Standard First Aid Training, Courses and Re-Certifications.
Header

Fractured sternum

January 22nd, 2016 | Posted by corinne grace in Skeletal Injuries - (Comments Off on Fractured sternum)

The sternum is also known as the breast bone which is located in front of the chest and connected to the 12 ribs on either side and forms the thoracic griddle. The thoracic griddle functions in protecting the internal organs such as the heart and lungs from injuries. The sternum also helps protect the thymus which is a gland that produces hemopoetic stem cells.

A fractured sternum can either be due to a forceful blunt injury or a weakened sternum due to underlying conditions. People suffering from this condition can feel a severe pain in the middle chest and difficulty in breathing.

Causes

  • Vehicular accidents without airbags and seatbelts
  • Playing contact sports such as football
  • Suffering from diseases that cause weakening of the bone or pathologic fracture
  • Suffering from osteoporosis is prone to this injury if they are hit in the chest wall using a mild force.

Symptoms of fractured sternum

Fractured sternum

Severe pain that becomes worse especially when coughing and sneezing.

  • Severe pain that becomes worse especially when coughing and sneezing.
  • Tenderness, bruising and swelling of the affected area
  • Crepitus is a crunching sound that can be heard when broken ends of the bones are rubbing against each other. Crepitus usually happens when there is displacement or instability of the broken sternum.
  • Deformity of the ribcage
  • Pain is severe especially when lying in certain positions such as facing down or sideways

Treatment

  • Encourage the individual to rest to help with the fast healing of the affected area in 2-3 months. Avoid performing strenuous activities in order to prevent making the condition worse.
  • Apply an ice pack on the affected area to help lessen the swelling and pain. Wrap a few ice cubes in a towel and pat it over the affected area at least 20 minutes every two hours. Avoid applying ice directly on the skin in order to help prevent frostbite.
  • Take the prescribed anti-inflammatory medication in order to help lessen the swelling and pain.
  • Avoid applying pressure on the area and performing weightlifting or any other activities that places plenty of stress to the bone.
  • Perform exercises to improve posture, strength and flexibility to prevent the development of stiffness and weakness of the affected area.
  • Gradually return to activities or sports by wearing protective padding or chest guards to help minimize injuries on the sternum and prevent it from getting worse.

Exercises

Shoulder blade squeezes – start by sitting or stand tall with the back in a straight position. Squeeze the shoulder blade as far as possible without pain and remain in that position for 1-2 seconds and repeat at least 10 times. Just make sure that the symptoms will not worsen.

Perform deep breathing by sitting or standing tall and the back in straight position. Breathe in as deeply as possible without increasing the symptoms and then relax. Inhale with the lower lungs instead of elevating the shoulders and gently expand the stomach at least five times.

Spasmodic croup in children

January 22nd, 2016 | Posted by corinne grace in Breathing Emergency - (Comments Off on Spasmodic croup in children)

Croup is a condition that causes an inflammation of the upper airways particularly the larynx and the windpipe. It usually results to a barking cough or hoarseness especially when crying.

Croup can be caused by viruses in which the viral cases are the most common and the symptoms can be severe. Children 6 months up to 3 years old are susceptible to this condition. Viral croup can be treated at home.

Spasmodic croup is a type of croup that happens to a child suffering from a mild cold. Barking cough usually starts at night and the child has no fever. It is called spasmodic because there is a sudden inflammation of the larynx and boys are more susceptible to this condition than girls.

Symptoms

Spasmodic croup

Croup can be caused by viruses in which the viral cases are the most common and the symptoms can be severe.

  • There is a mild runny nose and hoarseness for a few hours.
  • When the voice box and upper airway organs become inflamed, there is slight fever and a croupy cough.
  • Severe inflammation causes barking, noisy inspiration and a metallic cough.
  • The coughing is similar to a seal barks
  • When inhaling, a high pitched voice can be heard which is known as stridor
  • The face becomes red and congested with an anxious expression
  • Sometimes, the lips turns blue due to the lack of oxygen
  • The voice becomes hoarse with fast pulse and skin that is moist
  • In the morning, spasms disappear with mild hoarseness and loose coughing, but sometimes it can continue the next night.

