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Whenever people are planning to travel, one common question that pops into their minds is “what things should I bring with me?” These actually depend on the purpose of their travel and the place they will go to. Things commonly include identity cards, pocket money, clothes and gadgets. But a first aid kit may be considered a universal necessity when travelling, because there is always a chance that you will be using it at some point in time.

The first step to stocking up contents in a first aid kit is to choose a durable and lightweight plastic container that is easy to carry with your luggage. It should include compartments for easier sorting of medicines and other first aid paraphernalia.

General Items In A First Aid Kit:

  • Towels
    Gloves and first aid

    Make Sure to Put on Gloves before helping

  • Elastic Bandage
  • Safety pins, tweezers and splints
  • Saline Solution (for flushing injuries or wounds)
  • Disposable sterile gloves (protective equipment for the person performing first aid)
  • Iodine Solution (for cleaning wounds, injuries)
  • Rehydration Solutions
  • Thermometer

Recommended Medications:

  • Flu medicines
  • Anti-histamines – this is very important if you have severe allergic reactions to foods, weather or other factors.
  • Anti-diarrheal and/or laxatives – There are certain conditions that might contribute to constipation and the food you eat might cause diarrhea. It is best to have these medications all the time.
  • Pain relievers and antibiotics – There are instances when you will experience pain, which is why pain killers should be brought along. Similarly, antibiotics will be helpful to prevent any kind of inflammation or infection.
  • Ointments or lotions – Common topical medications include sunscreen lotions, insect repellant and antibiotic ointments for external wounds/injuries.
  • Analgesics – These medications are used for fever.

Important notes:

  • The size of the first aid container will depend on the place you will visit – if you plan to go a city or urban area, you can bring a smaller container, since it would be easier to buy medicines in these places. A larger container, on the other hand, is more suitable when traveling to remote areas, going on an island vacation or trekking, so that you can stock up as many things as needed.
  • The contents of the first aid kit will usually depend on the place you are going to visit. It is therefore important to think through the things that you will likely use during the trip.
  • If you a specific medical condition, like hypertension or diabetes, do not forget to bring your prescribed medications to avoid any hassle.
  • The medicines have limited lifetime, so it is important to regularly check the expiration date of medicines and replace them whenever necessary.
  • Seek help from a pharmacist for further advice regarding the safe and effective use of medicines and other things in your kit.

Related Video:

Sources:

“How to make a top-notch travel first aid kit.” Lonely Planet. Retrieved online on June 23, 2014 from https://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/forums/health/topics/how-to-make-a-top-notch-travel-first-aid-kit

“First Aid Kit for Travelers.” HIT Travel Insurance. Retrieved online on June 23, 2014 from https://www.hthtravelinsurance.com/travel_center/general/ne_el_20.cfm

Hyperthermia First Aid Tips

June 21st, 2014 | Posted by Aris Eff in Basic First Aid Skills | Being Prepared - (Comments Off on Hyperthermia First Aid Tips)
Water for Hyperthermia.

Water for Hyperthermia.

When the body’s thermoregulation fails because of too much external heat that is absorbed, hyperthermia occurs. The extreme levels of high temperature are usually absorbed by the body more than it can generate and it is an emergency condition requiring immediate medical care. Hyperthermia needs to be treated as soon as possible to prevent death or disability. Whenever the body’s temperature reaches above 104F, it will begin to show signs of heat stroke, a prominent indicator of hyperthermia.

Administering first aid and recognizing the signs and symptoms of hyperthermia is very important, as it may save the life of a victim.

What causes hyperthermia?

There are several reasons why hyperthermia occurs, one of which is prolonged exposure to warm, dry environments, especially under direct and extreme sunlight. Aside from heat stroke, other common forms of hyperthermia include heat fatigue, heat exhaustion, heat cramps and heat syncope. In addition to these, the risk for developing hyperthermia also increases depending on the lifestyle of an individual.

Usually, not drinking proper fluids, overdressing during hot climates, living in houses without proper ventilation and too much insulation, visiting highly populated and crowded places, and walking or running under extreme heat, all increase the likelihood of hyperthermia.

There are also several medical conditions that contribute to hyperthermia such as taking medications that increase urine output (diuretics) and decrease sweating, being dehydrated, being underweight or overweight, and age-related body changes.

Warning signs and symptoms of hyperthermia

As the victim’s condition becomes worse, warning signs start to appear including irritability, confusion, nauseous, increase heart rate and pulse, headaches, and temperature starting to increase.  These are the warning signs for hyperthermia that should be watched out for. Once the temperature continue to elevate more than 104F, symptoms will start to appear including muscle spasms and cramps, difficulty of breathing, dry mouth and warm skin, and possible faintness. Keep in mind that the elderly are the most prone to hyperthermia, because they may initially faint before even exhibiting other signs and symptoms.

