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Cluster headaches

May 23rd, 2018 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on Cluster headaches)

Cluster headaches are one of the most painful types of a headache that occur in a cyclical pattern or clusters. This headache typically wakes you up in the night with intense pain focused in or bordering one eye on one side of the head.

These outbursts of frequent sudden attacks, known as cluster periods, can last for weeks up to months, then is usually followed by periods where the headaches stop. The period that the headaches stop is called a remission period. During the remission period, the time that headaches stop and don’t occur lasts about a month or sometimes even years.

Cluster headaches

These outbursts of frequent sudden attacks, known as cluster periods, can last for weeks up to months, then is usually followed by periods where the headaches stop.

Cluster headaches are rare and are not life-threatening. There are various treatments that help ease the pain and make cluster headaches attacks shorter and less severe. There is also medication that can help reduce the number of cluster headaches.

Signs and symptoms of a cluster headache:

  • Excruciating pain that is focused in or around one eye, but may also radiate to other areas of the face, neck, and shoulders
  • Pain on one side of the head
  • Undue tearing
  • Restlessness
  • Eye redness
  • Blocked or a runny nose forehead or facial sweating
  • Pale or flushed skin on the face
  • Swelling around the eye on the affected side
  • Drooped eyelids

Cluster periods can generally last from six to twelve weeks. The starting date and duration of the cluster might be consistent from period to period. An example is: a cluster period can occur on a specific season such as every winter or every spring.

The pain typically arises and suddenly ceases, with rapidly declining intensity. After the episodes, most people are free from pain, but tired.

When to see a doctor?

See your doctor as soon as possible if you’ve started to have cluster headaches so that you can be properly diagnosed to rule out other disorders and to receive the proper treatment.

Headache pain, even when severe, usually isn’t an indication that there is an underlying disease. But headaches also usually indicate a serious underlying medical condition, such as a brain tumor or an aneurysm.

You should seek emergency care when you develop these:

  • A sudden, abrupt, severe headache
  • A headache accompanied by symptoms such as a fever, nausea or vomiting, stiff neck, confusion, seizures, numbness, or speech difficulty
  • A headache after a head injury, even if the cause was a minor fall or bump, and especially if the headache starts to worsen
  • An abrupt, intense headache
  • A headache that becomes worse as days pass and there are alterations in the pattern
  • Causes of cluster headaches

The precise cause of cluster headaches is not known but is believed to be that irregularities in the biological clock of the body plays a role. Unlike migraines or tension headaches, cluster headaches are not associated with triggers like foods, hormonal changes, or stress. Drinking alcohol during a cluster period may quickly trigger a very painful headache, which is a reason why people who have cluster headaches avoid drinking alcohol during a cluster period.

The use of medication such as nitroglycerin, a drug that is used to treat heart disease is also a possible trigger.


May 22nd, 2018 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on Chilblains)

Chilblains are the condition where the presence of small, itchy swellings on the skin occurs as a reaction due to exposure to cold temperatures. The extremities, such as the toes, fingers, heels, ears, and nose are often affected by this condition. This condition mostly brings discomfort only and rarely causes any permanent damage. Chilblains usually heal within a few weeks if any further exposure to the cold is stopped.

Signs and symptoms of chilblains

The symptoms of chilblains usually manifest several hours after contact to the cold.

  • A burning and itching feeling in the affected area that can become more severe if moving to a warm room
  • Swelling of the affected area
  • Discoloration of the affected area to a reddish or bluish color
  • In severe cases of chilblains, the skin may break, and sores or blisters may develop


    A burning and itching feeling in the affected area that can become more severe if moving to a warm room.

It is important that you should not scratch the skin as it can tear the skin easily and become infected from the break.

When to see a doctor?

Most people who have chilblains don’t need to seek medical attention as it usually heals within a few weeks and doesn’t cause any permanent problems. However, seek medical attention when:

  • You experience severe or recurring chilblains
  • Symptoms fail to improve within a few weeks
  • Swelling accompanied by pus formation in the affected area
  • Feeling generally unwell
  • A fever with temperatures of 100.4°F (38°C)
  • Swollen glands

What causes chilblains?

