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Astraeus
01-23-2008, 00:52
Greetings gentlemen,
I appreciate any suggestions you might have. The situation is this: in a few months the GF will be deploying to Sub-Saharan Africa with the Peace Corps for a duration of two years. She's currently in an EMT course. Her birthday is next month and I'd like to give her a medical kit that is as optimized as possible for the circumstances of her assignment. So, two years, in rural Africa, with only rudimentary medical care immediately available. She will likely be the most trained health care provider in her immediate AO if something were to happen. I've been looking through the Aid Bag section and there is a great deal of information on different kit item loads and medical bags. However, I'm wondering if I could get your thoughts: what you would bring with you if you were going to be in this situation? Should I get one of the quality aid bags discussed on this forum, like the TT FRB and assemble the items myself? Or should I just get one of the ready made EMT crash bags (like this (http://www.e-firstaidsupplies.com/first-aid-kit-19.html)) on the market, if that would contain most of the items that she'd need? And if a standard EMT crash bag is the best solution, what else would you add for that environment and mission profile?
Thank you very much for your time,
Greg

Team Sergeant
01-23-2008, 07:07
http://www.globalstarusa.com/en/

http://www.satellitephonestore.com/eprib/docs/epirb_rental_agreement.pdf

I'm not kidding.

TS

Sten
01-23-2008, 07:23
Greetings gentlemen,
I appreciate any suggestions you might have. The situation is this: in a few months the GF will be deploying to Sub-Saharan Africa with the Peace Corps for a duration of two years. She's currently in an EMT course. Her birthday is next month and I'd like to give her a medical kit that is as optimized as possible for the circumstances of her assignment. So, two years, in rural Africa, with only rudimentary medical care immediately available. She will likely be the most trained health care provider in her immediate AO if something were to happen. I've been looking through the Aid Bag section and there is a great deal of information on different kit item loads and medical bags. However, I'm wondering if I could get your thoughts: what you would bring with you if you were going to be in this situation? Should I get one of the quality aid bags discussed on this forum, like the TT FRB and assemble the items myself? Or should I just get one of the ready made EMT crash bags (like this (http://www.e-firstaidsupplies.com/first-aid-kit-19.html)) on the market, if that would contain most of the items that she'd need? And if a standard EMT crash bag is the best solution, what else would you add for that environment and mission profile?
Thank you very much for your time,
Greg

Greg-

The in country PCMO (Peace Corps Medical Officer) will provide all the supplies she will need. The Peace corps takes the health of it volunteers very seriously. She should not waste her baggage space on something she can get for free in country.

Astraeus
01-23-2008, 10:31
http://www.globalstarusa.com/en/

http://www.satellitephonestore.com/eprib/docs/epirb_rental_agreement.pdf

I'm not kidding.

TS


The service is really not that expensive for what it does. Not a bad idea.

Thanks guys,
Greg

Doc Dutch
01-24-2008, 15:21
Team Sergeant,

I concur, 100 percent. Telemedicine is the key for people (especially a loved one) going to an austere environment without the medical sophistication of the US. Case in point, I treated a young woman in the Caribbean Islands with a burn while I was here in Phoenix. This young woman was a American and a student attending a school in Martinique. Her aunt is a pathologist at our hospital. Her aunt called me and told me that her niece had burned herself and she and the family were scared as they had no burn care in Martinique. I asked the aunt to e-mail pictures if possible. I also discussed the case with the young woman by her satellite phone to my cell phone. I had her to take more pictures of the burn and e-mail them to me. Based on those pictures, I recommended appropriate dressings, how to perform occupational therapy, how to keep the wounds clean and what to look for, etc. Eventually, she presented to our burn center six weeks later and she had done very well, healed and doing her therapy.

Having the ability to call for help and sending pictures is very important as well as someone on the other end that can respond and give advice (physician, nurse, PA, NP, EMT, etc). I would make sure she had a camera that could download to a computer to e-mail pictures or a phone that can capture and send photographs. Telemedicine is what we are doing for burns and trauma here in Arizona and the Southwest. It is also occurring in the Midwest and in Texas that I know of currently. It is a fast rising field in medicine. It has been used in the Navy for many years from ship to shore. It helps us treat patients that would otherwise die from injuries or illnesses in remote hospitals or clinics. The telephone is the most basic way to do this. If the Peace Corps has all the basic medical equipment (bandages, etc), then get "telemedicine" equipment (satellite phone, camera, computer or whatever combination) that can get an e-mail or call to home or a physician for more advanced care.

