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Standard First Aid Kit for Cancer Patients: Prescription Medications

February 21st, 2014 | Posted by finzy in First Aid Programs - (Comments Off on Standard First Aid Kit for Cancer Patients: Prescription Medications)

Aside from ensuring that none of the particulates are expired, the key to preparing the right standard first aid kit for cancer patients rely on its actual contents since cancer patients need specialized items in order to manage the symptoms or adverse effects of cancer or chemotherapy. Here are some of these items.

Anti-anxiety Medications

Epinephrine Injector

Epinephrine Injector

In a study that was presented to the Clinical Oncological Society during the Australia’s Annual Scientific Meeting back in 2010, it was revealed by Dr. Jane Fletcher that 25% of cancer patients exhibit the telltale signs of an anxiety disorder. However, a large portion of this population remain undiagnosed since many healthcare professionals do not recognize anxiety as an actual disorder that should be treated separately from the cancer. This is why it is a good idea for guardians of cancer patients to go to a psychologist in order to determine of anti-anxiety medications should be included in the first aid kit.

Antidiarrheal medicine

Bouts of diarrhea are common adverse effects for patients who are undergoing chemotherapy or radiation therapy. This medical condition can last for more than three weeks after these therapies. It is also a common problem for patients who are suffering from colon or pancreatic cancer. When left untreated, diarrhea can cause dehydration which can put the life of the patient in danger. It can also inhibit the individual from participating in common daily activities which can be beneficial or can even be a part of the rehabilitate treatment for patients. This is why having antidiarrheal medicine on standby is very important and useful.

Antacids

Hyperacidity is common for patients who have stomach cancer or patients who have disrupted eating patterns. When left untreated, hyperacidity can cause other medical problems such as indigestion, constipation and acid reflux. These can be severely discomforting to patients who are already suffering from other aches and pains. By having an antacid nearby, this stomach upset can be immediately relieved.

When it comes to using the contents of these kits, standard first aid training is still necessary to ensure that they are used properly. It is wise to remember that cancer patients have more sensitive body systems which makes them bruise more easily or more susceptible to other medical conditions which can be directly or indirectly caused by taking prescription medications improperly. This is why it is imperative to know how to use these items correctly before they are actually bought or assembled.

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Standard First Aid Kit for Cancer Patients: Non-prescription Items

February 21st, 2014 | Posted by finzy in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on Standard First Aid Kit for Cancer Patients: Non-prescription Items)

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

Temperature monitoring is vital for fever

Temperature monitoring is vital when a person has fever.

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.

Hand Wipes

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.

Thermometer

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.

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First Aid for Fractured Hips

February 13th, 2014 | Posted by vanfirstaid in Skeletal Injuries - (Comments Off on First Aid for Fractured Hips)

Hips contain socket and ball joint that allow great rotation which makes it possible for the legs to bend and rotate. The hips act as the most used body parts and any impact can result to a break also referred as fracture. This is a serious condition that requires surgery for treatment. Here are some tips for effective first aid for fractured hips.

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Best Practices for Fractured Hips First Aid

Supporting victim with fractured hips

Supporting victim with fractured hips

Hip fractures are more common to old people because of the weak bones as a result if aging. However, this is not to mean that young people to do not suffer from this problem. The first thing you need to do is to call for emergency when it occurs. You can call 911 or any other emergency service provider you know. Never try to move the patient as this may make the condition worse. As you make the call, let the operator understand what happened and describe the condition of the patient. In most cases, an effective operator will give you instructions. Ensure you follow all the instructions carefully and never deviate. Let the patient feel comfortable and if it is possible, place something soft such as a pillow or cushion under the head. One of the mistakes, you should avoid is to give drinks or food. Most of the victims of fractured hips will look pale and weak but giving them food or drink will make the surgery process complicated.