The reason is not exactly known but is believed to be an abnormal response of the body when exposed to the cold then followed by rewarming in some people. Rewarming of cold skin can cause the small blood vessels under the skin to expand more quickly than the nearby larger blood vessels. When this happens too quickly, the blood vessels near the surface of the skin can’t always handle the sudden increase of blood flow causing the blood to seep into the surrounding tissue which causes the swelling and itchiness.

Risk factors that increase chances of chilblains

  • Tight clothing or clothing that exposes skin to the cold.
  • Being female and the weight of the person.
  • The environment and the season.
  • Having poor circulation.
  • Having been diagnosed with a condition named Raynaud’s disease.

More Information

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

Bed bug bites

May 21st, 2018 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on Bed bug bites)

Bed bug bites are caused by small, flattened insects in oval shape that are reddish-brown in color and can range from the size of 1 to 7 millimeters. Bed bugs can sneak their way into your bed, furniture, and even your carpet. These insects feed on blood from humans or animals and are mostly active at night where they feed on their victims while they sleep. By the next morning, you’re left with a mysterious bite that is red and itchy.

What does a bed bug bite look like?

Some people will not have a reaction to bed bug bites at all. But to those people who experience a reaction to bed bug bites will have one or more symptoms like these:

  • A bite or multiple bites that left a red, swollen area with a dark red center
  • Multiple bites that are lined or grouped together in a small area

    Bed bug bites

    A bite or multiple bites that left a red, swollen area with a dark red center.

  • Presence of blisters or hives at the site of the bite(s)

Bed bug bites can happen anywhere in the body but are more commonly found in exposed areas of the skin while you sleep, such as the face, arms, hands, and legs.

Signs and symptoms of a bed bug bite:

Note that these bites will not always arise right after you’ve been bitten, sometimes they can take multiple days to begin triggering any symptoms. Bed bugs don’t come out every night to feed and go through several days without eating.

  • The sudden appearance of red, swollen areas on your skin
  • Itchiness
  • A burning sensation

It is important not to scratch the bites as you may damage the skin and cause an infection which will lead the bite to swell and bleed.

How to treat bed bug bites

Bed bug bites pose no threat to most people and are just a nuisance. These bites have symptoms that typically disappear within a week or two. The itching caused by the bite can be eased by using an anti-itching cream to keep yourself from scratching the bite. An antihistamine can also help reduce the itching. Ice packs can be used to numb the skin which can help you reduce your urge to scratch. If there is an infection on the bite, you can apply an antiseptic cream or lotion.

If you do find bed bugs in your home, you should call your landlord or a pest control company to get your house cleaned from bed bugs. It is difficult to remove bed bugs and you may prolong infestation if you don’t get professional help. Bed bugs in your home can hide for several months without feeding, so therefore the help of a professional can help you surely get rid of the bed bugs completely.

Dealing with hammertoes

May 15th, 2018 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on Dealing with hammertoes)

Hammertoes is a common deformity of the 2nd, 3rd or 4th toe. It is caused by wearing narrow shoes with no arch support. This condition causes severe foot pain. The toe has an abnormal bend in the middle joint that looks like a hammer. It is due to an imbalance in the surrounding muscles, ligaments and tendons that normally make the toe straighten and bend. If the condition is left untreated, they will become permanent and needs surgery to correct them.

Types of hammertoes

  • Flexible hammer toes – the toes can still move at the joint.
  • Rigid hammer toes – the tendons and toe become rigid, they press the joint and becomes misaligned. There is difficulty moving the toe.


  • Wearing certain type of shoes such as high heels or too tight and forces the toe in a flexed position. Wearing type of shoes, the toes will not be straightened even when barefoot.
  • Women are more susceptible to this condition than with men.
  • Broken toe has the high risk of developing hammertoe.


    Pain in the toe, especially when moving it or wearing shoes.

