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ACL Injury

May 21st, 2018 | Posted by corinne grace in Basic First Aid Skills - (Comments Off on ACL Injury)

An ACL injury is a condition where there is a tear of the anterior cruciate ligament, a major ligament in the knee. This kind of injury is common to those who play sports that involve sudden stops, changes in direction, or jumping – such as basketball, football, soccer, tennis, volleyball, and gymnastics.

People who get an ACL injury often hear or feel a “pop” in their knee accompanied by swelling, a feeling of instability and pain that becomes unbearable when bearing weight on the injured leg.

The treatment for an ACL injury depends on the severity of the injury. The treatment may include rest and a rehabilitation regimen to restore strength and stability back or surgery to replace the damaged ligament followed by a rehabilitation program.

Signs and symptoms of an ACL injury:

  • A loud “pop” sound or “popping” sensation in the injured knee

    ACL Injury

    Severe knee pain which prevents you from continuing what you were doing.

  • Severe knee pain which prevents you from continuing what you were doing
  • Swelling
  • Loss of range of motion
  • Instability or a sensation of “giving away” when bearing weight on the injured leg

What causes an ACL injury?

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of the two ligaments that cross in the middle of the knee which connects your femur to your tibia and helps stabilize your knee joint. Most of the ACL injuries occur during sports or fitness activities that put a lot of stress on the knee, examples are:

  • Abruptly slowing down and changing directions
  • Turning with your foot firmly fixed on the ground
  • Landing from a jump erroneously
  • Abrupt stopping motion
  • Sustaining a direct strike or heavy force to the knee, such as a collision

More Information

The details posted on this page on ACL injury is for learning purposes only. To learn to recognize and manage – enroll in a first aid course with one of our training providers.

Cellulitis

April 16th, 2018 | Posted by corinne grace in Basic First Aid Skills - (Comments Off on Cellulitis)

Cellulitis is a bacterial skin infection that can be potentially serious. This condition typically appears as a swollen and red rash that is painful and warm to the touch. Cellulitis usually occurs on the skin located at the lower legs but can also occur in other parts of the body such as the face and arms. Cellulitis arises if bacteria enters your body through a break in your skin. If left untreated, cellulitis can be life-threatening as it can spread to your lymph nodes and bloodstream. Cellulitis is however not contagious, which means it cannot spread from person to person.

Cellulitis is a common disease and can affect anyone at any age or race, however, cellulitis is more common in middle-aged and elderly people.

At times, cellulitis appears in the area where there is a break in the skin, such as skin near surgical wounds or skin ulcers.

The common types of bacteria responsible for cellulitis are named Staphylococcus and Streptococcus, but there are other types of bacteria that can also cause cellulitis from happening.

Common causes of cellulitis:

  • Injuries that tear or break the skin
  • Infections that occur after surgery
  • Skin conditions like eczema or chickenpox
  • Dirty foreign objects in the skin
  • Bone infections

    Cellulitis

    An area of the skin that is discolored red that tends to expand.

Signs and symptoms of cellulitis:

  • An area of the skin that is discolored red that tends to expand
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness
  • Pain
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Red spots on the skin
  • Formation of blisters on the skin
  • Skin dimpling

There are numerous risk factors that contribute to increasing the chances of contracting cellulitis, these include:

  • Diabetes
  • A break in the skin
  • Circulatory problems
  • Liver disease
  • Skin disorders like eczema

It is important that you know how to identify the signs and symptoms of cellulitis and once you do, you should seek medical attention immediately. Seek immediate care if:

  • You notice a red, swollen rash on your skin that rapidly changes in size
  • You develop a fever with the symptoms

You should still see your doctor even you don’t have a fever but a red rash that constantly changes in size. Do not wait for more symptoms to appear before you seek medical attention as it can get worse over time if left untreated and potentially become fatal.

Cellulitis is usually treated with antibiotics through oral intake or intravenous method.

 

Handlebar palsy

April 10th, 2018 | Posted by corinne grace in Basic First Aid Skills - (Comments Off on Handlebar palsy)

Handlebar palsy is usually common with long-distance cyclists. The ulnar nerve in the wrist is compressed caused by a prolonged period of direct pressure placed on the nerve especially the weight of the upper body resting on the handlebar during cycling. It causes inflammation and irritation of the nerve caused by shock and vibration placed on the arms during cycling. This condition usually common in off-road and mountain biking.

