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First Aid for Snakebites: Signs, Symptoms

December 23rd, 2013 | Posted by vanfirstaid in First Aid Injury Assessment | Poisons - (Comments Off on First Aid for Snakebites: Signs, Symptoms)
first aid, snakebite

helping snake bite victim

Being bitten by a snake can be life threatening, but this is not always the case. Some snakes are not venomous, and hence most victims can survive the attack. However, it is important to know how to identify snakebites and the first aid steps to take when trying to help a bite victim.

Signs and Symptoms to Look Out for

Victims of snakebites need emergency medical help, especially in the case of poisonous snakes. How fast the victim receives help can mean the difference between life and death. Sometimes a snake may bite you when there is no one around to help. Whether a snake bites your or someone else, it is important to know how to identify this kind of attack. The main signs and symptoms to look out for are:

  • A pair of bit marks at the wound
  • Swelling and redness around the puncture wound
  • Serious pain around the wound
  • Blurred Vision
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Increased perspiration
  • Numb tingling on the face and limbs

How to Administer Snake Bite First Aid

It is imperative to dial 911 or call for an ambulance after a snake attack incident. The following is what one should do to help a snakebite victim as emergency help arrives.

  • Make sure not to panic. The victim should be moved away from the snake to prevent further attacks.
  • The activity level of the victim should be minimized. This will reduce the rate at which the venom spreads in the body.
  • The bite or wound must be placed lower below the level of the heart. This will also help to reduce circulation to the bite area.
  • If you are sure that the snake is not poisons, apply puncture wound first aid.
  • It is important to know what type of snake was behind the attack.  Hence, look at the color and shape of the snake so that you can give this information to medical personnel when they arrive.

[su_youtube url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=38scF4r-xVo” width=”420″ height=”315″][su_youtube url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=38scF4r-xVo”][/su_youtube]

There are certain things that could exacerbate the victim’s condition and hence you should avoid them. For instance, do not:

  • Suck out the venom with your mouth. Not only is this dangers to you but the bacterial in your mouth might infect the wound.
  • Take alcohol or a painkiller.
  • Apply ice on the wound.
  • Tie a tight bandage around or near the wound.
  • Try to catch or kill the snake if you are untrained on how to do so as this could put you in danger.

Keep in mind that is vital to help medical personnel know what kind of snake bit the victim. If possible, take a picture of the snake, as this will help the doctor to choose the right anti-venom. In case you live in an area where snakes are common, it is use to have a snakebite first aid kit around.

Preventing Medical Emergencies and Injuries

November 2nd, 2013 | Posted by Ibrar in First Aid Injury Assessment | First Aid Programs - (Comments Off on Preventing Medical Emergencies and Injuries)
Preventing Medical Emergencies

Prevent medical emergencies such as severe choking by enrolling in first aid and CPR training programs.

Why wait for medical emergencies to happen, when you could prevent it? Read on and learn more about ways to prevent these unwanted events.

Every year, emergency departments across the U.S. provide care to around 120 million people. This means there are 222 emergency room visits every minute.

Emergency physicians, nurses and other health personnel treat a wide range of emergency situations, and medical emergencies account for a huge percentage of this number. For adults, chest pain and abdominal pain associated with different medical conditions are the most common reasons for ER visits; while for children, fever, cough and vomiting. Injury-related ER visits also account for a great number of

Although emergency departments provide lifesaving care 24/7, regardless of the patient’s capacity to pay, prevention remains top priority. Prevention is critical in reducing the number of ER visits. Aside from minimizing the risk of disabilities and preventing deaths, it helps reduce burden in the healthcare system.

Here are some important things to consider in preventing medical emergencies:

  • Getting yearly physical and diagnostic exams. Having a regular exercise and following a healthy diet.
  • Identifying risk for any life-threatening medical conditions. Follow your physician’s advice on how to manage or reduce these risks, such as quitting smoking or alcohol consumption.
  • Be sure to keep medicines out of children’s reach and stored in child-proof containers.
  • Lock all poisonous materials.
  • Installing safety devices in the home.
  • Drive safely. Make sure to always strap on seatbelts and children are on child-safety seats.
  • Never drive a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Read prescription label to see if taking certain medications will impair your ability to drive or operate heavy equipment.

Be ready for Medical Emergencies

While you can prevent emergencies, some do happen despite preventive actions taken. It is important to know what to do during an emergency. The key to responding in emergencies is to remain calm and decide to act. Here are some things you can do to help prepare for possible emergencies.

  • Keep a list of emergency phone numbers near the phone. Include the local numbers for: nearest emergency department, fire, police, ambulance service, and family doctor.
  • Keep a well-stocked first-aid kit at home and in your vehicle. Regularly check your first aid kit for possible expired supplies.
  • If you have certain medical conditions, always wear medical identification device. Keep a list of your medications in your wallet. Also, list if you have allergies.
  • Have emergency contacts of family members in your wallet, usually behind the identification card.

Last and most importantly, take a first-aid class. This will provide you with the necessary knowledge and skills to handle various medical emergencies.

By having the right knowledge you can stay calm and make the right decisions in high stress situations, such as emergencies.

Aside from your local workplace approved chapter, you can also take first aid classes from accredited training providers. There are many accredited training providers that offer this course.

When the Bones are Dislocated, It is Time to Get MedicatedCarmel was in Spain for an official business trip when she dislocated her right thumb. She was alone in her hotel room when decided to take a bubble bath after a full day of meetings and sightseeing.  Her foot was already inside when she realized that she forgot her iPod so she quickly rushed to get it from her luggage. Her foot wet the marble floor or her bathroom but she didn’t mind it much. On her way back to the tub, she slipped and tried to save herself by landing on her right hand. This quickly turned into one of her most painful experiences. Although Carmel was relatively thin, the body weight caused her thumb to bend the wrong way, thus causing its dislocation.