Treatment

  • First thing to do is comfort the affected child since difficulty in breathing can become worse.
  • Install a cool or warm mist vaporizer placed in the room of the child. Humidified air helps lessen swelling of the vocal cords and also helps minimize the symptoms. Make sure hot water vaporizers should be out of reach of children in order to help prevent accidental burns. Another way is to let the child breathe steam from the bathroom with a shower with hot water running down or a bathtub filled with hot water.
  • Take the child for a 10 to 15 minutes sitting or driving in the cool night air, if coughing becomes severe at night, and also helps in relieving respiratory symptoms of the child.
  • Make a saltwater nasal drop by mixing ¼ teaspoon of salt in 1 cup of water. Carefully instill the saltwater solution into the nasal passage every few hours and then suction it using a bulb syringe in order to help in opening the nasal passages.
  • Give the child popsicles in order to help prevent dehydration and avoid activities during the first days of the illness.
  • A lingering cough that last for more than two weeks should be assessed by a doctor.

 

Spider veins

January 22nd, 2016 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on Spider veins)

Spider veins are also known as telangiectasias or angioectasias which are similar to varicose veins but they are smaller. The small veins are near the surface of the skin which has an appearance of spider webs or branches of a tree that are usually purple, red and blue in color.

Spider veins are usually found in the legs, at the back of the calves, thighs, insides of the legs and ankles. Sometimes, the spider veins can develop in other parts of the body such as the face.

Causes

  • Standing for long periods of time needed in certain professions
  • Obesity
  • Use of contraceptive pills
    Spider veins

    Standing for long periods of time needed in certain professions

  • History of circulation problems and blood clots
  • Hormonal influences which are common during puberty, pregnancy and menopausal period

Symptoms

  • Swelling of the affected area
  • Uncontrollable feelings in the legs
  • Rash
  • Itching around the veins
  • Restless legs
  • Throbbing, cramping or aching
  • Development of skin ulcers

Treatment

  • Use apple cider vinegar to lessen the symptoms by boosting the circulation of blood in the affected area. Soak a piece of cloth in raw unprocessed apple cider vinegar and apply as a compress on the affected area with spider webs. Leave it in place for at least 15-20 minutes and then remove. This procedure should be repeated at least 2 times every day for up to 30 days.
  • Perform exercises regularly such as walking, swimming, cycling or running to help in toning and strengthening the muscles and for proper circulation of blood in the area. Avoid standing or sitting for more than 30 minutes in order to prevent pooling of blood in the affected area of the legs and also crossing of the legs should be avoided in order to avoid damaging the veins. If there is a need to stand, transfer the weight from one leg to another every few minutes.
  • Elevate the legs above the level of the heart at least 3-4 times every day for 15 minutes at a time in order to help lessen the pressure placed on the legs.
  • Avoid wearing high heels especially heels that are higher than 3 centimeters.
  • Wear compression stockings such as high pressure socks for the best therapeutic effects.
  • Consume spicy foods since these helps in improving the circulation of blood such as ginger, cayenne pepper, turmeric, garlic and onions. Mix them with the juices and daily meals.

Seek medical help immediately if the symptoms still persists, the spider veins are bleeding, development of sores, rashes or ulcers on the skin and skin found in the ankle or calf changes in color and become thickened.

Tips

  • Increase the intake of vitamin C rich foods. Vitamin C improves the production of proteins called collagen and elastin which are the building blocks of the skin and blood vessels and helps keep walls of the veins strong and flexible.
  • Other vitamins that help with the condition include Vitamins B and E and also include fibers in the diet such as flaxseed, beans, berries, carrots and oats.

