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How to treat a broken arm

January 30th, 2015 | Posted by corinne grace in Skeletal Injuries - (Comments Off on How to treat a broken arm)

A broken arm is when one or more of the bones found in the arm are cracked and common in children and adults. The arm consists of three major bones. The humerus starts at the shoulder up to the elbow which is called the upper arm. At the elbow, the humerus is connected to two bones – radius and ulna. These are found from the elbow to the wrist which forms the forearm.

Causes of a broken arm

Any injury to the arms that results to broken bone can be caused by falls and direct trauma.

A fall that will result into a fracture happens when falling on an outstretched hand. The fracture can occur from the wrist up to the shoulder and depends on the direction of the fall, age of the individual and other factors and stresses placed on the bone.

A direct trauma can be a direct blow from an object such as a bat, vehicular accident and other forces that causes a direct force on any part of the arm.

Broken arm

Any injury to the arms that results to broken bone can be caused by falls and direct trauma.

Symptoms of a broken arm

  • There is evident swelling
  • Pain that becomes severe when the affected arm is moved
  • Deformity of the affected arm
  • An open wound maybe caused by a bone that pierces through the skin or there is a cut in the skin during the injury.
  • Decreased sensation or there is difficulty in moving the limb which may indicate nerve damage.

Severe symptoms

  • There is large amount of swelling or deformity of the affected arm if compared to the opposite arm.
  • Diminished functionality of the affected arm and there is pain when it is pressed
  • Pain that cannot be relieved by application of ice and pain medications such as acetaminophen.
  • There is bone sticking out of the skin along with heavy bleeding from an open wound
  • Lack of sensation or movement on the affected arm
  • Loss of consciousness

Treatment and home remedies

  • Stabilize the affected arm by using a towel as a sling. Place it under the arm and then around the neck. By preventing the arm from moving, place rolled newspaper along the area that is swelling and tape it in place.
  • Apply an ice compress on the injured area in order to minimize pain and swelling for 20 to 30 minutes at a time. Place a towel between the ice compress and the skin to prevent it from getting too cold. Avoid placing ice directly to the skin. You can learn more about cold therapy by enrolling in a first aid course.

Preventive measures

  • Wear seat belts when riding a vehicle, use wrist guards when skating and skateboarding as well as use appropriate pads when playing contact sports in order to prevent fractures.
  • Prevent and treat conditions such as osteoporosis which is a disease that causes loss of bone in older women since it can increase to risk for fractures as they age.

What is whooping cough?

January 30th, 2015 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on What is whooping cough?)

Whooping cough which is also known as pertussis is a highly contagious infection of the respiratory tract. It is a severe hacking cough that is followed by a high-pitched sound similar to a “whoop” in taking a breath.

Before the development of vaccines, whooping cough is a childhood disease. Death caused by whooping cough is common among infants. This is why it is important for pregnant women and other individuals to be vaccinated against whooping cough.

Symptoms of whooping cough

Whooping cough

Signs and symptoms that become worse such as thickened mucus inside the airways will cause uncontrollable coughing.

It takes about 7-10 days for the symptoms of whooping to manifest, but sometimes it takes longer and they are usually mild at first and similar to common cold. You can learn how to manage the symptoms by enrolling in a class on first aid today.

Signs and symptoms that become worse such as thickened mucus inside the airways will cause uncontrollable coughing. Severe and prolonged coughing can cause reddish and bluish face which will also provoke the individual to vomit. The severe fatigue and constant coughing will end with a high-pitched “whoop” sound when taking the next breath of air. Some do not develop the distinctive “whoop” but a constant hacking cough is the only symptom that indicates that an adolescent or adult has the condition. Infants will not cough at all but struggle to breath or they may temporarily stop breathing.

Complications of whooping cough can be considered as side effects of the strenuous coughing such as abdominal hernias, bruised or cracked ribs and broken blood vessels found in the skin or on the white part of the eyes.

Complications of whooping cough in infants

  • Slowed or cessation of breathing
  • Pneumonia
  • Seizures and brain damage
  • Dehydration and loss of weight caused by difficulty in feeding

Treatment and home remedies

  • Get plenty sleep in a cool, quiet and dark bedroom.
  • Drink plenty fluids especially water, juice and soup. As for infants and children, watch out for indications of dehydration such as crying without tears, dry lips and frequent urination.
  • In order to prevent vomiting after a cough, eat small, frequent meals instead of large ones.
  • Keep the house free from irritants such as smoke of tobacco, fumes from fireplaces since they cause coughing spells.
  • Cover the cough or wear a mask and wash hands frequently when in public places or with other people.

Other remedies for whooping cough

Mix 1 tablespoon of raw honey into a cup of fresh grape juice and drink it at least two to three times a day to help treat whooping cough.

