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How to treat hyphema

October 14th, 2016 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on How to treat hyphema)
angular-cheilitis

Hyphema is a condition in which the anterior chamber of the eye found between the iris and the cornea is bleeding. This condition is usually caused by a direct injury or impact to the eye from a rounded object.

A hyphema can cause severe pain and if not treated properly, it can result to permanent problems with vision. In children, it can happen without warning or might be an indication of other underlying medical conditions such as sickle cell anemia or hemophilia.

Causes of hyphema

  • Hyphema can be caused by a rounded object that hits the eye and there is bleeding in the next 3-5 days even without another trauma.
  • This injury can be considered as closed trauma that can occur while playing various sports.
    Hyphema

    A hyphema can cause severe pain and if not treated properly, it can result to permanent problems with vision.

  • Hyphema can also be caused by industrial accidents, fights and falls.
  • Conditions that can cause hyphema include diabetes, anterior uveitis, cancer, sickle cell anemia, inflammation of the iris and abnormality in the blood vessels

Symptoms

  • Blood can be seen on the surface of the eye. If the hyphema is large, the eye appears red and there is buildup of blood
  • Pain in the eye
  • Pain becomes severe as the pressure increases
  • Partial or complete loss of vision

Treatment

  • Take plenty of rest and elevate the head of the bed as tolerated.
  • Avoid rubbing the eye or place pressure on the eyeball. Cover the eyes with a clean cloth.
  • Avoid giving aspirin or ibuprofen to prevent the bleeding from worsening. Take a mild pain medication such as acetaminophen to lessen the pain.
  • Do not perform any strenuous activity
  • Place drops of prescribed 1% atropine on the eye at least 3-4 times every day. Cover the affected eyes with an eye shield or guard to prevent the condition from worsening.
  • Take medication to prevent the person from vomiting since it can cause straining and increases the pressure in the eye.
  • If pressure in the eye becomes severe, take the prescribed medication such as a beta-blocker in the form of eye drops. An increase in pressure can be caused by obstruction on an area on the eye tissue due to the red blood cells.

Tips

  • Wear protective eyewear such as goggles when playing sports or other protective gear suited. Avoid wearing glasses when performing any rough play or a dangerous physical activity.
  • If there is pain in the eye or any problems with the vision, seek medical help immediately.

How to manage a concussion

October 14th, 2016 | Posted by corinne grace in Skeletal Injuries - (Comments Off on How to manage a concussion)
Concussion

A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that alters the way the brain functions which is only temporary and the person experiences headaches and problems with concentration, coordination, balance and memory.

A concussion is usually brought about by a blow to the head and the upper body is strongly shaken, especially when playing sports such as football.

Symptoms of a concussion

  • Clumsiness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headache
  • Blurred vision
  • Sensitivity to light and noise
  • Confusion and feeling dazed
    Concussion

    A concussion is usually brought about by a blow to the head and the upper body is strongly shaken, especially when playing sports such as football.

  • Problems with balance or dizziness
  • Memory loss
  • Sluggishness
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Changes in personality

Types of concussion

  • Grade 1 – the symptoms can last less than 15 minutes without loss of consciousness.
  • Grade 2 – there is no loss of consciousness and symptoms last for more than 15 minutes.
  • Grade 3 – there is loss of consciousness for only a few seconds.

Treatment

  • Apply an ice pack on the affected area to lessen the swelling on a minor injury. Avoid applying the pack directly on the skin to prevent frostbite. Wrap the ice pack with a towel before applying on the area for at least every 2-4 hours for 20-30 minutes.
  • Avoid applying pressure to any head trauma wound to prevent pushing bone splinters into the brain.
  • Take the prescribed over-the-counter pain medication such as acetaminophen. Avoid taking medications such as ibuprofen and aspirin to prevent bruising and making the bleeding worse.
  • If the victim is awake, keep asking questions to assess the degree of the injury and keep the victim awake.
  • Stay with the victim on the initial 24 hours. Do not leave him/her alone and check the physical and cognitive functions for any changes. If the victim wants to sleep, wake him/her up every 15 minutes for the first 2 hours and every 30 minutes for the next 2 hours and then hourly.
  • Avoid performing strenuous activities for days after the injury and avoid being stressed to give the brain time to rest and promote fast healing of the injury.
  • Avoid driving any vehicle until the condition is fully healed.
  • Take plenty of rest and avoid reading, watching TV, playing video games and other mental tasks.