First Aid Tips for Hyperthermia

  • First and foremost, it is important to move the victim to shaded, cool areas. Place the victim in a place with adequate ventilation.
  • If the victim is overdressed, remove unnecessary clothing.
  • If the victim is suffering from heat stroke and has fainted, call emergency assistance immediately.
  • To help lower body temperature, apply ice packs or cold compress on the neck, armpits, groin and chest.
  • If the victim is conscious, have him/her sip water to replenish lost fluids and help lower body temperature.

Having enough knowledge about hyperthermia is necessary to save someone’s life. It is therefore necessary to enroll in first aid courses to know more about emergency first aid provision.

 

Related Video On Hyperthermia:

Sources:

“Heat Induced Illness.” Australian Resuscitation Council. Retrieved online on June 19, 2014 from http://www.resus.org.au/policy/guidelines/section_9/heat_induced_illness.htm

“Hyperthermia First Aid.” Free MD. Retrieved online on June 19, 2014 from http://www.freemd.com/hyperthermia/home-care-first-aid.htm

Digestive Problems: Understanding Chron’s Disease

June 21st, 2014 | Posted by Aris Eff in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on Digestive Problems: Understanding Chron’s Disease)

Stomach pain can be a symptom for various gastrointestinal illnesses, one of which is Chron’s Disease. This is a long-term chronic condition that mostly affects the gastrointestinal tract, but can also infect any part of the mouth up until the anus.

Stomach Pain

Stomach cramps and pain associated with diarrhea or constipation is a warning sign of Chron’s Disease.

Chron’s Disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease commonly caused by different types of environmental, bacterial and immune factors. So far, the exact cause of Chron’s disease is not yet known, but because its symptoms usually involve gastrointestinal pain, cramps, weight loss and diarrhea, it is usually considered as an emergency condition, if left untreated and not given proper medical management.

The material posted on this page on understanding Chron’s disease is for learning purposes only. To learn to identify and manage serious medical emergencies enrol in a first aid class with a provider near you.

What Are The Different Signs and Symptoms of Chron’s Disease?

The signs and symptoms of Chron’s Disease can be divided into three categories – gastrointestinal, systemic and extraintestinal. Gastrointestinal symptoms are the common symptoms felt by a patient with Chron’s Disease including pain in the abdominal region, episodes of diarrhea (watery during the early stages of the disease and bloody during the late stages), and abdominal discomfort resulting from bloated stomach or flatulence. Late stages Chron’s Disease involve itching in the mouth and anus, bowel obstruction, nausea and vomiting, and ulcerations in the intestines. Systemic symptoms involve abnormal weight loss in adults, fever during episodes of the disease and inadequate absorption of nutrients in the body. Extraintestinal symptoms usually develop at a later stage of the disease, in which the immune system can be affected as well; these include gangrenous ulcers in the mouth and anus, skin and eye infections and anemia.

Is There A Way For The Disease to Be Prevented?

Unfortunately, Chron’s Disease could not be prevented, because the exact cause is unidentifiable. It is also difficult to diagnose, because its symptoms usually mimic the symptoms of other gastrointestinal disorders.  The only way for Chron’s Disease to be detected is through a series of laboratory and blood tests; this way, management of the disease and prescription of medicines could be effectively administered.

What Are The Ways To Identify Chron’s Disease At Home?

Now that we have a good understanding about the symptoms of Chron’s Disease, we can watch out for it before it gets worse. Essentially, it is important to seek medical assistance if there is a presence of blood in your stool, abdominal discomfort that occurs during diarrhea, a fever associated with abdominal pain, and other skin, eye, mouth or anal irritations.

Remember that these symptoms usually attack during heavy exercise or a period of strenuous activity, so if you experience any of these, it is best to rest for a while.

Related Video on Chron’s Disease:

Sources:

“Treating and Living With Chron’s Disease.” WebMD. Retrieved online on June 18, 2014 from http://www.webmd.com/ibd-crohns-disease/chrons-biologics-14/cd-diagnosis-tips

“Chron’s Disease Health Center.” WebMD. Retrieved online on June 18, 2014 from http://www.webmd.com/ibd-crohns-disease/crohns-disease/tc/crohns-disease-treatment-overview

Vital Information on Obtrusive Sleep Apnea

June 6th, 2014 | Posted by vanfirstaid in Breathing Emergency - (Comments Off on Vital Information on Obtrusive Sleep Apnea)

There are numerous types of sleep apnea; a condition that is characterized by stopped breathing while sleeping. The most common type under this classification is obtrusive sleep apnea. The throat muscles block the airway which as a result interferes with normal breathing.

There are certain groups of people at higher risk of suffering from the condition. Treatment involves surgical procedures or the use of a mouthpiece to keep the airway open while the patient is asleep.

What Are the Symptoms?

