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First Aid for Fractured Hips

February 13th, 2014 | Posted by vanfirstaid in Skeletal Injuries - (Comments Off on First Aid for Fractured Hips)

Hips contain socket and ball joint that allow great rotation which makes it possible for the legs to bend and rotate. The hips act as the most used body parts and any impact can result to a break also referred as fracture. This is a serious condition that requires surgery for treatment. Here are some tips for effective first aid for fractured hips.

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Best Practices for Fractured Hips First Aid

Supporting victim with fractured hips

Supporting victim with fractured hips

Hip fractures are more common to old people because of the weak bones as a result if aging. However, this is not to mean that young people to do not suffer from this problem. The first thing you need to do is to call for emergency when it occurs. You can call 911 or any other emergency service provider you know. Never try to move the patient as this may make the condition worse. As you make the call, let the operator understand what happened and describe the condition of the patient. In most cases, an effective operator will give you instructions. Ensure you follow all the instructions carefully and never deviate. Let the patient feel comfortable and if it is possible, place something soft such as a pillow or cushion under the head. One of the mistakes, you should avoid is to give drinks or food. Most of the victims of fractured hips will look pale and weak but giving them food or drink will make the surgery process complicated.

If you are a certified first aid provider, you may move further by immobilizing the limbs. You do this to the legs by use of thick layers of soft materials, for example, towels and hold them using heavy objects. Pad the victim from above the hips as you go down the knee. It is important to check for any symptoms of shock for the victim. This is a fatal and the earlier treatment increases chances of recovery and survival. Some of the signs that can show you that the patient is in shock include weak pulse, weak breathing, vomiting and excessive sweating. Help the victim remove any tight clothing, keep the patient warm and try to calm him or her down. To ensure that he remains conscious, provide a lot of fresh air and keep talking to him.

Don’ts for Hip Fracture First Aid

Do not try to offer first aid for fractured hips if you are not trained because this may make the condition more complex. Ensure that there is no movement as the patient should remain calm until the emergency help arrives.

First Aid for Minor Cuts

February 13th, 2014 | Posted by vanfirstaid in Basic First Aid Skills - (Comments Off on First Aid for Minor Cuts)

Wounds can be classified as minor or major depending on their extent in terms of size and how deep they are. Minor wounds can turn to be a major problem if they are not handled in the right way. Regardless of whether a cut is minor or major immediate intervention is crucial to avoid more damage from happening. To ensure that the cut do not turn to be a major health issues follow these first aid steps.

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First Aid Steps for Minor Cuts

The first thing that you need to do is to check the wound to determine how dangerous it may be. If the wound shows the following signs you need to call 911 or any other efficient emergency service provider.

  • If blood is spurting out profusely
  • If the cut has a lot of bleeding
  • In case the bleeding cannot stop after ten minutes or steady pressure or any other method used.

It is good to check whether the wound may require stitching because a cut should be stitched within six hours from the time it occurred. The only exceptions are the minor cuts that occur to the scalp and face which can be stitched within twenty four hours.

Stop or Reduce the Bleeding

After examining the wound, you need to try to stop the bleeding immediately. You can do this by applying direct pressure on the minor cut.

how to dress minor cuts

Tending to a minor cut

Clean the Wound and Prevent Infection

  • Use warm water and gentle shop to cleanse the cut to remove any dirt that may bring germs to the wound.
  • To minimize the risk of infection, you need to put an antibiotic ointment. Only use ointment that is approved and follow the instructions. If the ointment applied leads to a rash, stop applying it.
  • Put a sterile bandage on the minor cuts to cover and offer more protection.
  • Put a sterile bandage on the area. In some people, antibiotic ointments may cause a rash. If this happens, stop using the ointment.

When to Call for Emergency Help

You should call for medical help in case of the following:

  • The minor cut is over the joint.
  • If it becomes hard to get the cut or make the laceration clean.
  • You should also call for medical help if the victim has not received tetanus injection or booster for the last five to ten years.
  • Minor cuts caused by animal or human bite also require to be attended by a physician.

If the wound get treated at home, remove the bandage after some few days to boost the healing process.

First Aid For Asthma Attack

February 13th, 2014 | Posted by vanfirstaid in Basic First Aid Skills - (Comments Off on First Aid For Asthma Attack)

Patients suffering from asthma have high chances of getting asthma attack. Some of the common symptoms that will show you that a patient has the attack include difficulty in talking, breath shortness and change of lips or fingernails to blue color. Read the article to understand how you can handle such emergency situations.

Follow Asthma plan

If the victim has a personal asthma action plan from a doctor it is advisable to follow it strictly. Follow the directions used to provide the medication and in case of an acute asthma attack seek medical help immediately.

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Provide asthma attack first aid

If the patient does not follow any action plan, you need to offer first aid for asthma to rescue him or her from the fatal situation.

  • Make the patient sit upright in a comfortable manner and make any tight cloth loose.
  • If the patient has medications such as an inhaler, help him to use it.
  • In case an inhaler is not available, use the one in your first aid kit or borrow from another person.

There are two types of inhalers, then one with a spacer and one without the spacer.

Using an inhaler with a spacer

first aid for asthma attack

Using an inhaler

  • Remove the cap and shake it well.
  • Insert it into the spacer.
  • Make sure that the victim breathe out fully and put his mouth firmly around the mouthpiece of the spacer.
  • Press the inhaler instantly in order to deliver a puff.
  • Then, allow the patient to breathe in a slow manner through the mouth and then make him hold breath for ten to twelve seconds.
  • Give four fluffs and wait for a minute between each of them.

Follow similar steps even when using an inhaler without the spacer.

