Standard First Aid Training, Courses and Re-Certifications.
Header

Author Archives: corinne grace

Dealing with elbow collateral ligament injury

April 2nd, 2018 | Posted by corinne grace in Muscle Injuries - (Comments Off on Dealing with elbow collateral ligament injury)

Elbow collateral ligament injury is common among athletes. The ligament is found in the inside or medial part of the elbow or the small finger side of the arm. It connects bone together and control movements of the joints. It functions for the stability of the elbow.

Elbow movements that cause bending and twisting of the elbow such as javelin throwing, throwing of a baseball, ice hockey and racquet sports results to excessive stressing of the elbow. This condition can also happen to non athlete people such as falling on an outstretched arm or strong twisting of the arm and cause tearing of the ligaments of the elbow.

Symptoms of ulnar collateral ligament tear

  • Bruising at interior elbow after the injury
  • Pain, tenderness and swelling of the affected elbow

    elbow collateral ligament injury

    Stiffness or incapable of making the elbow straight.

  • Weakened grip or numbness and tingling sensations in the fingers.
  • Stiffness or incapable of making the elbow straight
  • Severe elbow pain
  • A popping sound can be heard when moving the elbow
  • Incapable of throwing normally
  • Tingling or numbness sensations that spreads down the ring and the small fingers
  • A sense of looseness or instability of the elbow
  • Incapable of performing regular activities such as lifting small objects or carrying something by the hand.

Treatment

  • Take plenty of rest especially the affected elbow. Avoid performing activities that cause pain in the area for fast healing of the condition.
  • Apply ice using an ice pack. Wrap the ice pack using a towel or a cloth before placing to the area for at least 10-15 minutes to lessen the bleeding, the swelling and the inflammation on the first 48 hours after the injury. The coldness will numb the skin and lessen the pain. Another alternative is soaking a clean washcloth in cool water, and then wrap it around the pack of ice and place on the area is also good for the condition.
  • Compress the area using an elastic bandage. It gives gentle pressure on the tissue around the affected area. It also supports the affected area, lessen the swelling and for proper flow of blood in the area. Do not wrap too tightly to prevent problems with circulations. Take off the bandages at least 2 times every day. Rest the area for a few minutes and then wrap it again.
  • Elevate the affected elbow above the heart to lessen the swelling of the area and increase flow of blood. When resting, prop the area in couple of pillows to keep it in a raised position.
  • Take the prescribed pain medications to reduce the inflammation and the pain.
  • When pain subsides perform gentle exercises with the help of the physical therapist for some strengthening exercises around the affected joint of the elbow, restore range of movement of the elbow and lessen the pain.

Disclaimer / More Information

The material posted on this page on elbow collateral ligament injury is for learning purposes only. Learn to recognize the indications and how it is managed by taking a first aid and CPR class with one of our training providers.

Treating skier’s thumb

April 2nd, 2018 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on Treating skier’s thumb)

Skier’s thumb is an injury to the soft tissue or ligament that attaches the bones of the thumb together. This condition is also called gamekeeper’s thumb. It is a chronic injury that develops due to repeated stretching if the ulnar collateral ligament in the thumb.

Scottish fowl hunters, gamekeepers, athletes playing volleyball are susceptible to this condition. People falling onto an outstretched hand while holding a ski pole usually on skiers.

Causes of skier’s thumb

  • Falling on outstretched hand and jams into a packed snow at high speed.
  • Falling on outstretched hand while holding a ski pole on the palm of the hand.
  • Vehicular accidents with the thumb on the steering wheel
  • The thumb is bent in abnormal position

Symptoms

skier’s thumb

Pain at the bottom of the thumb in the web space between the thumb and the index finger.

  • Swelling of the thumb
  • Pain at the bottom of the thumb in the web space between the thumb and the index finger
  • Wrist pain
  • Incapable to grasp or weakness when grasping between the thumb and the index finger
  • Tenderness along the index finger on the side of the thumb
  • Blue or black discoloration of the skin on the affected thumb
  • Severe pain when moving the thumb in all directions