Causes

  • Compression of the ulnar nerve due to improper positioning of the wrist on the handlebars.
  • Ulnar nerve on the wrist becomes compressed.
  • Repetitive movements of the wrist or elbow
  • Performing sports activities that requires weight lifting, biking and throwing
  • Compression or disruption of the ulnar nerve in the elbow due to trauma, bone spurs, arthritis and cysts.

Symptoms of handlebar palsy

Handlebar palsy

Difficulty performing functions of hand such as using a pen, holding an object or playing musical instrument such as piano.

  • Clawing of the hand
  • Difficulty moving the affected fingers
  • Difficulty performing functions of hand such as using a pen, holding an object or playing musical instrument such as piano.
  • Affects the outer half of the ring finger and the little finger and the outer area of the hand.
  • Pain with wrist movements
  • Difficulty making the ring and pinky finger straight of the affected hand.
  • Lack of coordination or clumsiness of the affected hand
  • Numbness, weakness and tingling sensations can be felt

Treatment

  • Take plenty of rest for fast healing of the condition.
  • Apply ice on the affected area. Wrap ice pack in a towel or a cloth before placing to the area for at least 10-15 minutes for 2-4 hours to lessen the pain and the inflammation. Another alternative if ice pack is not available use bag of frozen vegetable such as corn or peas is good for the condition.
  • Wear prescribed splint on the affected area to lessen further irritation on the ulnar nerve, prevent unnecessary movements and for fast healing of the condition.
  • Take prescribed oral and topical non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications to lessen the pain and the inflammation.
  • Prescribed cortisone injections to lessen the pain, the inflammation and for fast healing of the condition.
  • Perform rehabilitation exercises with the help of the physical therapist to strengthen muscles of the hand and lessen the pain.

Tips

  • Maintain proper set-up and riding posture to prevent shifting of the weight too far forward.
  • Wear padded gloves to absorb sweat and prevent hands from slipping off from the handles and cause injury. It also protects other areas of the wrist which receives all the pressure during biking.
  • Switch position of the hand on the bike for at least every 15 minutes. Use padded handlebars to lessen pressure placed on the hand.
  • Stretch both front and back of wrist at least 3 times every day to lessen the symptoms after every ride.

Treating sun allergy

April 3rd, 2018 | Posted by corinne grace in Basic First Aid Skills - (Comments Off on Treating sun allergy)

A sun allergy is a reaction of the immune system to sunlight usually causes a red and itchy rash. It affects the “V” of the neck, outside area of the arm, back of the hands and the lower legs. Sometimes it causes severe reactions such as development of small blisters and hives that spread to other areas of the skin which are covered with clothing.

Types of sun allergy

  • Polymorphous light eruption is an itchy rash on the affected area of the skin.
  • Actinic prurigo or hereditary PMLE – the symptom is more severe and begins earlier usually during childhood or adolescence. A family history of the condition
  • Photoallergic eruption – caused by effect of sunlight on a chemical applied on the skin such as fragrances, sunscreen, cosmetics and antibiotic ointments. Tetracyclines and sulfonamides used for psychiatric medications can also cause this condition.
  • Solar urticaria – develops hives or large, itchy and red bumps on exposed areas of the skin. It usually affects young women.

Symptoms

sun allergy

Apply cold compress on the affect to lessen the burning sensations, redness of the area and for fast healing of the condition.

  • Redness, itching and pain
  • Small bumps that becomes raised patches
  • Blisters or hives
  • Inflamed skin
  • Pain and tingling sensations
  • Fever and chills
  • Swelling of the face
  • Fatigue
  • Dehydration
  • Nausea
  • Headache and dizziness

Treatment

  • Apply cold compress on the affect to lessen the burning sensations, redness of the area and for fast healing of the condition. Soak a clean towel in cool water and place it directly on the blisters. Another alternative is taking a cool water bath is good for the condition. After taking a bath, apply aloe Vera gel on the blisters to relieve of the symptoms.
  • Cover the blisters using clean and dry bandages to prevent development of bacterial infections.
  • Drink a glass of cold water to keep the body hydrated. It helps in restoring the fluids lost due to sun burns. Eat fruits such as watermelon which is good in hydrating the body.
  • Use the prescribed cortisone cream to lessen the itchiness and pain of the affected area.
  • Prescribed oral histamine to heal hives and lessen the itchiness and the redness of the skin.
  • Apply a cold milk compress to the affected area. Soak a clean cloth in cold milk and then dab the cloth on the affected areas for at least 30 minutes to lessen the itchiness and the pain. Rinse off the milk using cold water, pat the area dry and then apply moisturizers in the area to prevent drying of the skin.
  • Apply lip balm on the lips with SPF 30 and above to lessen effects of sun allergy on the area.
  • Apply sun block on the skin with sun protection factor or SPF of 15 or higher. It protects the skin from exposure to both ultra violet A or UVA and ultraviolet B or UVB rays.

