I cringed knowing that I had a cannula in my med kit, which was now miles away back in the hostel, and now had to trek around in a place where I had no idea where I was, didn't speak the language nor was any pharmacy going to be open.
Whilst on a night out in Cuzco, Peru, one of my travelling companions Andy had a nasty accident which caused both of his heel bones to be shattered. He was in agony and needed urgent medical attention but it was three hours post–accident of driving around in a cab before we found a hospital that would see us. On arrival they didn’t have any cannulas in stock to administer IV pain relief (which sit in the vein so drugs can be absorbed as quickly as possible) so we had to go and buy one before they could do anything about the excruciating pain. I cringed knowing that I had a cannula in my med kit, which was now miles away back in the hostel, and now had to trek around in a place where I had no idea where I was, didn't speak the language nor was any pharmacy going to be open. After an absolute nightmare trying to find one, I really wished I had not been so naive about accidents in a foreign country. Andy remained in Cuzco hospital for three months, couldn't walk for 6 months, got septicaemia, had three operations and it all cost £30,000.
Ever since I have always had my trusty Overlander nearby 'just in case'. If I had it on me at the time and not left it in the hostel, I would have been able to clean and dress his wounds temporarily, reducing the chance of infection, supply a cannula immediately and therefore not delay pain relief, and I would have been able to administer paracetamol to reduce the pain while we were looking for medical treatment. Hard lesson learned!