If you are a certified first aid provider, you may move further by immobilizing the limbs. You do this to the legs by use of thick layers of soft materials, for example, towels and hold them using heavy objects. Pad the victim from above the hips as you go down the knee. It is important to check for any symptoms of shock for the victim. This is a fatal and the earlier treatment increases chances of recovery and survival. Some of the signs that can show you that the patient is in shock include weak pulse, weak breathing, vomiting and excessive sweating. Help the victim remove any tight clothing, keep the patient warm and try to calm him or her down. To ensure that he remains conscious, provide a lot of fresh air and keep talking to him.

Don’ts for Hip Fracture First Aid

Do not try to offer first aid for fractured hips if you are not trained because this may make the condition more complex. Ensure that there is no movement as the patient should remain calm until the emergency help arrives.

First Aid for Minor Cuts

February 13th, 2014 | Posted by vanfirstaid in Basic First Aid Skills - (Comments Off on First Aid for Minor Cuts)

Wounds can be classified as minor or major depending on their extent in terms of size and how deep they are. Minor wounds can turn to be a major problem if they are not handled in the right way. Regardless of whether a cut is minor or major immediate intervention is crucial to avoid more damage from happening. To ensure that the cut do not turn to be a major health issues follow these first aid steps.

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First Aid Steps for Minor Cuts

The first thing that you need to do is to check the wound to determine how dangerous it may be. If the wound shows the following signs you need to call 911 or any other efficient emergency service provider.

  • If blood is spurting out profusely
  • If the cut has a lot of bleeding
  • In case the bleeding cannot stop after ten minutes or steady pressure or any other method used.

It is good to check whether the wound may require stitching because a cut should be stitched within six hours from the time it occurred. The only exceptions are the minor cuts that occur to the scalp and face which can be stitched within twenty four hours.

Stop or Reduce the Bleeding

After examining the wound, you need to try to stop the bleeding immediately. You can do this by applying direct pressure on the minor cut.

how to dress minor cuts

Tending to a minor cut

Clean the Wound and Prevent Infection

  • Use warm water and gentle shop to cleanse the cut to remove any dirt that may bring germs to the wound.
  • To minimize the risk of infection, you need to put an antibiotic ointment. Only use ointment that is approved and follow the instructions. If the ointment applied leads to a rash, stop applying it.
  • Put a sterile bandage on the minor cuts to cover and offer more protection.
  • Put a sterile bandage on the area. In some people, antibiotic ointments may cause a rash. If this happens, stop using the ointment.

When to Call for Emergency Help

You should call for medical help in case of the following:

  • The minor cut is over the joint.
  • If it becomes hard to get the cut or make the laceration clean.
  • You should also call for medical help if the victim has not received tetanus injection or booster for the last five to ten years.
  • Minor cuts caused by animal or human bite also require to be attended by a physician.

If the wound get treated at home, remove the bandage after some few days to boost the healing process.

First Aid For Asthma Attack

February 13th, 2014 | Posted by vanfirstaid in Basic First Aid Skills - (Comments Off on First Aid For Asthma Attack)

Patients suffering from asthma have high chances of getting asthma attack. Some of the common symptoms that will show you that a patient has the attack include difficulty in talking, breath shortness and change of lips or fingernails to blue color. Read the article to understand how you can handle such emergency situations.

Follow Asthma plan

If the victim has a personal asthma action plan from a doctor it is advisable to follow it strictly. Follow the directions used to provide the medication and in case of an acute asthma attack seek medical help immediately.

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Provide asthma attack first aid

If the patient does not follow any action plan, you need to offer first aid for asthma to rescue him or her from the fatal situation.

  • Make the patient sit upright in a comfortable manner and make any tight cloth loose.
  • If the patient has medications such as an inhaler, help him to use it.
  • In case an inhaler is not available, use the one in your first aid kit or borrow from another person.

There are two types of inhalers, then one with a spacer and one without the spacer.

Using an inhaler with a spacer

first aid for asthma attack

Using an inhaler

  • Remove the cap and shake it well.
  • Insert it into the spacer.
  • Make sure that the victim breathe out fully and put his mouth firmly around the mouthpiece of the spacer.
  • Press the inhaler instantly in order to deliver a puff.
  • Then, allow the patient to breathe in a slow manner through the mouth and then make him hold breath for ten to twelve seconds.
  • Give four fluffs and wait for a minute between each of them.