Make a natural cough medicine by grinding 7 tablespoons of raisins and place in a saucepan and then add 7 tablespoons of honey and water. Let it simmer until it becomes a thick sauce-like consistency. Take a tablespoon of the mixture before going to sleep.

Eat an all fruit diet that are rich in vitamins and minerals since they are easy to digest and helps in eliminating toxins and bacteria caused by pertussis.

How to deal with sleepwalking

January 30th, 2015 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on How to deal with sleepwalking)

Sleepwalking is getting up and walking around while in a state of sleep and it is also known as somnambulism. It is common in children than in adults and it usually outgrown when they reach their teen years. Sleepwalking that recurs very frequently can be caused by some sleep disorders.

Sleepwalking is less common in adults but it can be caused by some sleep disorders, medical and mental health conditions. Sleepwalking is classified as parasomnia which is an undesirable behavior which is experienced during sleep. By enrolling in a first aid course, you can handle any injuries that can occur when an individual is sleepwalking.

A person who is sleepwalking experiences the following:

Sleepwalking

Sleepwalking can be caused by fatigue, stress, depression, deprivation of sleep, anxiety due to separation.

  • Sitting up in bed and opening his/her eyes
  • Getting out of bed and walking around
  • There is difficulty in walking during an episode and does not respond or communicate with other people
  • Glazed and glassy-eyes
  • Disoriented or confused for a short time after waking up
  • Engaging in routine activities such as dressing up, talking or preparing a snack
  • Difficulties in functioning during the day caused by disturbed sleep.
  • Returns to a state of sleep
  • In addition to sleepwalking, he/she experiences sleep terrors and does not remember the episode upon waking up in the morning

Causes of sleepwalking

Sleepwalking can be caused by fatigue, stress, depression, deprivation of sleep, anxiety due to separation as well as anxiety in children and even fever.

Sleep walking can also be caused by disruption in the sleeping pattern. Medications and substances such as hypnotics, sedatives or prescribed drugs for psychiatric illnesses and also alcohol can also cause sleep walking.

Sometimes sleepwalking can be caused by conditions that interferes with sleep such as the following:

  • Sleep-disordered breathing which a group of disorders where there is an abnormal breathing pattern during sleep such as obstructive sleep apnea.
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Narcolepsy
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD
  • Migraines and conditions such as hyperthyroidism, stroke or head injury

Treatment and home remedies

  • Close and lock all windows and doors at night and place alarms or bells. Install gates on stairways and remove all electrical cords or other objects that can cause the individual to trip. The individual should sleep in a bedroom in the ground floor and don’t let the child who sleepwalks to sleep in a bunk bed.
  • Get plenty of sleep and avoid being fatigued
  • Before going to bed, perform some calming activities such as reading books, playing games such as puzzles and soak in a warm bath. Meditation and relaxation can also help with sleepwalkers.
  • Minimize the level of stress
  • Keep a record of any sleepwalking episodes since this is useful in planning anticipatory awakenings.

Prevention of sleepwalking

  • Set a regular bedtime schedule that includes eight hours of sleep and create a comfortable environment such as a quiet, cool and dark room with comfortable pillows and mattress.
  • Manage certain conditions such as sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome and GERD in order to prevent episodes of sleepwalking.
  • Record the beginning and ending of any sleepwalking episodes and if a pattern forms, awaken the affected person 20 minutes before the usual time an episode will start.

Treatment of ulcerative colitis

January 9th, 2015 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on Treatment of ulcerative colitis)

Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease that causes long–lasting inflammation and ulcers or sores in the digestive tract and affects the innermost lining of the large intestines or colon and the rectum. The symptoms develop gradually. By enrolling in a course on first aid today, you can help ease the symptoms.

Symptoms of ulcerative colitis

  • Experiencing abdominal pain and cramping
  • Diarrhea, sometimes with blood or pus and experiencing rectal pain
  • Rectal bleeding like passing small amounts of blood together with stool
  • An urgency to defecate and inability to defecate despite the urgency
  • Experiencing loss of weight
  • There is fatigue and fever
Ulcerative colitis

The individual experiences abdominal pain and cramping.

People suffering from ulcerative colitis have mild to moderate symptoms, but some people have long periods of remission.

Ulcerative colitis is classified on how the colon is affected and the condition can be mild and affects only the rectum also known as ulcerative proctitis. If it affects other parts of the colon, it can have more severe symptoms. Ulcerative colitis that develops during a younger age can have more severe symptoms.

Severe symptoms of ulcerative colitis

  • Presence of blood in the stool
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea that does not respond to over-the-counter medications
  • A diarrhea that disturbs a person during sleep
  • Experiencing fever that lasts for more than a day or two

Causes of ulcerative colitis

  • Diet and stress
  • The immune system does not function normally
  • Ulcerative colitis can be caused by heredity but some people with ulcerative colitis do not have a family history of these condition.