Best wishes to her on her mission with the Peace Corps.,

Dutch

Books
02-04-2008, 12:10
I would also add that, in spite of what the instructors tell the EMT students, their level of training is really quite basic (regardless of whether or not she is the most skilled person in her AO) and as such, I would be hesitant to have her travel with kit that she may or may not know how to use.

In the Army, everything we do is under a PACE (primary, alternate, contingent, emergency) plan where we have at least four ways available to us for whatever it is that we need to get done. Where does this kit that you want for her fit in? If she gets hurt or sick, where will she go first? What if that doesn't work out? How will she get out of country? Which hospital will she go to? In which country? You get the point. So does the PC and they should already have this kind of thing going on, whether your GF is aware of it or not. Is it in her best interest to have an idea of this before going in? Of course, but the PC, like the Army, tends to take 'em young and inexperienced.

It is not unreasonable though for her to have a small kit on her, something like a mini E and E kit that would have something basic for Airway/Breathing/Circulation. To add to this, I would add preventative medicine tools (antibiotics, disinfectants, antiemetics, iodine pills, etc), mini sew kits, duct tape, bandaids and the like. In this instance, under the assumption that the PC is going to provide for her with equipment for greater medical care - things like KTD and O2 - the kit would be for quality of life, health, boo boos (yes, that's the clinical term), and basic trauma. Add to this her sat phone, double the amount of cash necessary to bounce the country, her passport, a camera and PDA and she should be able to take care of herself wherever. I would add to this a weapon, but the PC frowns on that. . .

I completely support TS's and DD's telemedicine bit. A sat phone is a great idea, one that I am looking into for my own use away from the military.

You might want to search on this site for Bug Out Bags too for further ideas.

Good luck and safe travels to your girlfriend.

Books

Sten
02-04-2008, 13:16
She really needs to get to her country and see what her situation is actually going to be. PC assignments range from bamboo huts w/ no running water or electricity (like I lived in for 2 years) to living in a city complete with a telephone.

If she is out in a remote village with a sat phone it will make her extremely popular with the host country nationals and her fellow volunteers.

There are three main criteria when a site is selected and developed for a PC volunteer. 1. Good communications and transportation "infrastructure" for contacting and traveling to the PCHQ. 2. Housing that is safe and sanitary. 3. Availability of food and water.

The Peace Corps had a long set of rules about what a volunteer can and can not do. Near the top of that list was we were not to treat the villagers medically. If a volunteer was caught passing out meds in a village it was cause for immediate administrative separation and a fast trip back to your home of record.

The Peace Corps is fixated on Volunteer safety. In cases of Natural disasters or military/social unrest, PCHQ will pull all of its people to the Capitol and stage them for evac. Medically no expense is spared and if needed people will be medically evaced to the States for treatment.

If she thinks she is going to do medical stuff she should consider treating everyone as if they have HIV. I know 3 volunteers who were med evaced after a bus accident that sprayed them with some blood. All 3 were sent the next day to DC for a month long AZT treatments and weekly aids test. But really all of this will be covered for her in her training.

She is going learn something about the culture and the basics of language, she is going to get safety training. The Peace Corps works very hard to prepare it people for their jobs and life in country.

Eagle5US
02-04-2008, 18:04
Sten-
Very informative and well written posts. Thank you for sharing and teaching me something today about an entity I have heard much about, but know very little of how they conduct business.
And thank you for volunteering your own time with the Peace Corps. Kudos.

To the original poster...please extend my congratulations to your GF/SO as well on her decision to share of herself with other in less fortunate circumstance. IMHO it shows well on someone's character.

Joe

Guy
02-04-2008, 18:25
Greg-

The in country PCMO (Peace Corps Medical Officer) will provide all the supplies she will need. The Peace corps takes the health of it volunteers very seriously. She should not waste her baggage space on something she can get for free in country.I must have by-passed the Peace-Corps station...

Always cover your ass first; when working w/civilian organizations!

Stay safe.