The General Conference of the International Labour Organisation,
Having been convened at Geneva by the Governing Body of the International Labour Office, and having met in its Forty-first Session on 29 April 1958, and
Having decided upon the adoption of certain proposals with regard to the contents of medicine chests on board ship, which are included in the fifth item on the agenda of the session, and
Having decided that these proposals shall take the form of a Recommendation,
adopts this thirteenth day of May of the year one thousand nine hundred and fifty-eight, the following Recommendation, which may be cited as the Ships' Medicine Chests Recommendation, 1958:
The Conference recommends that each Member should apply the following provisions:
1. (1) Every vessel engaged in maritime navigation should be required to carry a medicine chest, the contents of which should be prescribed by the competent authority, taking into account such factors as the number of persons on board, and the nature and the duration of the voyage. Special provision should be made for the custody, by the master or other responsible officer, of medicaments the use of which is restricted.
(2) The rules and regulations concerning the minimum contents of the medicine chests should apply whether there is a ship's doctor on board or not.
2. (1) In establishing or reviewing rules or regulations concerning the contents of the various types of medicine chests, the competent authority should take into consideration the list of minimum contents appended to this Recommendation.
(2) Such rules or regulations should be subject to periodical revision in the light of new medical discoveries, advances and approval methods of treatment, in accordance with any proposals for such revision which may be adopted in a manner agreed between the International Labour Organisation and the World Health Organisation.
3. All medicine chests should contain a medical guide approved by the competent authority, which explains fully how the contents of the medicine chest are to be used. The guide should be sufficiently detailed to enable persons other than a ship's doctor to administer to the needs of sick or injured persons on board both with and without supplementary medical advice by radio.
4. The rules and regulations should provide for the proper maintenance and care of medicine chests and their contents and their regular inspection at intervals not normally exceeding 12 months by persons authorised by the competent authority.
Minimum List of Medicaments and Medical Equipment (Note: It is recommended that medicaments given by injection and included in this list, such as adrenalin, should whenever possible be supplied in single-dose containers. )
A. Medicaments Corresponding to the Following Preparations Described in the International Pharmacopoeia
(a) In Volume I: (Note: Optional.)Antidiphtheria serum. (Note: Optional.)Antitetanus serum (small quantities).
Ethanolic solution of iodine.
Tincture of opium (and/or equivalent).
(b) In Volume II:
(Note: Optional.)Injection of adrenalin.
(Note: Optional.)Injection of atropine sulfate.
Injection of morphine.
(Note: Optional.)Injection of nikethamide.
(Note: Optional.)Injection of procaine hydrochloride.
Tablets of acetylsalicylic acid.
(Note: Optional.)Tablets of ascorbic acid.
(Note: Optional.)Tablets of amphetamine sulfate.
Tablets of codeine phosphate (and/or equivalent).
Tablets of ephedrine hydrochloride.
(Note: Optional.)Tablets of glyceryl trinitrate.
(Note: Optional.)Tablets of mercurous chloride (calomel).
Tablets of proguanil hydrochloride (and/or other anti-malarial drug).
Tablets of succinylsulfathiazole (or equivalent).
Tablets of sulfadiazine (or equivalent).
(Note: Optional.)Tincture of belladonna.
Water for injection.
B. Other Medicaments
(a) Preparations for external application:
An antiseptic for use in wounds.
A lotion for acute dermatitis.
An ointment for haemorrhoids.
A preparation for ringworm, such as compound of benzoic and salicylic acid.
A preparation for chronic skin inflammations, e.g. compound zinc oxide paste. A preparation for burns.
An application of benzyl benzoate for scabies.
(Note: Optional.)A venereal-disease prophylactic package.
(b) Preparations for use in the eye:
(Note: Optional.)Yellow mercury oxide eye-ointment.
(c) A preparation for toothache.
(d) Preparations for internal use:
Tablets of barbituric acid derivatives: (i) short-acting and hypnotic; (ii) long-acting and sedative.
Tablets of hyoscine hydrobromide (scopolamine hydrobromide) or equivalent sea-sickness remedy.
Tablets of sodium chloride (for heat cramp).
An injection of repository form of penicillin, e.g. procaine penicillin G fortified (procaine penicillin G with crystalline penicillin), or PAM (procaine penicillin G in oil with aluminium monostearate), or benzathine penicillin G.
(Note: Optional.)An antibiotic for oral use, e.g. oxytetracyline hydrochloride or penicillin V.
(Note: Optional.)An antihistamine preparation.
Medicine to control gastric acidity.
Olive oil (or equivalent).
A copy of the International List of Venereal-Disease Treatment Centres at Ports, published by the World Health Organisation.
Personal booklets for venereal-disease treatment in the form appended to the above publication.
Of the above list, the tablets of barbituric acid derivatives and of codeine phosphate, the injection of morphine and the tinctures of opium and of belladonna should be kept under lock and key by the master of the vessel or other responsible officer, who should also be responsible for the procaine and penicillin.
C. Surgical Instruments, Appliances and Equipment
Hypodermic syringe and needles (suitable both for serums and for other injections).
Suture and ligatures (catgut, silkworm gut).
Suture needles (and possibly a needle holder).
Soft-rubber catheters of various sizes.
Splints (wooden or wire).
Stretcher (a type suitable for transferring patients from one part of the ship to another, such as the Neil-Robertson stretcher or equivalent).
Elastic adhesive bandages.
Plaster of Paris bandages.