  • Risk of developing hammertoe increases as the person ages.
  • The second toe is longer than the big toe
  • Condition such as diabetes or arthritis
  • Hereditary and run in families


  • Swelling, redness or a burning sensations in the affected area
  • Pain in the toe, especially when moving it or wearing shoes
  • Formation of calluses and corn above the middle joint of the hammer toe
  • Incapable to straighten the toe
  • A sore can develop on the toe in severe cases
  • Pain on the ball of foot under the affected toe


  • Massage the affected toe to lessen the pain.
  • Apply ice compress on the affected area to lessen the pain and the swelling. Wrap ice pack in a towel before placing on the area to prevent further irritation and worsen the condition.
  • Prescribed medications to lessen the inflammation, the swelling and the pain.
  • Treat calluses and corns that form above the hammer toe using a pumice stone or file to reduce the size of the callus and corn after taking a warm bath. Apply emollients or moisturizers to make it soft and pliable. Another alternative is placing silicone or moleskin padding above the affected toe when wearing shoes.
  • Wear shoes that are high and wide across the toe at least 1.5 cm of space between the longest toe and the tip of the shoe.
  • Avoid high heel shoes higher than 5 cm.
  • Wear the appropriate shoe for any type of activity being performed.
  • Prescribed cortisone injections to relieve of severe pain and inflammation.


  • Wear low heel shoes to prevent unnatural position of the feet and usually bend the toes.
  • Avoid pointy-toed shoes
  • Wear shoes with adjustable straps and laces and proper arch support for the feet to prevent ailments of the feet.

Remedies for mosquito bites on babies

May 14th, 2018 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on Remedies for mosquito bites on babies)

Mosquito bites on babies are itchy bumps that forms after mosquitoes puncture the skin and feed on the blood. It usually disappears in a few days. Sometimes, it can result to severe swelling, soreness and redness and this type of reaction is called skeeter syndrome.

Bites from mosquitoes carry viruses or parasites that cause severe illness such as malaria, yellow fever and infection of the brain or encephalitis.

A baby can be bitten by mosquitoes while playing outdoors and usually affects the necks, ankles, hands and the face. It causes swelling and severe itching. Bites can cause serious disease on the baby. Babies are easy preys of mosquitoes and not aware how to deal with them.

Causes of mosquito bites on babies

  • Exposed areas of the body of the babies which are not covered with clothing.
  • Stagnant bodies of water, flower vases and decorative petal pans with water are breeding areas of the mosquitoes.
  • Uncovered garbage cans
  • Uncovered food which easily attracts mosquitoes and other insects
  • Dirty kitchen

    mosquito bites

    A baby can be bitten by mosquitoes while playing outdoors and usually affects the necks, ankles, hands and the face. It causes swelling and severe itching.

  • Watering plant during evening
  • Sweat on babies attracts mosquitoes due to its warmth and smell
  • Perfumed cream and lotions applied on the skin of babies


  • Small red bump
  • Large area of swelling on the skin
  • An elevated area with white center and a red dot
  • Dark spots forms that looks like a bruise in a day or two after the bite
  • Scratching of the skin indicates itchiness
  • Mild fever
  • Swelling lymph nodes
  • Hives


  • Apply cold compress on the bitten area to lessen the swelling and the pain. Soak a clean washcloth in cold water, wring out excess water and then place it on the area. Another alternative is applying a deodorant with aluminum chloride to lessen the itchiness and the size of the bite.
  • Apply calamine lotion on the bite to lessen the itchiness of the area.
  • Cut fingernails of the baby to avoid scratching the bite and prevent development of infections and worsen the condition.
  • Apply prescribed over-the-counter antihistamine creams to lessen the itchiness and the swelling.
  • Crush 1-2 tablets of aspirin. Add a few drops of water, mix them until it becomes the consistency of a paste and then apply it to the affected area. Aspirin has acetyl acids which is rich in anti-inflammatory properties that prevent development of infections.
  • Prescribed 1 %hydrocortisone cream or gel applied to the bitten area at least 4 times every day.
  • Dissolve 1 teaspoon of baking soda in a cup of water. Mix them well and soak a clean washcloth in the solution and place it directly on the bitten area and leave it on for at least 10-15 minutes to lessen the itchiness and restore the normal pH level of the skin.
  • Make a salt paste by mixing sea salt with a few drops of water. Mix them well until it becomes a paste and then apply it directly on the affected area to stop itchiness.

