Medical kits - do not neglect them

Having packed, unpacked and re-packed for my move to Dubai, I had to make the decision as to what to leave behind due to weight limitations. Cameras are almost obsolete due to the advancement of smart phones, so that, along with batteries and other ancillaries was the first to go. Underwear was the next to get thinned out. I guess underwear is fairly universal, therefore would prove no problem to purchase once in Dubai. And thus continued my trimming of clothes until I could leave nothing else out.

I figured I needed at least one suit, a sports jacket/blazer, some slacks and an assortment of smart and casual shirts. Still over the weight limit, I decided to leave my medical kit. Home made. Nothing special. It contained a few FFD, 2 Asherman chest seals, 2 tourniquets, a selection of Gaudeman airways, iodine, surgical scissors, a couple of tampons and rubber gloves amongst other minor items such as plasters, etc. I guessed that I could get the items in a local pharmacy once I landed.

WRONG

Of all the stuff I left behind, I wish I brought the med kit. Not because I've been found wanting in a medical emergency, but simply because I can't get hold of half the items I deem that I need. I can't get FFD or tourniquets anywhere. There doesn't seem to be the same array of surplus stores out here as in the UK. Try asking someone for an Asherman chest seal, explaining what it's for, and seeing the look of disbelief on their face is enough to put anyone off. Although not the end of the world as I have other things that would suffice in an emergency, I'm just pointing out to any would be CPO going freelance, to think what they are leaving behind before traveling to distant lands, hostile or not.

A problem I encountered just the other day, also involved my med kit. Travelling to Qatar on a small commercial flight with my client for a day of business meetings, all I decided to take was my phone, iPad and small medical kit. All cabin baggage to speed up the process the other side. Simple items such as safety scissors, liquid iodine and even surgical wipes had to be explained, processed and placed in the hold, delaying me (and therefore my client) on the other side. Fortunately, the clients attitude to the service I was providing was good and she fully understood the reasons for the delay, even though the tampons (great for padding out puncture/bullet wounds) took a little more explaining.

I'm happy to admit that I'm still learning, confident in the fact that I seldom make the same mistake twice. Making mistakes keeps you fresh. Keeps you on your toes. But learn from them, move on, and become a better operator.

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