 

 

Bone bruise caused by running

January 14th, 2016 | Posted by corinne grace in Skeletal Injuries - (Comments Off on Bone bruise caused by running)

Bone bruise is also known as bone contusions or sometimes bone swelling. The injury is similar to tissue bruises and fractures. The bruises can be due to injury or blunt trauma caused by forceful impact when playing sports and accidents. It can cause severe pain that can last for weeks or even months.

Causes

  • Sports bruises happen when the body comes in direct contact with hard surfaces, such as falling, bumping into the equipment of another player. Players should wear protective gear such as a helmet and shin guards in order to help lessen the impact on the bones.
  • Impacts caused by vehicular accidents, falling and slipping can result to a bone bruise.
  • Twisting accidents and sprains on the joints can cause a bruise bone, usually on the ankles and knees.

Symptoms

Bone bruise

Sports bruises happen when the body comes in direct contact with hard surfaces, such as falling, bumping into the equipment of another player.

  • A common symptom of bone bruise is swelling.
  • There is pain and stiffness after the injury and becomes severe after a day.

Treatment

  • Stop running if there is a bruise. Cool down with a brisk walk going home or another way is to perform a 5-minute walk on the treadmill. Avoid running when there is pain in order to prevent making the condition worse.
  • Immediately apply an ice pack or ice wrapped in a thin cloth over the knee. If ice is not available, a bag of frozen vegetable can be placed on the affected knee at least 20 minutes every day as needed.
  • Elevate the affected knee on a soft chai, and place a pillow under the knee in order to help prevent hyperextension and provide cushion. Keep the knee above the level of the heart in order to help lessen any swelling.
  • Apply an elastic compression wrap if the affected knee is swollen. Start wrapping beneath the knee going upwards in a diagonal motion. Avoid wrapping it too tight. It should be supportive and snug in order to help increase blood circulation in the area.
  • Take 2-3 days of rest from the running routine for fast healing of the condition.
  • Massage the area using ice by rubbing it on the affected area at least 10 minutes every day. Wrap the ice cubes in a cloth or bag before applying on the affected area. Avoid applying the ice directly on the skin in order to prevent frostbite.
  • Wear a knee brace in order to help support and protect the bone found near the joint from becoming worse. The braces help to lessen pain and strengthen the affected area.
  • Take the prescribed anti-inflammatory medications in order to help lessen severe inflammation and pain such as ibuprofen.

Seek medical help immediately if swelling and pain cannot be minimized within a week.

Tip

Avoid running on hard surfaces in order to help prevent injuries on the knees for developing.

 

Nickel allergy

January 8th, 2016 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on Nickel allergy)
giant-cell-arteritis

Nickel allergy is a common metal allergy and it is a common cause of contact dermatitis. Articles and substances that contain nickel that come in contact with the skin cause an allergic reaction in the form of eczema. Nickel can be found in jewelries such as earrings, jewelry chains, zipper, metal wrist straps and even button of clothes. Adults and children are susceptible to nickel allergy. It can lead to itching, rashes and small blisters that are filled with fluid. Once a person is allergic to nickel, he/she will remain allergic to this metal.

Nickel allergy develops by exposing the body to the metal for long periods of time. When the body develops allergy to nickel, the body will always react when the body comes in direct contact with the metal.

Symptoms

  • Itching that can be moderate to severe
  • Development of rashes on the surface of the skin
  • Oozing from the rashes
    Nickel allergy

    Articles and substances that contain nickel that come in contact with the skin cause an allergic reaction in the form of eczema.