Avulsion

March 30th, 2018 | Posted by corinne grace in Basic First Aid Skills - (Comments Off on Avulsion)

An avulsion is a serious injury where the skin has been partially or fully torn off. These wounds can bleed heavily and rapidly and must be treated immediately. This is commonly caused by a fall, accident, or another injury. In this case, the skin that was torn must be removed as the skin is too damaged to be naturally repaired by the body. Because the skin is torn off, stitching of this wound is not possible because of missing tissue. These wounds are usually large and leave scars because of the missing tissue.

It is recommended to immediately seek medical attention when you receive an avulsion wound.

Taking care of the wound:

  • Wash the wound to disinfect it, remove any dirt and debris from the wound
  • Control and stop the bleeding by applying pressure and elevation to the wound
  • Wrap the wound with a clean bandage

You can also take painkillers to ease the pain that is accompanied by the wound, but you may need to talk to your doctor about what kind of medication you should take if you have an allergy to medication or complications.

Avulsion

Wash the wound to disinfect it, remove any dirt and debris from the wound.

Keep the wound and your bandage clean and dry for at least a week, ensure that you have enough nutrition and rest for the wound.

While most wounds can be treated at home without the need to see a doctor, you may be required to see one if the injury is serious and can be determined by some factors.

See a doctor when:

  • The wound is large and is deeper than half an inch
  • The bleeding doesn’t stop even after you’ve applied pressure
  • The bleeding has continued for more than half an hour
  • The injury was a result of a serious accident

There are numerous techniques for treating the wound. Your doctor may close the wound by using stitches, sutures or skin glue. You may also receive a tetanus shot to prevent you from contracting tetanus.

If you’ve received bandages or dressings as suggested by your doctor, you should keep your hands clean always to prevent infection as you change your bandages or dressings. Do this in a clean or sterile environment, disinfect the wound and keep it dry before applying a new bandage or dressing. Safely dispose of your used bandages or dressings in a plastic bag.

Disclaimer / More Information

The material posted on this page on an avulsion is for learning purposes only. Learn how it is managed by taking a first aid and CPR class with one of our training providers.

Laceration

March 28th, 2018 | Posted by corinne grace in Basic First Aid Skills - (Comments Off on Laceration)

A laceration is a skin injury where the tissues or skin is opened forcefully. Lacerations come in various sizes, length, and depth, depending on how severe the impact was from the sharp object. Small lacerations don’t require medical attention and can heal naturally without the use of stitches.

Lacerations can be caused by objects that strike the skin with such force that it tears the skin apart, these can be acquired from sharp objects like knives or from car accidents. Wounds come in various sizes, length, and depth – the bigger the more severe.

A small-sized wound would be considered a minor wound and wouldn’t require much medical attention and can heal within a few days only while a large-sized wound requires medical attention has numerous treatments ranging from stitches to tissue glue to seal the wound.

While most lacerations are minor and can heal naturally without stitches, there are cases that stitches are required for the wound to heal.

Laceration

Wounds come in various sizes, length, and depth – the bigger the more severe.

Signs and symptoms of a laceration:

  • A deep cut on your body that may reveal underlying layers like fat or muscles
  • Bleeding coming from the wound

Caring for the wound varies on how severe the cut is. First to do is to clean the wound and remove any debris or dirt, most wounds won’t require an antibiotic unless there is an infection present. If the wound is minor, then a bandage or a dressing will do to secure the wound but if the wound is large then a visit to the doctor is recommended as more procedures will be required to seal the wound.

Minor wounds usually heal within a week or so and won’t leave without too much scarring.

Your doctor may suggest a tetanus shot if the wound has been caused by an animal bite or a dirty pointed object, such as a rusted metal object like a knife.

Your doctor may advise stitches to secure and seal the wound but may also seal the wound using other methods such as skin glue. The wound will also be secured by a bandage of dressing. Replace the bandage or dressing when you notice it becomes dry or dirty to prevent infection and this should be done at least once a day.

Disclaimer / More Information

The material posted on this page on a laceration is for learning purposes only. Learn to properly manage this type of open wound by taking a first aid and CPR class with one of our training providers.

How to treat middle back pain

March 19th, 2018 | Posted by corinne grace in Basic First Aid Skills - (Comments Off on How to treat middle back pain)

Middle back pain is pain and discomfort that can be felt in the middle back area, and also includes the area of the rib cage that is attached to the chest area of the spine also called thoracic spine. The pain can be acute or chronic which will depend on the cause and severity of underlying condition.