If the symptoms still persist and continue to worsen within 7-10 days, seek medical help immediately.

Tips

  • Wear protective gear when playing sports and other recreational activities. Wear the appropriate protective gear while playing sports.
  • When riding a vehicle, always use the seat belt.
  • Block all stairways and install window guards to prevent small children from falling or slipping.
  • Perform exercises regularly to strengthen the muscles in the legs and improve balance.

More Information

The details posted on this page on concussions is for learning purposes only. To learn to recognize and manage head injuries including a concussion, enroll in a first aid course with one of our training providers.

Treatment for heat exhaustion

October 14th, 2016 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on Treatment for heat exhaustion)
Heat exhaustion

Heat exhaustion is a condition where there is heavy sweating and a rapid pulse which cause the body to overheat. Heat exhaustion can be caused by exposure to high temperatures especially combined with high humidity and strenuous physical activity. Without proper treatment, the condition can result to heatstroke which is a dangerous heat-related condition.

Symptoms of heat exhaustion

  • Weak and rapid pulse
  • Cool and moist skin with goose bumps when in the heat
  • Faintness
  • Dizziness
  • Heavy sweating
    Heat exhaustion

    Heat exhaustion can be caused by exposure to high temperatures especially combined with high humidity and strenuous physical activity.

  • Low blood pressure when standing
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Muscle cramps

Causes

  • Dehydration which lessens the ability of the body to sweat and maintain normal temperature of the body.
  • Excessive use of alcohol which can affect the ability of the body in regulating temperature.
  • Overdressing, especially wearing clothes that prevents sweat to evaporate easily.

Treatment

  • Transfer the person to a cool area. If an air-conditioned space is not accessible, fan the affected person.
  • Apply cool compresses on the body or a cool sponge bath.
  • Give the person cool, non-alcoholic and non-caffeinated beverages to prevent dehydration.
  • Get plenty of rest and avoid performing physical activities for the rest of the day.
  • Take the prescribed pain medication such as acetaminophen if suffering from a mild headache.

Seek medical help immediately if the symptoms worsen or last for more than an hour, person is vomiting or nauseate, has high and weak pulse rate and shallow breathing especially with high or low blood pressure, person is disoriented, unconscious and has fever, dry and warm skin, high or low blood pressure and hyperventilating.

Tips

  • Avoid excessive exposure under the sun. If going oudoors, wear a wide-brimmed hat or use an umbrella to protect the body from the sun. Apply suncreen to any exposed skin. With sunburn, it will lessen the ability of the body to eliminate heat.
  • Wear a loosefitting, light-colored clothing. Dark or tight fitting clothes retain heat in the body and do not cool the body properly because it prevents evaporation of sweat.
  • Stay in an air-conditioned room for just a few hours to prevent heat exhaustion.
  • Drink plenty of fluids to make the body sweat and maintain normal temperature of the body. Just remember to avoid alcoholic beverages.
  • Avoid staying in hot areas. Avoid leaving children or anyone else in a parked car under hot weather for long periods of time to prevent heat exhaustion.
  • If performing exercises under hot weather, take a rest frequently in a cool area, and replenish lost fluids during that time to help the body regulate the temperature.

Disclaimer / More Information

The material posted on this page on heat exhaustion is for learning purposes only. Learn to recognize and manage heat exhaustion by taking a first aid and CPR class with one of our training providers.

Asthma control during pregnancy

October 14th, 2016 | Posted by corinne grace in Breathing Emergency - (Comments Off on Asthma control during pregnancy)

Asthma is a lung disease that causes the airways to tighten, thus making it difficult to breathe. Asthma is a chronic condition of the lungs and if pregnant, the health of the baby and the mother can be at risk.

If asthma is not properly treated, the health of a pregnant women can be at a high risk for a serious health problem called preeclampsia. Preeclampsia can develop after the 20th week of pregnancy or right after pregnancy. The pregnant women will have high blood pressure and symptoms such as malfunctioning of the kidney and liver as well as symptoms of protein in the urine, severe headaches and changes in vision.