Follow similar steps even when using an inhaler without the spacer.

If breathing is still an issue even after using the inhaler, follow these steps to deal with the asthma attack.

  • After the four puffs, wait for extra four minutes. If the breathing does not normalize, giver more four puffs.
  • If there are no changes continue giving four puffs until the emergency service provider arrives. In case the victim has severe asthma attack provide seven to nine puffs after every five minutes.

Monitor the victim until the emergency service provider arrives. If you recognize drowsiness, this means that the problem may be getting worse. You should also not assume that there is some improvement if no wheezing can be heard from the victim. This can also show that the asthma attack is going to another dangerous level.

 

First Aid for Head Injuries

February 13th, 2014 | Posted by vanfirstaid in First Aid Injury Assessment - (Comments Off on First Aid for Head Injuries)
how to dress head injuries

Dressing head injuries

Head injuries refer to any kind of trauma that leads to injury of the brain, skull or the scalp. The injury can either be minor or serious injuries that damage the brain or even cause death. The injury can be open or closed depending on whether there is penetration of the skull. Closed head injury is when there is no penetration, while an open injury occurs when the skull is broken because of the impact leading to the injury. Some of the major causes of head injuries include traffic accidents, physical assault or accidents at home or while playing games. In order to give effective first aid you first need to know the symptoms involved. Some of the signs may be experienced instantly while others may take time.

Symptoms of Head Injuries

  • Fracture of the skull
  • Swelling or bleeding of the skull
  • Pain in the spinal cord especially near the head
  • Concussions

By understanding the symptoms, you will be in a position to offer effective first aid. It is important to call for medical help if the victim shows the following symptoms.

  • Abnormal behavior
  • Stiff neck
  • Excessive vomiting
  • Lose of consciousness
  • Unable to move leg or arm or
  • Gets sleepy.

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You can also apply the following first aid steps.

  • Call emergency service provider or 911.
  • If the person is having problems to breath, start rescue breathing if you know how to do it.
  • In case the victim is breathing well and the heart is beating normally, offer assistance as if there is a spinal injury. Ensure that the head and neck are stable by putting your hands on both sides of the victim’s head. Make sure that the head is aligned with the spine and do not allow any movement as you wait for emergency service provider to arrive.
  • Use the supplies in your first aid kit to stop any bleeding. Do this by placing a clean bandage or piece of cloth on the wound. Excess bleeding may soak the cloth, do not remove it, but put an additional cloth on it.
  • Some head injuries lead to the fracture of the skull. Therefore, ensure you do not apply any form of pressure on the bleeding area.
  • In case the victim is vomiting, you need to prevent chocking by ensuring that the body acts as one unit without any movement. This will also protect the spine that may also be injured in the process.
  • Place ice packs on every part that may be swollen.

Backpack safety

February 11th, 2014 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on Backpack safety)

Backpacks have been a popular and practical way to carry items especially for children and even adults. They were specifically designed to distribute the weight on the strongest muscles in the body. If a backpack is used properly, it is a good way to carry items. The basics on backpack safety is essential for parents with children using one as well as the adults.

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How to properly use backpacks

Backpacks that are overly heavy or used inappropriately can lead to problems especially for both children and adults. Improper use of backpacks can damage the joints and muscles. Understandably, it can result to severe neck, back and shoulder discomfort as well as problems with the posture.

It is a common belief that heavy backpacks are linked to scoliosis, but in reality, they do not cause the condition. Take note that scoliosis is the sideway curve of the spine that manifests in children during the stage of puberty.

Selecting the right backpack to use

Once you decide to purchase a backpack for your child, it is important to choose one that is appropriately sized for your child. Additionally, features to watch out for include:

  • Two shoulder straps that are wide and properly padded
  • Waist straps
  • Padded back
  • Backpack made out of lightweight material
  • Rolling backpack

How to prevent injuries when using backpacks

When backpacks are not used properly or hold a heavy load, it can lead to injuries. It is vital to prevent any possible injuries by following certain guidelines when using a backpack for both children and adults.

backpack safety

Back pain due to excessive load on backpacks.