Remedies for stomach cramps

May 8th, 2018 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on Remedies for stomach cramps)

Stomach cramps are sudden and cramp-like pain in the abdomen. It is characterized by a knotting pain or tightening feeling in the stomach and abdomen. People with stomach cramps can have headaches and nausea. This condition can be acute, short lived or can be long lasting and affects a person repeatedly.

Causes of stomach cramps

  • Indigestion
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Lactose intolerance
  • Constipation
  • Food poisoning
  • Appendicitis
  • Inflammation of abdominal organ
  • Kidney stones

    stomach cramps

    Take plenty of rest when having a stomach cramps.

  • Tumor
  • Ulcer or cancer


  • Painful urination
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Muscular pain on the whole body
  • Constipation


  • Take plenty of rest when having a stomach cramps.
  • Prescribed H2 blockers to lessen the pain and discomforts. H2 blocker lessens the amount of acids produced by the stomach.
  • Apply hot compress on the affected area for at least 10-15 minutes to loosen and relax the muscles. Wrap heating pad or hot water bottle before placing to the belly to prevent burn and worsen the condition.
  • Take the prescribed medication to lessen the pain and the discomfort.
  • Avoid eating heavy meal rich spicy rich foods. Avoid alcohol and caffeine to prevent worsening of the condition.
  • Drink rice water to relieve of the inflammation on the stomach. Mix ½ cup of white rice to 2 cups of water in a pot. Cook the rice in medium-low heat. As the rice becomes tender, remove from the heat and let it rest for 3 minutes. Drain and drink the warm water. Honey can be added to the warm water for added benefits.
  • Drink ginger tea to relax the muscles lining the intestinal tract and lessen cramping of the stomach. Ginger is rich in oxidant called gingerol.
  • Drink plenty of water at least 6-8 glasses every day for healthy and proper functioning of the intestines. It also flushes out virus and toxins present in the body. Another alternative is drinking fresh fruits and vegetables, green teas and clear broths are also good for the condition.
  • Eat small portions of the food during meal time instead of 2-3 large meals. Eat bland or mild foods to lessen pain in the stomach.
  • Fill a cup with warm water and then add 1 teaspoon of salt. Mix them well until salt is totally dissolved and drink the solution to relieve of stomach cramps.
  • Perform yoga stretches to lessen bloating, stimulate digestion and lessen cramping in the abdomen.
  • Increase consumption of fiber and vegetable, lessen the sugar, dairy and caffeine intake to prevent inflammation and worsen the condition. Take prescribed vitamin B3 supplement is good for the condition.
  • Fill a bathtub with warm water; add a cup of Epsom salts. Mix them well until salt is totally dissolved. A drop of peppermint oil can be added to the mixture for added benefits. Soak in the solution to lessen the pain and relax the muscles.
  • Massage gently the stomach to lessen the pain and for fast healing.

How to treat dry eye

May 8th, 2018 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on How to treat dry eye)

Dry eye is also called dry eye syndrome which happens when the tears does not give proper lubrication for the eyes. This condition causes discomfort and several symptoms. The eyes need layers of tears to keep the area well lubricated and prevent dust and other irritants from entering the eyes. If the condition is left untreated, it increases the risk of developing infections and damage to the surface of the eyes.

Causes of dry eye

  • Aging
  • Excessive exposure to dry air or wind
  • Allergies
  • Dysfunctional tear glands
  • Previous surgery on the eye
  • Long-term using of contact lenses
  • Not blinking for a long time
  • Long hours of staring at the computer
  • Using medications such as decongestants, antihistamines, antidepressants and contraceptive pills
  • Vitamin A and D deficiency

    dry eye

    Wash eyes frequently to lessen irritations, further damage and inflammation.