Complications that ulcerative colitis can cause include experiencing severe dehydration and bleeding, a hole in the colon can develop also known as perforated colon, osteoporosis, swelling of the colon also known as toxic mega colon and an increased risk of developing cancer of the colon. People with ulcerative colitis can have increased risk of having blood clots found in veins and arteries and inflammation of the skin, eyes, joints and some sores can be found in the lining of the mouth.

Factors that have increases the risk of acquiring this condition include the age of the person. It usually develops before 30, but it can also happen at any age and some people do not develop this disease until 60 years old. White people are more susceptible to this disease, but it can also happen at any race.

Treatment and home remedies

  • Minimize the consumption of dairy products and avoid eating butter, margarine, cream sauces and fried foods
  • Avoid eating fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grain since they make the symptoms worse. Cook the foods by steaming, baking or stewing them.
  • Avoid eating spicy foods, drinking alcohol and caffeine.
  • Eat five to six small meals a day rather than two or more larger meals a day
  • Drink plenty of fluids everyday especially water.
  • Take multivitamin and mineral supplements
  • Avoid being stressed since it can make the symptoms worse. Stress can be controlled by doing some mild exercises to help relieve depression and for normal functioning of the bowel and doing some regular relaxation and breathing exercises like yoga and meditations to help minimize stress.

How to effectively manage hidradenitis suppurativa

January 9th, 2015 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on How to effectively manage hidradenitis suppurativa)

Hidradenitis suppurativa is a chronic, inflammatory disease of the skin and causes blackheads, cysts and abscesses found in the areas of the body like the underarms and the groins where there are hair follicles and apocrine sweat glands.

It is a chronic skin condition where there is a presence of pea-sized to marble-sized lumps that can be found under the skin and it is also called as acne inversa. These deep lumps occur where skin rubs together like in the armpits, groin, in between the buttocks and below the breasts. The lumps caused by hidradenitis suppurativa are painful and when they break or open, it will drain smelly pus. Hidradenitis suppurativa begins after puberty and will persist for years and can worsen over time.

Hidradenitis suppurativa

These deep lumps occur where skin rubs together like in the armpits, groin, in between the buttocks and below the breasts.

Symptoms of hidradenitis suppurativa

  • Blackheads which appears as pairs.
  • Red-colored, sore bumps or lesions sometimes enlarged and break up and drain out pus with foul smell. There is itching, burning and excessive sweating together with the bumps.
  • A painful, pea-sized hard lump which occurs under the skin and will persist for years, eventually becoming enlarged and inflamed.
  • Some open wounds that heal very slowly, and can cause scarring and development of tunnels under the skin.

Hidradenitis suppurtiva happens when follicles of hair becomes blocked and are inflamed. It can be also be caused by hormones, genetics, cigarette smoking and being overweight or obese.

Complications that can be caused by hidradenitis suppurativa include the following:

  • Open sores and scar tissue can cause limited or painful movement when the disease affects the armpits and thighs.
  • A severe case of hidradenitis suppurativa can cause rope-like wounds, potholed skin or blotches of skin and the color is darker than the normal color.
  • Some sites of hidradenitis suppurativa also contain plenty of lymph nodes where some scar tissue can restrict the draining system of the lymph which will cause swelling in the arms, legs or genitals.

Factors that increase the risk of having hidradenitis suppurativa are women and considere more susceptible to acquire the condition than men. It usually happens in young adult and the tendency of developing hidradenitis suppurativa can be inherited from family members.

Treatment and home remedies

  • Apply a warm compress or a warm washcloth to the affected area in order to reduce the swelling. You can enroll in a course on first aid today to learn more about this measure.
  • Keep the affected areas clean by washing using antibacterial soap and apply an over-the-counter antibiotic.
  • Avoid being overweight because excess weight increases the number of areas where skin rubs together like folds of the skin which causes friction, perspiration and growth of bacteria.
  • Take zinc supplement every day in order to reduce inflammation and prevent further outbreaks of the infections.
  • Take prescribed antibiotics in order to help minimize the disease from becoming worse and reduce the risk of future outbreaks.

How to manage hemochromatosis

January 9th, 2015 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on How to manage hemochromatosis)

Hereditary hemochromatosis is a condition that causes the body to absorb too much iron from the food eaten. The excess iron is stored in the organs like the liver, heart and the pancreas. This excess amount of iron can be a poison to these organs and can cause certain conditions such as cancer, heart arrhythmias and cirrhosis. Men are more susceptible to this condition. Symptoms occur during mid-life and iron levels can drop to safer levels by regularly removing blood from the body. If you want to learn more about this condition, read here.

