Paint on the posts looks nice though.

Jono's picture
Jono's picture
Jono commented Sunday, 1 Dec 2019 at 9:08pm

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Sunday, 1 Dec 2019 at 9:22pm
Bnkref's picture
Bnkref's picture
Bnkref commented Monday, 2 Dec 2019 at 10:35am

What happened Stu? Looks nasty.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Monday, 2 Dec 2019 at 6:56pm

If chaos theory can hold that a fish somewhere, sometime will get tossed over the falls then there's plenty of room for a jet-lagged, middle-aged bloke to also get it wrong.

Which, in short, is what happened.

simba's picture
simba's picture
simba commented Monday, 2 Dec 2019 at 3:51pm

well look on the bright side,it could be worse...the ol could be worse, nothing broken? anyway looks like coral cuts so watch out for infection....you would know that though....my first time to Bali early 70s got rolled across the inside of Kuta reef,my mate wanted to paddle away from me when he saw my back......no boats out there in those days..long way in....no other people most times either but Made the mole limed those cuts ,bless her little heart...fuk......worst part besides still having a week to go on my visa was i couldnt surf......back arms knees.......and sticking to the sheet of a night time...ouch....good luck

simba