  • Medical conditions such as arthritis, disorders of the immune system and allergies


  • Eye pain
  • Red eyes and irritations
  • Stinging and burning sensations in the eyes
  • Tearing of the eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Dry and sandy sensations in the eyes


  • Wash eyes frequently to lessen irritations, further damage and inflammation. Put baby shampoo on clean fingertips. Then gently massage the eyelids near the bottom of the eyelashes with closed eyes. Wash off the shampoo from the eyelids using lukewarm water. Repeat this process at least 2 times every day.
  • Apply warm compress on the affected eyes for proper flow of blood in the area, increase production of tears and lessen the irritation of the eyes. Soak a clean and lint-free cloth in hot water, wring out excess water and then place it over the closed eyelids for at least 10 minutes at a time.
  • Perform eye blinking exercise to increase flow of tears, moisten the eyes and spread the tears to all areas of the eyes and lessen the symptoms. Blinking exercise increases flow of blood and lessen the symptoms.
  • Install a humidifier especially during the winter season to add moisture in the air and for the eyes to prevent development of dry eyes.
  • Apply prescribed over-the-counter artificial tear to lessen the pain and the symptoms.
  • Prescribed oral or topical antibiotics to lessen the pain and the inflammation.


  • Increase fluid intake to keep the body well hydrated and prevents development of dry eye.
  • Take frequent breaks during use of computers, reading and watching television to restore lost moisture in the eyes.
  • Avoid direct blowing of air into the eyes such as car heaters, hair dryers and fans.

How to treat De Quervain’s tenosynovitis

May 7th, 2018 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on How to treat De Quervain’s tenosynovitis)

De Quervain’s tenosynovitis is soreness of the tendons in the thumb. It is caused by repeated rubbing of the swelling tendons and coverings near the narrow tunnels and result to severe pain at the bottom of the thumb and spreads to the lower arm. People playing racket sports such as squash, ten pin bowling, badminton, canoeing and tennis are susceptible to this condition.

Causes of De Quervain’s tenosynovitis

  • Repetitive grasping
  • Inflammatory conditions
  • Direct blow to the thumb
  • Stiffness of the joint
  • Muscle tightness and weakness
  • Poor posture
  • Insufficient warm up
  • Excessive training activities

    De Quervain’s tenosynovitis

    Thumb pain that might spread along the forearm.

  • Using improper techniques in playing and using poor sporting equipment
  • Poor ergonomics
  • Injuries to the nerves, upper back or neck
  • Racquet sports and gardening


  • Severe pain in the affected area when applying pressure
  • Thumb pain that might spread along the forearm
  • Sudden or gradual pain along the back of the thumb affecting the two tendons of the thumb
  • Swelling at the bottom of the thumb
  • Limited movements of the thumb
  • Severe pain when moving the thumb and the wrist


  • Take the prescribed over-the-counter pain medications to lessen the pain and the swelling.
  • Splint the thumb and the wrist to prevent unnecessary movements and support the affected area. Wear the splint at least for 24 hours for 4-6 weeks.
  • Apply ice on the area by wrapping in towel ice pack and placed on the affected area for at least 10-15 minutes to lessen the pain and the inflammation. Another alternative is using frozen bag of vegetables such as corn or peas is also good for the condition.
  • Avoid performing any repetitive and pinching movements using the fingers and thumb to prevent further irritations and worsen the condition.
  • Prescribed anti-inflammatory medications to lessen the pain and the inflammation
  • Prescribed cortisone injections to lessen the pain and the symptoms.
  • Perform rehabilitation exercises for the wrist, hand and arm with the help of the physical therapist to lessen the pain, strengthen the muscles and reduce further irritation on the tendons. And also restore the range of movement of the thumb.
  • Massage the affected thumb for proper flow of blood in the area and increase the range movement of the wrist and thumb and also breaks down scar tissue that causes numbness and pain.


  • Take frequent breaks or rest after from repetitive tasks.
  • Maintain proper alignment and posture of the wrist during regular tasks
  • Perform regular strengthening and stretching exercises for the hands and wrist.
  • Proper ergonomic work setting
  • Avoid performing repetitive keystrokes using one thumb, practice ambidexterity or using both the left and right hand when performing tasks.

Carpal tunnel syndrome

April 16th, 2018 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on Carpal tunnel syndrome)

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that occurs when pressure is applied to one of the major nerves to the hand called the median nerve which causes numerous symptoms such as pain, numbness, and tingling in the hand and arm.