Symptoms

  • A burning sensations
  • Dull pain
  • Muscle aches
  • Stiffness or muscle tightness
  • Sharp or stabbing pain

    middle back pain

    Muscle strain or sprain such as regular lifting of heavy weights especially the muscles not properly conditioned.

  • Chest pain
  • Weakness of the arms or legs
  • Tingling or numbness sensations of the arms, legs or chest
  • Loss of bowel or bladder control

Causes of middle back pain

  • Repeated pressure placed on the spine such as poor posture. The ligaments and muscles in the back become stressed to keep the body balance such as slouching.
  • Overweight
  • Muscle strain or sprain such as regular lifting of heavy weights especially the muscles not properly conditioned.
  • Sudden or awkward movement of the body
  • Hard fall down the stairs
  • Vehicular and sports accidents
  • Blunt force trauma
  • Herniated disk
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Fractures
  • Aging

Treatment

  • Keep moving by walking around the house and eventually walking around the neighborhood to prevent making the area stiff and delays the healing.
  • Apply ice compress and heat on the affected area. Wrap ice pack in a towel before placing on the area for at least 10-15 minutes to lessen the pain the inflammation.
  • Apply heat pack on the area to lessen the stiffness and spasm. Place a damp cloth between the skin and the heat pack to prevent further injury and worsen the condition.
  • Take anti-inflammatory medications to lessen the pain and the swelling.
  • Perform breathing exercises such as yoga to strengthen and stretch the muscles of the back
  • Prescribed steroid injections to lessen the pain and the inflammation and for fast healing of the condition.
  • Seek the help of the physical therapist for some strengthening and stretching exercises and restore range of movement of the back without causing pain. Exercises to improve posture, core strength and endurance and mobility of the spine.
  • Massages the area by placing a couple of tennis balls inside the sock and use this to massage the affected area by apply a gentle pressure to lessen the pain.

Tips

  • Avoid slouching and keep the shoulders back when standing.
  • Take a break by standing for a while especially when sitting for a prolonged periods of time.
  • For desk job, adjust the height of the computer, the keyboard and the positioning of the mouse and the chair to prevent a bad posture.
  • Sleep on your side and place a pillow between the knees and sleep in a fetal position to prevent misaligning the spine and result to pain in the back

Dealing with frostbite in children

February 13th, 2018 | Posted by corinne grace in Basic First Aid Skills - (Comments Off on Dealing with frostbite in children)

Frostbite is an injury due to freezing of the skin and underlying tissues. Children are easily affected by frostbite than with adults. The exposed skin becomes severely cold and red, eventually becomes numb, pale and hard. It usually happens on the toes, fingers, ears, nose, chin and cheeks.   It can also happen in skin covered with gloves or other clothing.

Symptoms of frostbite

  • Numbness
  • Skin becomes cold and a prickling feeling
  • The color of the skin becomes white, red, bluish-white or grayish-yellow
  • Clumsiness due to stiffness of the muscles and the joints
  • Hard or waxy-looking skin
  • Sometimes, blisters will form after rewarming

Causes

frostbite

Clumsiness due to stiffness of the muscles and the joints.

  • Direct contact with ice, freezing metals or very cold liquids
  • Staying out in the cold and wind for long periods of time
  • Wearing clothing that is not suitable for the condition such as protection against wind, cold, wet weather or tight clothing.

Treatment

  • If the child is outside, bring him/her inside and away from the freezing weather and stay in a warmer area. Another alternative is staying inside a car, old house, in a tent or a cave.
  • Remove wet clothing and a jewelries present in the affected area to prevent difficulties in removing them when the area is swelling. It will reduce flow of blood in the area and worsen the condition.
  • Wrap the child in warming blankets on the body and wrap the affected area with bandages or any kind of thick covers such as jackets or coats to raise the internal temperature of the body. Avoid using hair dryer, heating pad, hot water to prevent further irritation and worsen the condition.
  • Warm the affected areas using warm water for at least 30 minutes. Avoid using hot water to prevent burns on the skin and delays the healing. Place clean cotton balls between affected toes and fingers after rewarming. Wrap the warmed areas using clean bandages to prevent refreezing.
  • Provide pain medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen to lessen the pain.
  • Avoid popping blisters that forms on the affected area to prevent development of infections.

More Information

The details posted on this page on frostbite is for learning purposes only. To learn to recognize the signs of frostbite in children, enroll in a first aid course with one of our training providers.