When the bone has been forcibly moved from its normal position at the joint, a dislocation occurs. When the two ends of bones are displaced from their normal positions, the bones become dis or “apart” or location or “a place of settlement or activity,” hence there is a dislocation. A dislocated bone may lead to impairment of ligaments, nerves and blood vessels.

Dislocation usually results from falls, car accidents or collision during contact. The most common dislocation sites are the shoulders and elbows for adults and children, respectively. The larger joints of the body are more prone to dislocation. Nonetheless, the hand’s position makes the thumb susceptible to dislocation when it is bent the wrong way. Due to the dislocation, there will be a momentary dislocation and disable the action of the joint. Swelling and severe pain are some of the symptoms of dislocation.

If treated early, most dislocations will not lead to permanent damage. Therefore, medical attention must be called for immediately.  The victim should not be moved, especially if neck injury is suspected. Only move the victim if there is danger in the immediate surroundings. More so, dislocated bones should not be pushed back to its joint. Moving the bone may result to damaging the joint and its adjacent muscles, ligaments, nerves or blood vessels. Small nerve and blood vessels may be trapped and result to numb digits. Immobilize the injured area.

If one is trained to do so, sling and/ or splint the injury in its original location. Boards, rolled newspaper and numerous other materials may be used as splints. To minimize discomfort, splints may be padded. Slings may be used for arm or shoulder injuries. To reduce swelling and assist in relieving pain, apply ice

on the affected joint. This will control internal bleeding and accumulation of fluids in and surrounding area of the affected joint. Ice must not be directly applied to the skin and should be wrapped in a towel or other pieces of clothing. Check for breathing if injury is serious. If no breathing is observed, commence CPR. Raise the feet one foot. To reduce body heat loss, cover the patient with a blanket.

In most medical emergencies, first aid training and CPR may be applied. Especially athletes and those who work with them should be knowledgeable of proper treatment. workplace approved programs offer first aid training and CPR courses which are offered to the community.

[heading style=”1″]Standard First Aid explains the difference between HOPS and SOAP format in assessing any injury.[/heading]

Before assessing any injury, the opposite (non-injured) body part should be

Standard First Aid injury assessment procedure

Standard First Aid injury assessment procedure

assessed. This preliminary step in the injury evaluation process helps the individual, preferably with first aid training and CPR courses, to determine the relative dysfunction of the injured body part. If an injury occurs to one of the extremities, the results of individual tests performed on the non-injured body part can be compared with those for the injured body part. Differences can indicate the level and severity of injury. The baseline of information gathered on the non-injured body part also can be used as a reference point to determine when the injured body part has been rehabilitated and, as such, when to allow return to full participation in an activity. Under most circumstances, assessment of the non-injured body part should precede assessment of the injured body part. In some acute injuries, such as fractures or dislocations, assessment of the non-injured body part is not necessary.

The injury evaluation process must include several key components namely, taking a history of the current condition, visually inspecting the area for noticeable abnormalities, physically palpating the region for abnormalities, and completing functional and stress tests. Although several evaluation models may be used, each follows a consistent, sequential order to ensure that an essential component is not omitted without sufficient reason to do so. Two popular evaluation methods are the HOPS format and the SOAP note format. Find for the nearest first aid and CPR training locations near you.

Firstly, the HOPS format uses both subjective information, such as history of the injury, and objective information, such as observation and inspection, palpation, and special testing, to recognize and identify problems contributing to the condition. This format is easy to use and follows a basic, consistent format. The HOPS format focuses on the evaluation component of injury management and excludes the rehabilitation process. The subjective evaluation, such as history of the injury, includes the primary complaint, mechanism of injury, characteristics of the symptoms, and related medical history. This information comes from the individual and reflects his or her attitude, mental condition, and perceived physical state. The objective evaluation, like observation and inspection, palpation, and special tests, provides appropriate, measurable documentation relative to the individual’s condition. Measurable factors may include edema, ecchymosis, atrophy, range of motion (ROM), strength, joint instability, functional disability, motor and sensory function, and cardiovascular endurance. This information can be measured repeatedly to track progress from the initial evaluation through final clearance for discharge and return to participation in a sport or other physical activity. A detailed postural assessment and gait analysis also may be documented during the objective evaluation.

Here is a YouTube video that will explain further about injury assessment aside Standard First Aid article.

[media url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iigl9GVL3Nc” width=”600″ height=”400″]

The second evaluation method is the SOAP Note Format. It provides a more detailed and advanced structure for decision making and problem solving in injury management. Used in many physical therapy clinics, sports medicine clinics, and athletic training facilities, these notes document patient care and serve as a vehicle of communication between the on-site clinicians and other health care professionals. These notes are intended to provide information concerning the ongoing status and tolerance of a patient and, in doing so, to avoid duplication of services by health care providers. The subjective and objective evaluations are identical to those used in the HOPS format; however, two additional components are added to the documentation: assessment, and planning. It is common practice to use abbreviations throughout the notes.

Each evaluation method has its advantages, but the SOAP note format is much more inclusive of the entire injury management process.

[note color=”#d14549″]Standard First Aid References:[/note]

Documenting general observations. Nursing 2006; 36(2):25.

http://downloads.lww.com/wolterskluwer_vitalstream_com/sample-content/9780781784450_Anderson/samples/98853.Ch5.pdf