  • Presence of small blisters that are filled with fluid over the rash
  • Swelling and burning sensation with redness of the affected area

Treatment

  • Apply cold compress on the affected area in order to lessen the itchiness and redness.
  • Apply calamine lotion over the affected area in order to help lessen the itching and swelling.
  • Wear gloves when handling metal that contains nickel.
  • Eat fruits and vegetables that are rich in vitamin C and iron content since both helps prevent absorption of nickel from the gut.
  • Soak a face towel in vinegar and apply it to the blisters in order to help in drying them out. Avoid using this vinegar compress if the skin is dry.
  • Apply emollient creams or lotions such as petroleum jelly or mineral oil to help with the condition.
  • Apply a moist compress which helps dry the blisters and lessen the itchiness. Soak a clean face towel or cloth in Burow’s solution which is an over-the-counter medication that contains aluminum acetate. It should be diluted white vinegar (1 ounce of white vinegar to 16 ounces of water) or tap water. Apply the compress on the affected area for at least 15-45 minutes several times every day.
  • Apply the prescribed over-the-counter topical corticosteroid or hydrocortisone to minimize itchiness and promote healing of the rashes. Apply hydrocortisone to the area before applying a wet compress for better penetration in the skin.
  • Take the prescribed over-the-counter oral histamines to lessen the itching for a short time and highly effective with this kind of condition.

Tips

  • Avoid wearing jewelries that might contain nickel such as necklaces, earrings, and bracelets.
  • Wear plastic frames for eyeglasses instead of the metal frames.
  • Wear hypoallergenic jewelry.
  • Eat foods that do not contain nickel such as meat, fish, poultry, cheese, cereals, bread, rice, cabbage, cauliflower, parsnips, potatoes and spinach.
  • Avoid eating foods such as canned spaghetti and baked beans, broccoli, dried fruits, canned fruits, drinking chocolate, chocolate and green beans.

Broken knuckle

January 8th, 2016 | Posted by corinne grace in Skeletal Injuries - (Comments Off on Broken knuckle)
Black mold

Knuckles or metacarpals are bones found between the proximal phalangal bones of the finger and carpals bones found at the palm of the hands. The 4th and the 5th metacarpal bones are susceptible to damage due to indirect force. A broken knuckle is also called boxer’s fracture which affects the neck of the metacarpal bone which is the fragile part of the bone.

A broken knuckle can be caused by direct impact of a clenched fist using a hard and immovable object. Usually, the knuckle of the ring finger leads the knuckles in a hard punch and it is the 4th metacarpal that is prone to damage.

Symptoms

  • Pain and tenderness can be felt on the affected metacarpal joint.
  • A snapping and popping sound can be heard
  • There is swelling, bruising and discoloration around the affected area and also cuts or lacerations can also happen in the area. The affected area is swollen due to the accumulation of blood and extracellular fluid. The knuckles can become lacerated and there is bleeding from the wound.
    Broken knuckle

    Pain and tenderness can be felt on the affected metacarpal joint.

  • There is difficulty moving the ring and the little finger and sometimes the joint of the finger can be misaligned.
  • There is a shallow depression when clenching the fist
  • The nerves that are near the knuckles can become damaged and result to numbness and the finger is not capable of bending properly.

Treatment

  • Wash any open wounds such as cuts and scrapes using warm water and hand soap or other antiseptic products immediately after the injury in order to help lessen the risk for infection.
  • Cover any open wounds using a clean bandage in order to help stop the bleeding and minimize any infections from getting inside the wound.
  • Apply a cold compress on the broken knuckle or ice pack wrapped in a towel or a face towel immersed in cold water is also helpful with the condition. The cold helps lessen the swelling and pain in the area.
  • Immobilize the hand by wrapping it using an elastic bandage to help minimize movement of the hands that can make the condition worse.
  • Elevate the damaged knuckle above the level of the heart to help in draining blood from the area and minimize any bleeding from any open wounds and also lessen the swelling of the area.
  • Consume turmeric and crushed fresh garlic flakes mixed with raw honey to lessen pain.
  • Stick with a diet rich in calcium and increase the intake of dairy products, soy and green leafy vegetables. Take calcium and magnesium supplements. Magnesium helps with the absorption of calcium in the body.
  • Once swelling and inflammation is minimized, the affected area can be strapped to the next finger in order to keep the knuckles straight for at least 2-3 weeks so that the fracture can fully heal.