Treatment

  • Rest the affected thumb as much as possible.
  • Immobilize the thumb by wrapping the area using an ACE wrap or use a wrist brace. Put the thumb in the neutral position to keep it immobilized. It will prevent unnecessary movement, lessen the pain and for fast healing of the condition.
  • Apply ice compress on the affected thumb for at least 35 minutes at a time, 4 times every day to lessen the pain and the inflammation. Wrap ice compress in a small cloth or a face towel before placing to the area to prevent further irritation and worsen the condition. Another alternative is using a bag of frozen vegetable such as peas or corn is also good for the condition.
  • Wrap the affected thumb using an elastic wrap to maintain pressure on the sprain.
  • Elevate the affected area above the level of the heart to lessen the swelling and internal bleeding. When lying raise the hand in couple of pillows to keep it elevated.
  • Take the prescribed anti-inflammatory medications to lessen the inflammation and the pain.
  • Seek the help of the physical therapist for some rehabilitation exercises for strength, flexibility, restore range of movement and lessen the pain

Tips

  • Skiers should discard their ski pole during falls. Falling with outstretched hand without the ski pole will minimize the chances of an injury.
  • Use poles with finger-groove grips and not putting restraining devices such as closed grip or a wrist strap.
  • When driving, keep the thumbs along with the other fingers outside of the steering wheel.
  • Stretch the hand and the muscles of the finger every day.
  • Wear a thumb stabilizer for protection of the ulnar collateral ligament without limiting the functions and movement of the hand.

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.

Frostbite

March 29th, 2018 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on Frostbite)

A frostbite is an injury caused by prolonged exposure to cold temperatures, this kind of injury freezes the skin and its underlying layers. Frostbite can lead to serious issues and may cause a limb to cease functioning and lead to gangrene which requires amputation.

Frostbite commonly occurs on extremities such as your fingers, toes, nose, ears but can also affect your cheeks, chin or lips and so on. Frostbite can also affect skin that is covered by gloves or thick clothing if the cold penetrates it.

Signs and symptoms of frostbite:

  • Cold, prickly feeling on the skin
  • Numbness
  • Discoloration of the skin to either a reddish, bluish, whitish or yellowish color

    Frostbite

    Frostbite commonly occurs on extremities such as your fingers, toes, nose, ears but can also affect your cheeks, chin or lips and so on.

  • Joint or muscle stiffness

Because frostbite causes skin numbness, you may not notice it until it has been pointed out to you.

There are also numerous factors that can contribute to increasing the risk of frostbite:

  • Under the influence of alcohol
  • Exhaustion or dehydration
  • Spending too much time outside in the cold climate, such as the homeless, those who are hiking, hunters, etc.

Different stages of frostbite:

  1. The first stage is frostnip. This is where the only the surface of the skin is frozen. This stage can be identified with signs of pain and itching then eventually numbness. Frostnip does not cause permanent damage to the skin because only the top layers are frozen.
  2. The second stage is superficial frostbite. In this stage, tissues may have ice crystals and you may start to feel warm. When you rewarm yourself, your skin may appear discolored and blisters may form after a few hours, typically a day later.
  3. The third stage is deep frostbite and can be life-threatening and lead to complications. At this stage, the freezing affects muscles up to nerves which can completely paralyze and disable limbs. If limbs or extremities are destroyed by this stage of frostbite, they can lead to gangrene and must be removed through amputation.

The most effective method to prevent yourself from being affected by frostbite is by wearing thick clothing if you are living in very cold places, once you feel the cold its best to move indoors and warm yourself. It’s also best to keep yourself dry and have your extremities covered, such as your ears, hands and feet.

Disclaimer / More Information

The material posted on this page on frostbite is for learning purposes only. Learn to recognize the indications of this condition 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.

Dealing with buttock contusion

March 20th, 2018 | Posted by corinne grace in Muscle Injuries - (Comments Off on Dealing with buttock contusion)

Buttock contusion is bleeding in the muscles due to direct impact to the area caused by falling or hit by a hard object such as a hard ball. This condition is common in people playing high jumping, sliding in baseball, hockey, ice skating, pole vaulting, football and gymnastics. Old people taking coagulation drugs such as Coumadin are susceptible to this condition.

Causes of buttock contusion

  • Slipping on ice
  • Buttock injury
  • Coagulopathy
  • Spinal fracture
  • Bleeding disorders
  • Mongolian spot
  • Blunt trauma
  • Anticoagulation medications
  • Child abuse

    buttock contusion

    Tenderness of the area when sitting down or when it is touched.

Symptoms

  • Tenderness of the area when sitting down or when it is touched
  • Bruising
  • Pain in the buttock
  • Pain with movement of thigh against resistance
  • A hard lump under the skin with discoloration from red-blue and black and then changes to green and yellow which can be a sign of hematoma.
  • Stiffness with movement of the thigh in forward direction caused by stretching of the gluteus muscles.