The baby will not get enough oxygen and he/she may be at a high risk for health problems such as poor growth, premature birth and low birth weight. Babies that are born before the due date and are very small can develop health problems such as difficulties in breathing, intellectual disabilities and cerebral palsy.

Symptoms of asthma during pregnancy

Asthma

Asthma is a chronic condition of the lungs and if pregnant, the health of the baby and the mother can be at risk.

  • Tightness of the chest
  • Shortness of breath and constant coughing especially at night or early in the morning.
  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Severe morning sickness
  • Restricted fetal growth
  • Complicated labor
  • Low birth weight
  • Diminished fetal kick count
  • When the condition becomes severe, the life of the baby is at a high risk
  • Wheezing can be heard when breathing

Causes

  • Allergens such as pollen, animal dander, mold, flake of dead skin, cockroaches and dust mites.
  • Irritants such as pollution and cigarette smoke
  • Infections such as cold, flu or viral pneumonia
  • Exercises

Treatment

  • Check if the affected woman has a treatment plan for asthma attack during pregnancy given by a health care provider. Follow the plan and consult a doctor if additional medication is needed.
  • If there is no asthma treatment plan, start giving asthma first aid.
  • Position the woman in an upright position comfortably and loosen clothing.
  • If she has an asthma medication such as an inhaler, help her to use it. If she has no inhaler, use one from a first aid kit.
  • Use an inhaler with a spacer. Remove the cap and then shake the inhaler well and then insert it into the spacer. Put the woman’s mouth tightly around the spacer mouthpiece, and let her breathe out completely and then hold the breath for at least 10 seconds. Give a total of at least four puffs and rest for about a few minutes between each puff.
  • If the woman has still difficulty in breathing, give another 4 blows and if there is still no improvement, continue giving 4 blows every 4 minutes until medical help arrives.

Disclaimer

The material posted on this page for asthma is for learning purposes only. If you have severe episode of asthma during pregnancy, consult your local physical. If you want to learn to properly control asthma and be ready during an asthma attack, register for a first aid course with a training provider near you.

How to manage a hairline fracture of the wrist

October 7th, 2016 | Posted by corinne grace in Skeletal Injuries - (Comments Off on How to manage a hairline fracture of the wrist)
giant-cell-arteritis

Hairline fractures of the wrist involves a fine line of breakage on the skin. It is a minor condition that does not affect the normal alignment of the bone and there is no separation.

Gymnasts, basketball players, tennis players and divers are prone to overuse the wrist and result to a hairline fracture of the wrist. These fractures are likely to occur among women above the age of 40. Women playing sports are also prone to these fractures due to eating disorders such as anorexia, osteoporosis and irregular menstruation.

Causes of hairline fracture of the wrist

  • Trauma or injury on the wrist
  • Repetitive use of the area
  • A strong force on the wrist
    Hairline fracture

    Pain can be felt at the wrist joint and becomes severe when moving the wrist such as writing or holding an object.

  • Sudden falls

Symptoms

  • Pain can be felt at the wrist joint and becomes severe when moving the wrist such as writing or holding an object.
  • Bruising of the affected area which happens when blood leaks in the blood vessel of the bone and other tissues. The bruise appears blue or greenish in color and eventually darkens. It will remain for a few days and eventually disappears.
  • Wrist joint and the palm are swollen
  • Tingling sensation or loss of sensation on the affected area
  • A limited movement of the wrist joint

Treatment

  • Take plenty of rest especially the affected area.
  • Apply an ice pack on the affected area for at least 20 minutes to lessen swelling and pain. Avoid applying ice directly on the skin to prevent frostbite and making the condition worse.
  • Place a compression bandage to prevent swelling of the injured area. There are bandages and special tapes that are used for compression and avoid wrapping it too tight to prevent any disruption in the blood circulation in the area.
  • Elevate the affected area above the level of the heart to lessen the swelling, inflammation, pain and promote proper blood circulation in the area for at least 2 days.
  • Drink warm milk added with a teaspoon of turmeric powder every day for fast healing of the condition.
  • Take the prescribed over-the-counter pain medication such as acetaminophen, aspirin, naproxen and ibuprofen to lessen the pain and inflammation.
  • Eat foods rich in calcium to strengthen the bones

Treated hairline fracture of the wrist heals without complication. Sometimes, the affected individual experiences stiffness for a month and there is a need to move the fingers to prevent stiffness of the area.