Symptoms

Symptoms of hemochromatosis include fatigue, joint pain and weakness. Symptoms of hemochromatosis with organ damage in men include the loss of sex drive or libido, pain in the joints, diabetes, heart failure and impotence.

Hereditary hemochromatosis is present at birth and the symptoms occur between the ages 50 and 60 in men and after 60 in women, usually after menopause.

Hemochromatosis

Symptoms of hemochromatosis include fatigue, joint pain and weakness.

Causes of hereditary hemochromatosis

Hereditary hemochromatosis is caused by the mutations in a gene that function in controlling the amount of iron the body absorbs from the foods that are eaten. The mutations that cause hereditary hemochromatosis can be passed by parents to children.

Types of hemochromatosis

  • Juvenile hemochromatosis is where iron accumulation begins earlier and symptoms usually happen between the ages of 15 and 30.
  • Neonatal hemochromatosis where iron builds up rapidly in the liver of the developing fetus.
  • Secondary hemochromatosis is a form of disease that is not inherited and the iron build-up is caused by another disease such as anemia, chronic liver disease or an infection.

An untreated hereditary hemochromatosis can cause some complications in the joints and in some organs where excess iron builds up such as the liver, pancreas and heart, and these complications including the following conditions:

  • Cirrhosis involves permanent scarring of the liver and increases the risk of acquiring cancer and other dangerous conditions.
  • Problems of the pancreas that will cause diabetes
  • Hemochromatosis can cause abnormal heart rhythms or arrhythmias
  • Excess iron can cause erectile dysfunction which is also known as impotence and loss of sex drive in men and absence of the menstruation in women.
  • Plenty of iron deposit in the body makes the color of skin bronze or gray.

Treatment and home remedies

  • Avoid taking supplements and multivitamins that contains iron will increase the levels of iron even more.
  • Avoid taking vitamin C supplements especially together with food since it will increase the absorption of iron. Just drink vitamin C-rich juices such as orange juice between meals.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol.
  • Avoid eating raw shellfish since people suffering from hereditary hemochromatosis are susceptible to infection that is caused by bacteria that is found in raw shellfish.
  • Drink tannin-rich tea in order to slow down the build-up of iron in the body.

How to treat acute otitis media

January 9th, 2015 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on How to treat acute otitis media)

Acute otitis media is an infection in the ear that is caused by viral or bacterial infections that affect the middle ear which is the space filled with air found at the rear of the eardrum that includes the miniature vibratory bones of the ear. Children are more susceptible to these infections than adults.

Ear infections are painful due to the inflammation and the build-up of fluids found in the middle ear. Issues related to ear infections, constant fluid in the middle ear, recurrent infections can result to problems in hearing and other complications. By enrolling in a class on first aid, click here.

Symptoms of otitis media in children

Acute otitis media

An infection of the middle ear can be caused by a bacterium or virus that results from another illness such as cold, flu and allergy that causes congestion and swelling of the nasal passages such as the throat and Eustachian tubes.

  • There is difficulty in sleeping and usually crying
  • Tugging or pulling at an ear along with ear pain during lying down
  • Very irritable and difficulty in responding to sounds
  • Drainage of fluids from the ear, headaches and loss of balance
  • There is loss of appetite and fever of 100 degrees F or 38 degrees C or higher

Symptoms of otitis media in adults

  • Drainage of fluids from the ear and pains in the ear
  • Weakened hearing

Some severe symptoms that needs immediate treatment including the following:

  • Pain in the ear is very severe and the symptoms lasts for more than a day
  • The child has difficulty sleeping and irritable after having a cold or other upper respiratory infections
  • Discharge of fluid, pus or blood coming out of the ear

Causes of otitis media

An infection of the middle ear can be caused by a bacterium or virus that results from another illness such as cold, flu and allergy that causes congestion and swelling of the nasal passages such as the throat and Eustachian tubes.

The Eustachian tubes are pair of narrow tubes that are found in the middle ear at the back of the throat and behind the nasal passages. The tubes functions in regulating the pressure of air in the middle ear, refreshes air in the ear and drains the normal secretions coming from the middle ear.

Inflammation, swelling and some mucus in the Eustachian tubes caused by an upper respiratory infection or allergy can cause blockage. There is accumulation of fluids that can occur in the middle ear and this fluid can be infected by bacteria or virus and will produce the symptoms of a middle ear infection.

Treatment and home remedies

  • Apply a warm or moist wash cloth over the affected area in order to minimize pain
  • Take over-the-counter pain medication like acetaminophen or ibuprofen in order to relieve pain
  • Take prescription eardrops to help minimize the pain for eardrums that are intact, not torn or perforated. You have to warm the bottle by placing it in warm water before administering drops to the child’s ear. Avoid using benzocaine for children below 2 yrs. of age.
  • Let the affected person rest in order to help the body fight the infections and arrange quiet play activities for a child.