  • Both shoulder straps of the backpack should be used in order to distribute the weight equally over the back. Do not use only one strap especially when the backpack is heavy.
  • The straps should be tightened in order to keep the load close to the back.
  • The items that are placed in the backpack should be properly organized by packing the heavier items low and close to the center.
  • Always pack light especially for children. Avoid carrying loads more than 15-20% of their body weight.
  • Lift the backpack properly by bending using the knees when picking the backpack.
  • Take away items that are too heavy or simply carry those that are needed if possible. Just leave those that are not needed at school or home.
  • Build up muscle strength through exercises.

Useful tips for parents

When children are using backpacks, there are useful tips that parents should be familiar with.

  • Observe how your child puts on or takes off the backpack if it requires effort. In case the backpack is too heavy for your child, remove some of the items and instruct to carry them to minimize the load on the back.
  • Ask your child if there is tingling, numbness or discomfort in the legs or arms. This usually indicates improper fit or the weight is too heavy.
  • If your child complains about pain when using a backpack, consult a doctor right away.

Backpacks are very useful either at school or for work. Just make sure that backpacks are properly used and avoid carrying a lot of weight for extended periods since it can lead to problems in the long run.

Elbow dislocation

February 7th, 2014 | Posted by corinne grace in Skeletal Injuries - (Comments Off on Elbow dislocation)

Elbow dislocation occurs once the surfaces of the joint are separated and can be partial or complete. A complete dislocation takes place if the surfaces of the joints are separated completely. As for the partial dislocation, the surfaces of the joints are only separated incompletely.

Causes of elbow dislocation

Dislocations of the elbow are not quite common and they typically take place once an individual falls with the hands outstretched. The moment the hand strikes a hard surface, the force is sent directly to the elbow and there is usually a turning motion from this force that can rotate or drive the elbow out from its socket. This injury can also occur during vehicular accidents if the individual reaches forward to suppress the impact.

In a simple elbow dislocation, no major bone injury is incurred while a complex elbow dislocation involves severe ligament and bone injuries. In worst cases, the nerves and blood vessels throughout the elbow can be affected. In such cases, there is a possibility that the arm will be removed. Individuals who inherently have laxness in their ligaments are at risk for dislocation.

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Signs and symptoms of a dislocated elbow

If there is complete dislocation of the elbow, it is very painful and the affected arm has an odd twist at the area of the elbow. As for a partial dislocation, it is difficult to detect and usually occurs right after an accident. Due to the partial dislocation, the bones have the possibility to relocate in a spontaneous manner while the joint appears normal. In some cases, pain and bruising is present either inside or exterior the elbow.

How an elbow dislocation is diagnosed

Once a doctor is consulted, the affected arm is examined for swelling, tenderness an

d deformity. The skin will be assessed and the circulation in the arm while the pulses at the wrist are checked. In case an artery is damaged, the hand is cool to the touch or exudes a purple or white hue.

X-ray is required to determine if the bones are damaged and can define the direction of the dislocation. This diagnostic exam can confirm if the elbow is dislocated. A CT scan is performed if the damage is difficult to identify on the X-ray.

How elbow dislocations are treated

elbow dislocation

A dislocated elbow can cause pain.

Dislocations of the elbow must be considered as an emergency. The main

objective of immediate care for an elbow dislocation is to restore the elbow to its proper alignment while the long-term objective is to restore functionality to the affected arm.

The normal alignment of the elbow is restored in an emergency room in

any hospital. Prior to the procedure which is called reduction maneuver, pain medications and sedatives are administered. The procedure is performed in a slow and gentle manner.

For minor elbow dislocations, it can be treated by immobilizing the elbow

using a sling or splint for 2-3 weeks and followed with motion exercises. Take note that if the elbow is not exercised for an extended period, it can affect its range of motion. Always remember that physical therapy is needed during the recovery period.