Seek medical help immediately if there are any abnormal symptoms such as the nerve can become overstimulated after a fracture and result to a painful condition known as reflex sympathetic dystrophy. Tendons will rupture and there is limited movement of the thumb or finger. The capsule of the wrist joint is stretched or has tears. Fluid of the wrist can swell and result to a ganglion cyst and the ligaments found between the carpal bones can have tears that result to a painful movement.

More Information

The details posted on this page on hairline fracture of the wrist is for learning purposes only. To learn to recognize and manage various types of fractures including a hairline fracture of the wrist, enroll in a first aid course with one of our training providers.

Management of a mild stroke

October 7th, 2016 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on Management of a mild stroke)
giant-cell-arteritis

A mild stroke happens when the supply of blood to the brain is interrupted or severely reduced resulting to the deprivation of oxygen and essential nutrients to the tissues of brain. In just a few minutes, the brain cells start to die.

Stroke affects speech, memory, vision and understanding of the affected person and it can also result to the paralysis of the muscles in the legs and arms.

There are 2 types of stroke – ischemic stroke which is the most common and caused by blockage of the blood vessels that supplies the brain and the hemorrhagic stroke which happens when blood vessels in or near the brain burst which cause damage to an area in the brain.

Symptoms of a mild stroke

Mild stroke

Paralysis or numbness of the arms, legs or face especially on one side of the body.

  • Paralysis or numbness of the arms, legs or face especially on one side of the body. If the arms fall if raised, it can be a beginning of a stroke and also drooping of one side of the mouth when smiling.
  • Difficulty in understanding and speaking, experiencing confusion, inaudible speech and difficulty understanding speech.
  • Difficulty seeing in one or both eyes.
  • A sudden and very painful headache, dizziness, vomiting and altered consciousness.
  • Difficulty in walking, experiencing dizziness, loss of coordination and loss of balance.

Treatment

  • Rehabilitating the undamaged areas of the brain to perform functions that were lost during the attack of stroke.
  • Retrain the affected person to regain his/her independent functions such as brushing teeth, bathing and putting on shoes to prevent depression due to incapacity to perform basic skills. By helping stroke victims, they can relearn and become independent, improve self-esteem and improvement in their outlook in life.
  • Take the prescribed medications such as aspirin to lessen the high risk of a recurrent stroke.
  • Apply heat massage to the affected areas such as the leg since it lessens the aches and stiffness of the muscles.
  • Eat a well balanced diet especially whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Minimize the consumption of salt, alcohol and saturated fat and quit smoking.
  • Avoid being overweight to prevent the condition from worsening.
  • Take the prescribed medication for prevention of high blood pressure and cholesterol.

More Information

The details posted on this page on mild stroke is for learning purposes only. To learn to recognize and manage an individual experiencing a mild stroke, enroll in a first aid course with one of our training providers.

Tips

  • Perform exercises regularly to cut down weight and lower the blood pressure and minimize stroke. Exercise at moderate intensity at least for 5 days every week such as climbing stairs instead of using an elevator.
  • Eat a well balanced diet and maintain a healthy weight.
  • Quit smoking to prevent clot formation such as thickening of the blood and increases the risk for the accumulation of plaque in the arteries.
  • Drink alcohol in moderation
  • Maintain normal blood pressure level
  • Maintain normal blood sugar level to prevent damaging the blood vessels and increase the risk for the formation of clots inside the blood vessels

Treating a broken finger

October 7th, 2016 | Posted by corinne grace in Skeletal Injuries - (Comments Off on Treating a broken finger)
pinched-tendon

A broken finger happens when one or more of the bones in the fingers called phalanges break. Each finger has 3 phalanges, except the thumb which has only 2 phalanges. The injury is usually caused by an injury to the hand and can happen in any phalanges such as a fall while playing sports, fingers caught in the doors of cars and other injuries on the fingers.  This condition can also happen in the knuckles where the joints and bones of the finger meet.

A broken finger is categorized into the following:

  • Avulsion fracture where the ligament or tendon moves away from the main bone
  • Impacted fracture is a break in the bone due to trauma and twisting caused by muscle spasms
  • Shear fracture where the bone splits in 2 when moving in 2 different directions.