If breathing is still an issue even after using the inhaler, follow these steps to deal with the asthma attack.

  • After the four puffs, wait for extra four minutes. If the breathing does not normalize, giver more four puffs.
  • If there are no changes continue giving four puffs until the emergency service provider arrives. In case the victim has severe asthma attack provide seven to nine puffs after every five minutes.

Monitor the victim until the emergency service provider arrives. If you recognize drowsiness, this means that the problem may be getting worse. You should also not assume that there is some improvement if no wheezing can be heard from the victim. This can also show that the asthma attack is going to another dangerous level.

 

First Aid for Head Injuries

February 13th, 2014 | Posted by vanfirstaid in First Aid Injury Assessment - (Comments Off on First Aid for Head Injuries)
how to dress head injuries

Dressing head injuries

Head injuries refer to any kind of trauma that leads to injury of the brain, skull or the scalp. The injury can either be minor or serious injuries that damage the brain or even cause death. The injury can be open or closed depending on whether there is penetration of the skull. Closed head injury is when there is no penetration, while an open injury occurs when the skull is broken because of the impact leading to the injury. Some of the major causes of head injuries include traffic accidents, physical assault or accidents at home or while playing games. In order to give effective first aid you first need to know the symptoms involved. Some of the signs may be experienced instantly while others may take time.

Symptoms of Head Injuries

  • Fracture of the skull
  • Swelling or bleeding of the skull
  • Pain in the spinal cord especially near the head
  • Concussions

By understanding the symptoms, you will be in a position to offer effective first aid. It is important to call for medical help if the victim shows the following symptoms.

  • Abnormal behavior
  • Stiff neck
  • Excessive vomiting
  • Lose of consciousness
  • Unable to move leg or arm or
  • Gets sleepy.

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You can also apply the following first aid steps.

  • Call emergency service provider or 911.
  • If the person is having problems to breath, start rescue breathing if you know how to do it.
  • In case the victim is breathing well and the heart is beating normally, offer assistance as if there is a spinal injury. Ensure that the head and neck are stable by putting your hands on both sides of the victim’s head. Make sure that the head is aligned with the spine and do not allow any movement as you wait for emergency service provider to arrive.
  • Use the supplies in your first aid kit to stop any bleeding. Do this by placing a clean bandage or piece of cloth on the wound. Excess bleeding may soak the cloth, do not remove it, but put an additional cloth on it.
  • Some head injuries lead to the fracture of the skull. Therefore, ensure you do not apply any form of pressure on the bleeding area.
  • In case the victim is vomiting, you need to prevent chocking by ensuring that the body acts as one unit without any movement. This will also protect the spine that may also be injured in the process.
  • Place ice packs on every part that may be swollen.

Bee poisoning

January 24th, 2014 | Posted by corinne grace in Poisons - (Comments Off on Bee poisoning)

Bee poisoning is basically a serious body reaction to the venom from a bee sting. Yellow jackets and wasps also have the same venom and can lead to the similar body reaction. In most cases, bee stings do not cause any serious reaction. Nevertheless, if an individual is allergic or had previous bee stings, they might experience a severe reaction. Always remember that bee poisoning entails immediate medical attention. Bee poisoning is also called apitoxin poisoning.

Who is at risk for bee poisoning?

Some individuals are at higher risk for bee poisoning than others. The risk factors for bee poisoning include:

  • Individuals living in areas close to beehives
  • Areas where bees are pollinating plants actively
  • Spending a lot of time outdoors
  • Previous allergic reaction to a bee sting
  • Intake of certain medications such as beta blockers

Adults are more likely to suffer from serious reactions to bee stings than children. Individuals who have an allergy to bee, yellow jacket or wasp venom should always bring a bee sting kit every time they go outdoors. A standard kit usually contains epinephrine that treats anaphylaxis which is a severe reaction that can make breathing difficult.

Symptoms of bee poisoning

The mild symptoms of bee sting include:

  • White spot where the stinger punctured the skin
  • Pain or itching at the sting site
  • Redness and minimal swelling on the skin surrounding the sting site

The symptoms of bee poisoning include:

  • Hives
  • Swelling of face, throat and lips
  • Pale or flushed skin
  • Headache
  • Fainting or dizziness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • Abdominal cramping and diarrhea
  • Weak and rapid heart rate
  • Low blood pressure
  • Loss of consciousness
bee sting-first aid

The bee stinger should be removed carefully

When to seek medical attention

Majority of individuals who have been stung by a bee do not need medical attention. Simply monitor any minor symptoms such as itching and mild swelling. In case they do not go away or the individual experiences severe symptoms, it is best to call a doctor.

Individuals who experience symptoms of anaphylaxis such as difficulty breathing or swallowing, individuals who experienced multiple bee stings or those who have a known allergy should seek emergency assistance right away.

Treating bee stings at home

The treatment for a bee sting involves the removal of the stinger and caring for the symptoms.

  • Remove the stinger using tweezers or credit card just be cautious not to crush the enclosed venom pouch
  • Clean the sting site with water and soap
  • Apply ice in order to ease the swelling and pain
  • Apply hydrocortisone to reduce the itching and redness
  • Provide an antihistamine such as Benadryl for swelling and itching

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In case the individual is experiencing an allergic reaction, call for emergency assistance right away. While waiting for the professionals to arrive, you can do the following:

  • Check the airway and breathing
  • Start CPR if needed
  • Remove constricting clothing and jewelry in case of swelling
  • Administer epinephrine if a bee sting kit is available
  • Position the individual in shock position if symptoms of shock are present
  • Keep the individual comfortable and warm

Individuals who love to spend time outdoors yet allergic to bee or wasp venom should always have a bee sting kit ready.

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.

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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.