How to treat thenar eminence pain

January 2nd, 2018 | Posted by corinne grace in Basic First Aid Skills - (Comments Off on How to treat thenar eminence pain)

Thenar eminence pain is pain felt at the soft muscular round region at the bottom of the thumb. It is caused by overusing the thumb and becomes inflamed. It causes difficulties with movements such as handling of the latch, opening of drawers and opening of the door.

The thenar eminence is a group of three short muscles found on the palm of the human hand at the bottom of the thumb. They form a fleshy mass on the lateral side of the palm used for the movements of the thumb. The skin on top of this area is stimulated when eliciting a palmomental reflex.

Symptoms

  • Tightness of the thenar eminence
  • Pain can be felt around the soft muscular rounded area at the bottom of the thumb
  • Development of nodule at the bottom of the thumb along the surface of the palm
  • The thumb becomes locked after flexing
  • Neurovascular compression

Causes

thenar eminence pain

Pain can be felt around the soft muscular rounded area at the bottom of the thumb.

  • Due to fine and repetitive kind of work which result to overusing of the thumb. It includes constant typing on mobile phone and computers and also work of a massage therapist.
  • Hammering and sewing
  • Hormonal changes in women especially postmenopausal
  • Vehicular accidents and falls
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome, a condition where there is pressure on the median nerve found in the wrist

Treatment

  • Splint the thumb to prevent unnecessary movement, lessen the pain and for fast healing of the condition.
  • Take the prescribed anti-inflammatory medications to lessen the pain due to thenar eminence.
  • Prescribed steroid ejections to lessen the pain and the inflammation.
  • Apply cold compress on the affected area. place a few ice cubes in a plastic bag and then place to the affected thumb for at least 10 minutes several times every day to lessen the pain and the inflammation.
  • Massage the affected area with the help of the massage therapist to relax and lessen the tightness of the muscles.
  • Gently stretched and loosen the affected thumb to prevent making the area stiff and worsen the condition.
  • Palpitations is done on the neck and adjustments with the help of the physiotherapist

Tips

  • Avoid activities that need repetitive use of the thumb.
  • Regular breaks to allow the muscles of the thumb relax and perform gentle stretches for the hand to avoid stiffness of the muscles.

Remedies for bug inside the ear

January 1st, 2018 | Posted by corinne grace in Basic First Aid Skills - (Comments Off on Remedies for bug inside the ear)

A bug inside the ear is very scary.  Bugs such as cockroaches,  ladybugs, moths and beetles can get inside the ear while sleeping or during outdoor activities. They crawl inside the ear for warmth and make them safe.

Bugs inside the ear can cause hearing loss, infections and damage to the ear. Bugs inside the ear result to a ruptured eardrum. If the bug is not removed completely there is a high risk of developing an infection.

Symptoms of bugs inside the ear

  • Inflammation, pain and irritation
  • Swelling
  • Redness of the area
  • Drainage from the ear such as pus or blood when the ear has injury
  • Biting or stinging sensations
  • Loss of hearing or dizziness

Treatment

bug inside ear

Drainage from the ear such as pus or blood when the ear has injury.

  • Stay calm, avoid movements to prevent lodging of the bug further inside the ear or cause it to crawl further back and cause injuries to the sensitive inner ear or the eardrum.
  • Avoid using tools such as tweezers or cotton swabs to prevent pushing further the bug inside the ear or accidentally injuring the nerves and worsen the condition.
  • Remove the bug by wiggling the ear. Tilt the affected ear toward the ground and grasp the pinna , located outside of the ear and wiggle the ear. If the bug is not too deep inside the ear, it will just fall out on its own.
  • Flush the ear using warm water with a dropper.
  • Another alternative is killing the bug using mineral oil. Use 1-2 drops of mineral oil or olive oil inside the ear canal to eliminate the bug. After the bugs has come out of the ear, clean the ear canal using warm water. If there are infections such as bleeding or blood while cleaning the area, apply the prescribed over-the-counter antiseptic ointment to lessen the risk of infection and worsen the condition.
  • Take the prescribed over-the-counter medications such as steroid otic suspension or cortisporin to lessen the infections or abrasion inside the ear.
  • Soak cotton ball in alcohol and use it to get the bug or whatever insect is inside the ear. Be careful this procedure causes pain. The smell of alcohol forces the bug to come out of the ear.

Tips

  • Keep bedroom and other sleeping areas clean to prevent attacks of insects.
  • When camping outdoors, wear repellent for bugs and completely sealing the tent to prevent bugs and other insects from entering the ears.