Symptoms of a broken finger

Broken finger

Within the next 5-10 minutes, there is bruising and swelling on the affected area

  • Pain felt at the affected area
  • Within the next 5-10 minutes, there is bruising and swelling on the affected area
  • If the fracture is severe, bruising from the leakage blood can be seen
  • Swelling that becomes severe will result to numbness of the finger due to the compressed nerves in the area.

Treatment

  • Apply an ice pack on the affected finger. Wrap the ice pack in a small towel and apply on the affected finger to lessen the bruising and swelling. Avoid applying an ice pack directly on the skin to prevent frostbite and making the condition worse.
  • Elevate the affected finger above the level of the heart to lessen the swelling and bleeding.
  • Remove any jewelry on the fingers before the area swells to prevent difficulty in removing these items.
  • Immobilize the affected finger with a splint to prevent unnecessary movement and for fast healing of the area. Use a medical tape to wrap the stick and the finger. Avoid wrapping too tightly to prevent any disruption of the blood circulation and making the condition worse.
  • If there is an open wound on the finger, seek medical help immediately to prevent any infection that can be caused by bacteria that enters the wound.
  • Avoid using the affected finger while still in the healing process such as bathing, eating, and picking up objects. Avoid any unnecessary movement or disturbance of the splint for fast healing of the area
  • Start moving the fingers gently when it is already out of the splint to prevent making the area stiff.
  • Seek the help of a physical therapist for some rehabilitation exercises for the hand to keep the fingers moving and restore mobility.

More Information

The details posted on this page on broken finger is for learning purposes only. To learn to recognize and manage bone injuries including a broken finger enroll in a first aid course with one of our training providers.

How to treat a scraped nose of a toddler

October 7th, 2016 | Posted by corinne grace in Basic First Aid Skills - (Comments Off on How to treat a scraped nose of a toddler)

A scraped nose is usually shallow and do not extend further into the skin, but some layers of the skin are removed. There is not much bleeding from a scraped nose but it will ooze a pinkish fluid. Scrapes are caused by accidents or falls and can occur when skin is rubbed against a hard surface.

Most children end up with scrapes once in a while and are usually minor and can be easily treated. These wounds can bleed and sting. Young children are prone to a scraped nose from a short fall or a minor accident. Proper treatment for a scraped nose of toddlers lessens the risk of infection and prevents scarring.

Treatment

  • Use a clean cloth and apply gentle pressure on the scraped nose to stop any bleeding. If blood soaks through the cloth, place another clean cloth over it and continue applying pressure. If there is severe bleeding and tissue damage or indication of a broken nose, seek medical help immediately.
    Scraped nose

    Scrapes are caused by accidents or falls and can occur when skin is rubbed against a hard surface.

  • Wash the affected area using warm water and mild soap. If there are debris and dirt in the wound, remove it using tweezers or flush with water. Avoid leaving debris, dirt or splinters inside a wound to prevent the risk of infection. Avoid using iodine, alcohol and peroxide in cleaning the wound to prevent damage on the skin tissues.
  • Apply the prescribed topical antibiotic on the affected area to prevent infection and cover using a bandage or non-stick sterile guaze.
  • Keep the wound covered all the time to prevent the toddler from picking on his/her nose to remove the scab. Scabs protect the wound and promote fast healing of the area. The scab usually falls off within 1-2 weeks.
  • Change the bandage when it becomes soiled, bloody or damp. If the bandage has foul-smelling discharge which is a sign of infection, seek medical help immediately.

Tips

  • Avoid exposing the affected area under the sun during healing process to prevent scarring of the skin. Protect the skin of the child with clothing and a sunscreen.
  • Maintain proper skin care such as using moisturizers and avoiding harsh soaps or cleansers.
  • Monitor children when playing on the playground all the time.
  • Keep knives, nails, scissors and tools in drawers with locks or cabinets that are out of reach.
  • Children should dress up in sturdy shoes and pants when performing activities.
  • The child should wear a protective helmet when riding a bicycle
  • Install safety gates at the top and bottom of the stairs to prevent falls

Disclaimer

The material posted on this page on a scraped nose is for learning purposes only. If you want to learn to provide proper wound care for a scraped nose, register for a first aid course with a training provider near you.