IAMAT |International Association of Medical Assistance to Travellers| IAMAT |International Association of Medical Assistance to Travellers|

Travel Health Journal

Travel First Aid

A photo of the book 'Basic Illustrated Wilderness First Aid', by William Forgey.

Wilderness First Aid: The Basics

This post was written with information from Basic Illustrated Wilderness First Aid, by William W. Forgey, MD. The new edition of this guide includes updated wilderness first aid techniques, photos, and illustrations to help you identify and treat injuries. Easy to read and simple to follow, the book is both an introduction to wilderness first aid and a reference for those with more experience. A message from Dr. Forgey It has been my distinct honor and pleasure to work with IAMAT as a volunteer Board member for many years. Early in my travel medicine and wilderness medicine career I realized the importance of access to, and the value of, the IAMAT disease information risk database. The best approach to ...

Photo of jellyfish by Wopke, Pexels

Stings and bites: Preventing marine injuries

Nothing says ‘vacation’ quite like fun on the water. Beachcombing, swimming, snorkelling, diving, wading, and watersports are common activities that can bring you in contact with marine animals. Skin infections, bites, and stings resulting from contact with marine life are some of the most common injuries affecting travellers to island and coastal destinations.  By some estimates, up to 150 million jellyfish stings occur worldwide every year. When you’re in the water, you can prevent injuries by being informed about local marine life and water conditions. Stings, bites, and punctures from marine animals There are three types of injuries associated with marine animals: Contact toxins – stings caused by jellyfish, coral, sponges, and sea urchins Injected toxins – envenomation caused ...

Hand with bandaged finger. Photo by FreeImages.com/Linden Laserna

Keep it clean! Preventing skin and soft tissue infections

What are skin and soft tissue infections? Keeping cuts and scrapes clean is always important, but especially so when you’re travelling. As Dr. Erik McLaughlin explains in our tip sheet on assembling the perfect travel first aid kit, band-aids and antibiotic ointment are essential first aid supplies. Skin infections are usually caused by bacteria entering and growing in a break in the skin. They’re common in travellers due to insect bites and minor trauma like cuts, blisters, scrapes, and abrasions. These infections can range from a small infection in a specific part of the skin (localized infection), like a pimple, to larger, more painful infections, such as an abscess. Antibiotic-resistant infections Some skin infections are resistant to antibiotics. Methicillin-resistant ...

Prevention of snake-bite in travellers

This guest post was written by Professor David A. Warrell, who is currently International Director (Hans Sloane Fellow), Royal College of Physicians, London and Emeritus Professor of Tropical Medicine, University of Oxford, UK. Professor Warrell was the 2015 ASTMH Marcolongo Lecturer. Threat of snake-bite to indigenous populations Most parts of the world are inhabited by venomous snakes. Snake-bites are a risk to rural inhabitants whose agricultural and hunting activities expose them and their children to this primeval environmental and occupational disease. Snake-bite is an important cause of death and disability in West Africa, Southeast Asia, the Indian sub-continent, Papua New Guinea, and the Amazonian region. There is good evidence that in India there are 46,000 and in Bangladesh 6,000 ...

Piotr Młynarczyk travel health basics

Travel Health Basics: Before You Go

Planning a healthy trip Nobody wants to think about getting sick abroad when they could be scoping out the best sights to see. However, being informed about health risks at your destination and learning what you can do to avoid them are key to planning a memorable trip. Travel health is about prevention and common sense. Be aware of health issues that may arise and take appropriate measures to prevent illnesses and injuries when you’re travelling, not only for your own well-being, but for the people and communities you encounter during your trip. The tips below will help you determine how far in advance you need to prepare, which immunizations and medications you’ll need, and why other travellers may ...

IAMAT Sunscreen

10 sun protection tips for travellers

Protecting yourself from sun exposure is important year-round. Whether you’re headed to the beach or the ski hill, don’t forget about sunscreen and sunglasses. Here are our top 10 tips for sun protection, wherever you’re travelling this winter. 10 sun protection tips for travellers Wear sunscreen… Sun damage can occur with as little as 15 minutes of unprotected sun exposure and sun exposure occurs even on cloudy days. Fifteen minutes before going outdoors, generously apply sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher. Sunscreen with SPF 30 is recommended for individuals who work outdoors or who spend much of their time outdoors. …and reapply often. Reapply sunscreen every 2 hours, or more often if you are swimming or sweating heavily. Know ...

How to Assemble the Perfect Travel First Aid Kit

Guest post by Dr. Erik McLaughlin Preparing your travel first aid kit is a vital part of your pre-trip planning and packing. When I think about getting ready for a trip it usually involves packing. This means all my clothes laid out on the bed, some Bob Marley music in the background and deciding what I will need. What I need has to be balanced with space and weight. This is true with your first aid kit. The ‘Perfect’ kit The ‘perfect’ travel first aid kit is the kit that is carried with you and ready for any potential problem. If you talk to too many travel doctors, you will end up with a first aid kit that weighs ...