The symptoms that you ought to be looking out for include:

  • Snoring
  • Chest pain
  • Fatigue
  • Sleepiness
  • Insomnia
  • Mood swings
  • Irritability
  • Breath shortness
  • Depression

When these symptoms become severe, seek medical assistance immediately. In addition, you should also observe the patient for any other signs of sleep deprivation. A popular misconception associates snoring to obtrusive sleep apnea but this is not always the case. This is why professional advice is mandatory.

What Are the Causes?

Normal breathing largely depends on open airways. People suffering from this condition can not enjoy sleep because the throat muscles cause blockage. This in effect depletes the oxygen content in the blood.

The brain will lack adequate oxygen which will arouse the patient from sleep. However, many of those suffering from this condition do not realize the awakening since they fall back to sleep within a few seconds. Gasping is common when the person is trying to restore normal breathing during the awakening. The pattern reoccurs every hour in most cases.

What Are the Risk Factors?

Any person is at risk of suffering from this condition. Nevertheless, obtrusive sleep apnea is more likely to affect the following groups:

Overweight People– Statistics reveals that more than 50% of people suffering from this type of sleep apnea are overweight. This is owing to the fact that excess fat obstructs proper flow of air. It has also been noted that people with larger waists are more susceptible to it.

People With Large Necks– Doctors verify that the neck size of a person can increase the risk by a substantial percentage. Thick necks are common amongst overweight people and are linked to restricted airflow.

Hypertension Patients– Obtrusive sleep apnea is quite frequent in people suffering from hypertension, which is also referred to as high blood pressure.

Narrowed Airway– It’s possible for a thin person to have a narrow airway. The characteristic may be hereditary or medical. People with swollen tonsils can easily be affected by this type of sleep apnea.

Nasal Congestion– If this condition is chronic; the likely occurrence of sleep apnea becomes relatively high. Nasal congestion worsens at night and as a result causes constricted air flow.

Diabetics– People suffering from diabetes are at higher risk of contracting this ailment.

Alcohol Drinkers– Those who partake in alcoholic drinks aggravate this condition. It’s advisable to reduce the level of intoxication first before you sleep when you’re drunk.

Black Males– According to research, males are affected by obtrusive sleep apnea more than females. Furthermore, being a black male puts you at even higher risk.

How does One Deal with a Hangover?

June 3rd, 2014 | Posted by vanfirstaid in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on How does One Deal with a Hangover?)

One of the most common types of conditions that people will face from time to time  is the question, how does one deal with a hangover? A number of us are all too familiar with the throbbing headaches, the fatigue, the chills as well as the amnesia that usually follows binge-drinking. The effects are not usually a pretty sight, and for many who love their drink, it becomes important to find out how one can deal with this condition, albeit self-inflicted. To do so effectively, you would have to understand the functioning of the body as far as the intake and metabolism of alcohol is concerned. Follow the steps below to enable you cope better whenever you have a hangover.

Manage the Dehydration

Alcohol is manufactured in such a way that its constituents make it a diuretic, which is a substance that causes an increase in the frequency of urination. This is what causes the feeling of drying up after one has imbibed their favorite drink. The first thing to do even prior to knowing how to deal with a hangover is to take adequate amounts of water. This will go a long way in helping get rid of the dehydration that characterizes hangovers. Do this before sleeping and once more in the morning (or when you wake up). Is this all there is to dealing with a hangover? The good news is that there is much more you can do if you want to deal with a hangover, the bad news is that there really is no cure for a hangover.

What About My Stomach Ache?

Why do some people get a stomach ache whenever they have a hangover? This is because of the impurities that are included during the processing of alcoholic drinks. The concentration of these impurities will differ from one brand to the other, but has been shown to be very high in drinks that are malt-based. The other benefit of drinking enough water comes in at this point. The water will aid in the dilution of impurities following metabolism of the alcohol within the body in addition to facilitating the re-hydration of the individual. Another way to deal with a hangover as far as these impurities are concerned is to make toast a portion of your meals following a drinking session.

Have You Tried Eating Toast?

The purpose of using the toast, which is basically charred bread is that it acts as a filter thus effectively eliminating the impurities within the body. In severe cases of alcohol poisoning, one of the measures that doctors take up is the use of Carbon channeled to the patient’s digestive system. Some people will advocate for the use of fatty foods under the guise that this creates an oily lining on the digestive system so that the alcohol is not absorbed readily from the digestive system. Whether this is true or not, it is important to take food prior to drinking as this acts as a buffer zone so that the electrolytes are replaced frequently thus preventing dehydration. These are tips that will help you deal with a hangover and feel much better.

What If My Friend is Unconscious?

Have you ever worried about a friend who has had too much to drink and has fallen unconscious? First aid training teaches individuals how to manage semi-conscious and unconscious victims. Learn what position to place the victim and how to manage vomiting victims by enrolling in a first aid course near you. An unconscious and vomiting victim can be fatal. Learn to prevent an serious incident by taking a course.