Ill-health knows not time. Worse still, ill-health is so stubborn that when it knocks, it waits for the most awkward moment. Suddenly, the stomach begins to rumble at 3am and you spend more time in the toilet than in your bed.
Even though there are pharmacies and dispensaries that open 24 hours a day, one or two things might not permit your ability to get medical attention at such an awkward hour.
Other illnesses such as common colds, malaria, toothache, migraine can all warrant immediate attention at awkward moments. To avoid being caught in the wrong lane, you could have a medical kit at your home with common drugs and other medical kits and assortment to save the day whenever Mr Illness comes knocking.
However, before you stock any drugs or kitty, ensure you have professional advice on how to dispense or use the tools. Also, ensure you are aware of the fact that drugs do expire and that expired drugs are dangers. But, above all, ensure that home dispensary is out of reach of children as well as in safe conditions such as temperatures.
But at the end of it all, having a medical kit in your home does not make it a hospital, neither does it make you a pharmacist or doctor. Rely on professional advice even during emergency.
ORS—Oral Rehydration Salt
Diarrhoea is a terrible master. It can reduce a king into a bag of embarrassment within seconds. Having ORS in the home would be handy when diarrhoea or vomiting takes it toll on you at a time a doctor seems too far away. You can just dilute a sachet into a litre of clean drinking water and take as much as you can to offset the water your body is losing at such a time. Besides ORS, other common pills such as flagyl could help a great deal in fighting the infections that caused the disease in case of diarrhoea.
Whether for your child or not, you need some common medicines in the home. Your home dispensary should have painkillers such as ibuprofen and diclofenac, stomach ailment drugs such as magnesium, mabendazole, anti-infection drugs such as flagyl. Of course, others such as paracetamol are the obvious case. Warning: Keep track of expiry, keep in recommended room setting and only take according to instruction. To be completely on the safer side, you can always call on your doctor instead of just popping a pill because you got a minor headache.
Note that before you get any painkiller for your home dispensary, ensure that your doctor is aware. Let your doctor make the prescription so that you only acquire the drugs for use when needed. Besides, keep in touch whenever you are taking the drugs.
First aid kit
You have those drugs we have sampled, huh? They are just a component of your kit. But if you have some disease history, then you know what kinds of drugs your doctor can recommend that you keep handy. There are ailments such as diabetes that could require that you take shots regularly. Then there are those living positively with HIV who need ARVs. The home medical kit could be the perfect place to keep your drugs in.
No again, you have children! They might be excited about the idea of a medical kit. It might look so nice, with bright colours. The message is simple; keep it tightly locked and away from children. It is a lifesaving kit, not a video game kind of stuff.
This is one of the gadgets you can add in your medical kit. Gloves can be used when cleaning contagious fluids such as vomit to prevent one from contracting germs or infections. You need hygiene to stay healthy. However, you can also have kitchen gloves in fabric form for holding hot saucepans and other equipment to prevent burns.
Cotton wool and gauze
Cotton wool has many uses, from cleaning wounds using antiseptic fluids such as iodine and methylated spirit to even wrapping the wounds. You can use it to aid in stopping bleeding during injuries. The same function is performed by gauze. But it is not recommended to place cotton wool or plaster on a wound for too long a time because wounds need to breathe too.
There are the plasters that you can use to cover a fresh wound to stop breathing. Then there are the wrap bandages for external body injuries such as dislocation.
Pain relief ointments
You know things like inflammation of joints or muscles, dislocation, body stiffness, rhematic arthritis, sprain, strain and others? They always require pain relievers for massage. There are a variety of these, from ointment, fluids to creams. But note that these pain relief ointments are for external use only. Do not apply on open wounds.
Now this one is good for people with children. But that is not to say that adults do not need thermometer. The gadget is one of the best ever in detecting fevers that are accompanied with high body temperature. With a thermometer, you could be able to tell if your kid has a fever or not. Usage depends on type; you can place under the armpit, behind the ears and in the mouth.
They are ‘delicious’ in a way, making it hard to imagine they are actually medicines. Glucose is good for rejuvenating our lost energy. When babies are sick, they can be fed on some little glucose either dissolved in water or by leaking. When tired, we need glucose to restore the excess energy we lose. However, do not try to use glucose in some instances such as in fainted persons, among others, without a doctor’s recommendation or monitoring.
Soap and antiseptics
Having soap and antiseptic disinfectants such as Dettol liquid at wash points in a home may seem obvious but many people ignore it. They can be used to wash hands after visiting the toilet and before touching food. The antiseptic liquid can also be used to disinfect communal bathrooms before use.
Iodine tincture, methylated spirit are also good for cleaning wounds. Iodine is good for stopping bleeding as well as cleaning wounds. Methylated spirits can also serve similar purposes. If you have a bruise on the skin, applying iodine tincture dry your bruise fast and the healing process begins.