If you continue to apply pressure on the median nerve, it might leave to nerve damage and symptoms will worsen. As the condition worsens, the symptoms may appear more frequently and last for a longer period.

Common causes of carpal tunnel syndrome include:

  • Repetitive hand motions like typing or any other motion that you repeat over and over with your wrist
  • Conditions such as hypothyroidism, diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis
  • Obesity
  • Trauma
  • Pregnancy

    Carpal tunnel syndrome

    Tingling of the hand that may reach up to the shoulder.

Signs and symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome include:

  • A burning sensation in the hand
  • Tingling of the hand that may reach up to the shoulder
  • Numbness of the hand that may reach up to the shoulder
  • Itching of the hand

When carpal tunnel syndrome worsens, more symptoms may develop, and the previous symptoms will worsen, these new symptoms include:

  • Decreased grip strength
  • An increase of pain and cramping
  • Slower nerve impulses
  • Loss of sensation in the fingers
  • Difficulty or loss of coordination with fingers

If left untreated, carpal tunnel syndrome may lead to permanent nerve damage, permanent muscle damage and overall loss of function of your hand which may affect your everyday life and daily routine. It is best to immediately seek medical attention to have it treated right away so that the situation does not worsen.

There are certain work environments and jobs that may contribute to increasing the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome if they involve any of the main reasons such as repetitive hand motions or constant typing. These jobs include but are not limited to:

  • Cashier
  • Assembly line worker
  • Sewer or knitter
  • Musician
  • Cashier

As your doctor diagnoses your hand for carpal tunnel syndrome, you may be asked by your doctor to try to fully flex your wrist or tap the palm side of your wrist with your arms completely extended.

Carpal tunnel syndrome can be treated with different approaches, a change of lifestyle if it is caused by repetitive motion. Your doctor may tell you to use a splint to prevent your wrist from moving too much and to lessen the pressure applied to the nerves. You can take more frequent breaks or reduce that activity. Your doctor may recommend numerous exercises that can help you with your grip and control. Your doctor may also suggest medication such as anti-inflammatory drugs or steroids to help reduce swelling. Your doctor may also suggest surgery if the treatments above fail to solve the problem.

Asthma attack

April 9th, 2018 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on Asthma attack)

An asthma attack is a condition where the symptoms of asthma become worse. During an asthma attack, the muscles adjacent the airways constrict, thus the lining of the airways also become distended and production of thicker mucus occurs. An asthma attack occurs if your asthma is not controlled or is caused by being exposed to something that triggers your asthma.

Signs and symptoms of an asthma attack:

  • Difficulty breathing.
  • An increased pace of breathing.
  • Excessive coughing and wheezing.
  • A feeling of chest tightness.

    Asthma attack

    There is an increased pace of breathing.

  • Anxiety and fear.
  • Discoloration of lips or fingernails to a bluish color.
  • Pale face.
  • Difficulty in talking due to shortness of breath.

Common forms of asthma attacks are mild asthma attacks, these occur more common and the airways open within a few minutes to a few hours after being treated but in severe cases, these occur less but happen for a long period of time and require immediate medical attention.

There are early warning signs that you can spot to know that an asthma attack is coming. These happen before the general symptoms of asthma occur and is a sign that your asthma is becoming worse.

You can determine that an asthma attack is coming with these early warning signs:

  • You experience tiredness or feel weak while exercising.
  • Wheezing or coughing after exercising.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • You are in a moody state.
  • You are having difficulty in sleeping due to nighttime asthma.

If you are in an asthma attack, sit up straight and don’t do anything then try your best to relax. Use your inhaler every minute until you use it ten (10) times. If your symptoms fail to get better, it is time to dial your emergency medical service hotline. While waiting for an ambulance, it is best to continue using your inhaler until the ambulance arrives.

Most symptoms of an asthma attack are treated by the inhaler, however, if symptoms fail to cease after using the inhaler at least ten (10) times then it is time to seek medical attention. Failure to treat the symptoms of an asthma attack may result in the lungs to tighten and your lips may discolor to a bluish hue, which is a sign of a severe asthma attack and you must receive immediate medical attention, if left untreated it may eventually lead to death due to the lack of oxygen intake.