Aside from sterile gauze and bandages, the standard first aid kit for cancer patients should include other items which can help guardians or caregivers manage the other adverse effects of the disease or the treatments. Here are some of the non-prescription items that should be included in the first aid kits for cancer patients.
Water Purification Tablets
These tablets can come in handy during situations wherein a bottle of purified drinking water is not available due to many mitigating circumstances. One of the well-documented side effects of chemotherapy is the increased susceptibility of cancer patients to infections, may it be internal or external. External infections can be avoided through proper wound dressing and hygiene while internal infections can be prevented by avoiding contaminated food and water. Cancer can also weaken the immune system which means that these tablets are still a must for patients who are not going through chemotherapy.
Laxatives and Oral Rehydration Solution Packets
Two of the other, more common side effects of chemotherapy are diarrhea and constipation. During the course of the therapy or the illness itself, patients may experience bouts of diarrhea for a couple of weeks and then suffer from bouts of constipation afterwards. These conditions can inhibit them from enjoying many outdoor activities or accomplishing simple daily chores or tasks. By having laxatives and oral rehydration solutions at hand, these conditions can be managed. Having oral rehydration solutions also ensures that electrolyte imbalance, a condition where in there is an imbalance in the important minerals inside the body, can be managed.
Alcohol and other types of disinfectants cannot be used to clean the hands or other parts of the body of cancer patients on a regular basis due to their dry skin. The alcohol content of these items are too high for cancer patients which can worsen their dry skin or cause other skin problems such as skin irritations and chaffing. This is why it is much better for cancer patients to use hydrating wipes or those that are infused with moisturizers especially during emergency situations. These wipes can also be used to clean the items or surfaces that patients might come in contact with which can be the source of infection.
Fever is one of the most common symptoms of infection which may go unnoticed especially if the patient is not exhibit other, more visible symptoms such as skin reddening or discomfort. By having a thermometer on standby, first aid rescuers, caregivers or guardians can regularly check the temperature of patients in order to detect the presence of a fever or even hypothermia.