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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.

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.

 

Phlegm in the throat

July 24th, 2015 | Posted by corinne grace in Breathing Emergency - (Comments Off on Phlegm in the throat)

Phlegm is a thick substance that is secreted by the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract. There is abnormal production of phlegm when the individual is currently suffering from common cold or other respiratory conditions.

Phlegm will develop in the throat after the accumulation of cough which can be due to infections or allergy in the body. Phlegm is a mucous that is usually yellow or greenish in color and it indicates the type of infection the affected person is suffering.

Causes of phlegm in the throat

  • Allergic reaction to certain stimulants or irritants such as dust, animal dander and pollen
  • Conditions of the throat such as strep throat and tonsillitis
  • Bacterial or viral infections
  • A disorder of the throat such as a deviated septum
  • Pregnancy
  • Eating or drinking cold food and beverages while suffering from cough and cold
  • Taking birth control pills
  • Smoking
Phlegm in the throat

Allergic reaction to certain stimulants or irritants such as dust, animal dander and pollen

Treatment and home remedies of phlegm in the throat

  • Drink hot water mix with lemon and add a spoonful of honey in order to provide relief to the cough. Hot water helps in relaxing the throat while fluids in the water help in eliminating infections in the body.
  • Heat water and add a few drops eucalyptus oil to the hot water. This produces a medicated steam that the individual should inhale in order to eliminate phlegm from the throat.
  • Soak some orange slices in wine and leave it overnight. After they have been soaked, cook the oranges until very soft and then eat them. Oranges are rich source of vitamin C and the mixture helps in relaxing the throat and eliminate the phlegm.
  • Combine together licorice root, black pepper, sugar crystals and dry ginger. The individual should be given a teaspoon of this mixture at least three times every day. It helps in preventing production of phlegm and minimizes the discharge.
  • Another treatment is a combination of ginger, carnation, cinnamon and honey. All you have to do is put them in the grinder and place a few drops of water. Mix them well to make a paste, then add 1 tablespoon of honey. The individual should consume this paste two times every day in order to help clear the throat from phlegm.

Other remedies

  • Boil a handful of mint leaves and eucalyptus leaves in a large pot with water. Once it reaches the boiling point, remove it from the heat. Drape a towel around the head of the individual and instruct to inhale the vapors. Take note that this helps in opening the sinuses and dries up the mucus.
  • Juice an onion and lemon together, combine them together with a cup of boiling water, then add raw honey and let it cool down. Drink the whole cup in one sitting. Prepare this drink at least three times every day for t2-3 days in order to help eliminate the phlegm.

Vital Information on Obtrusive Sleep Apnea

June 6th, 2014 | Posted by vanfirstaid in Breathing Emergency - (Comments Off on Vital Information on Obtrusive Sleep Apnea)

There are numerous types of sleep apnea; a condition that is characterized by stopped breathing while sleeping. The most common type under this classification is obtrusive sleep apnea. The throat muscles block the airway which as a result interferes with normal breathing.

There are certain groups of people at higher risk of suffering from the condition. Treatment involves surgical procedures or the use of a mouthpiece to keep the airway open while the patient is asleep.

What Are the Symptoms?

The symptoms that you ought to be looking out for include:

  • Snoring
  • Chest pain
  • Fatigue
  • Sleepiness
  • Insomnia
  • Mood swings
  • Irritability
  • Breath shortness
  • Depression

When these symptoms become severe, seek medical assistance immediately. In addition, you should also observe the patient for any other signs of sleep deprivation. A popular misconception associates snoring to obtrusive sleep apnea but this is not always the case. This is why professional advice is mandatory.

What Are the Causes?

Normal breathing largely depends on open airways. People suffering from this condition can not enjoy sleep because the throat muscles cause blockage. This in effect depletes the oxygen content in the blood.

The brain will lack adequate oxygen which will arouse the patient from sleep. However, many of those suffering from this condition do not realize the awakening since they fall back to sleep within a few seconds. Gasping is common when the person is trying to restore normal breathing during the awakening. The pattern reoccurs every hour in most cases.

What Are the Risk Factors?

Any person is at risk of suffering from this condition. Nevertheless, obtrusive sleep apnea is more likely to affect the following groups:

Overweight People– Statistics reveals that more than 50% of people suffering from this type of sleep apnea are overweight. This is owing to the fact that excess fat obstructs proper flow of air. It has also been noted that people with larger waists are more susceptible to it.

People With Large Necks– Doctors verify that the neck size of a person can increase the risk by a substantial percentage. Thick necks are common amongst overweight people and are linked to restricted airflow.

Hypertension Patients– Obtrusive sleep apnea is quite frequent in people suffering from hypertension, which is also referred to as high blood pressure.

Narrowed Airway– It’s possible for a thin person to have a narrow airway. The characteristic may be hereditary or medical. People with swollen tonsils can easily be affected by this type of sleep apnea.

Nasal Congestion– If this condition is chronic; the likely occurrence of sleep apnea becomes relatively high. Nasal congestion worsens at night and as a result causes constricted air flow.

Diabetics– People suffering from diabetes are at higher risk of contracting this ailment.

Alcohol Drinkers– Those who partake in alcoholic drinks aggravate this condition. It’s advisable to reduce the level of intoxication first before you sleep when you’re drunk.

Black Males– According to research, males are affected by obtrusive sleep apnea more than females. Furthermore, being a black male puts you at even higher risk.