This week’s Q&A From Doctors Express Memphis

-What should a good home medical chest contain?

A good medical chest should contain a variety of first aid supplies such as bandages (like ace wraps and gauze dressings), bandaids of different sizes, hot and cool packs, Ibuprofen, Tylenol, Benadryl, Sudafed, a bottle of artificial tears to use as an eyewash, tweezers for removing splinters, gloves, hand sanitizer, neosporin or other antibacterial ointment, a topical cleanser if soap and water aren’t available, sugar tablets (for concerns about low blood sugar), calamine lotion, Cortaid or other steroid cream, a topical antifungal cream such as Lotrimin. These are just basics.  If there are certain health concerns in your home then obviously additional supplies need to be added. 

One other possible supply to add is a bottle of activated charcoal (its used for ingestions of poisons or other substances). Years ago, we all kept a bottle of Syrup of Ipicac to induce vomitting but that is no longer considered proper treatment and may in fact be dangerous to use.

Its important to check your medicine chest periodically to be sure that it is still complete and all the medications are in date. Oh, and by the way, do NOT keep antibiotics as part of your home chest. If you are given antibiotics by your doctor, its expected that you finish them, not just save some “just in case”.  If you do that, you may take the wrong antibiotic for your (or your family member’s) problem).

 

-I was recently bitten by a bee, and everyone had different ideas on how to help me. What is the best first-aid treatment for a bee sting?

The best first aid treatment for a bee sting is to use an ice pack to reduce the swelling. Its also important to remove the stinger if one was left behind (usually bees don’t do that but wasps do).  Additionally, taking an oral dose of Benadryl to reduce swelling and itching can be helpful.

 

 

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