Treatment

  • Take plenty of rest for at least 48 hours. Avoid performing activities that can further irritate and increase pressure on the soft tissue to prevent inflammation.
  • Apply cold compress on the area within 24-48 hours after hematoma starts to develop. Wrap the ice pack in a towel before placing to the area for 15-20 minutes to prevent damage on the tissue. Another alternative placing a melting ice on a towel and then place it on the area for 10 minutes, 4-8 times every day. It constricts the blood vessels and lessens the swelling and build up of blood under the skin. It also lessens the metabolism of local tissue which lessens the development of hypoxia which is damage to the cell caused by a reduced supply of oxygen in the area.
  • After 24-48 hours apply warm compress on the area to increase flow of blood and for fast healing of the condition. It lessens the pain and the inflammation.
  • Massage the affected area in circular movement or long strokes for proper flow of blood and increase venous return. Massaging breaks down superficial clots making them easier to be dissolved. Avoid massage if there is pain in the area.
  • Take a relaxing warm bath to increase flow of blood in the area, to lessen the pain and eliminate formation of blood clots.
  • Take pain medications to lessen the pain and the inflammations.
  • Maintain hydration by drinking at least 1.5 -2 liters of water every day. Water flushes out toxins in the body
  • Start performing some strengthening and stretching exercises with the help of the physical therapist to restore full range of movement of the glute muscles.
  • Pineapples which has bromelain and rich in anti-inflammatory properties to lessen pain and for fast healing of the condition. Eat or drink pineapple juice for fast healing of the bruise. Another alternative is taking bromelain supplement 250-500 milligrams between meals.

More Information

The details posted on this page on a buttock contusion is for learning purposes only. To learn to properly manage the injury, enroll in a first aid course with one of our training providers.

Remedies for juvenile idiopathic arthritis

March 19th, 2018 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on Remedies for juvenile idiopathic arthritis)

Juvenile idiopathic arthritis is a disease that causes inflammation and swelling of joints.  It is a childhood disease that causes stiff and painful joints. Some children outgrow this condition after treatment but others still continue treatment until adulthood.

Types of juvenile idiopathic arthritis

  • Oligoarticular – the common and mildest form where 1-4 joints are affected. Pain can be felt in the ankles, knees, toes, fingers, elbows, hips and wrist.
  • Polyarticular – affects 5 or more joints and becomes severe overtime. It is similar to rheumatoid arthritis in adults.
  • Systemic – the most severe, pain in many joints and spreads to the organs.
  • Enthesitis – affects areas of the ligaments and tendons that are connected to the bones. It also affects the joints.
  • Psoriatic – a combination of tenderness of the joint and inflammation with psoriasis of skin.

What are the causes

juvenile idiopathic arthritis

Take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to lessen the inflammation and the pain.

  • A very active immune system attacking tissues of the joint
  • A certain gene mutations making a person prone to factors such as the virus which causes the disease.

Symptoms

  • Pain, stiffness and swelling of the joints
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Problems with walking
  • Fever
  • Rashes
  • Development of inflammatory eye disease

Treatment

  • Apply heat on the affected area for at least 20 minutes to lessen the stiffness and the pain of the joints. Another alternative is soaking a clean towel in water or placed in a microwave for 15 to 30 seconds. Hot water bottles can be placed in the affected area. Place a damp cloth between the skin and the hot water bottle to prevent burning the skin and delays the healing. Avoid using heat if the affected area is warm and red.
  • Let the child wear footed pajamas and thermal underwear to lessen stiffness of the area in the morning. Sleeping in a sleeping bag, using electric blanket or a heated waterbed is also good for the condition.
  • A warm bath or shower after waking up in the morning to relieve of the stiffness and after taking a bath perform gentle stretches.
  • Take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to lessen the inflammation and the pain.
  • The affected joints can be injected with prescribed corticosteroid to lessen the inflammation especially with oligoarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Steroid medication given orally or through an IV with severe pain in the joints, having a fever or pericarditis.
  • Performing regular exercises with the help of the physical therapist to restore range of movement of the joints, muscle strength and prevention of muscle contractures. Muscle contracture is the shortening of a joint or a muscle permanently especially if the muscles and tendons become very tight for too long.
  • Seek the help of the occupational therapist by providing the child ways of protection from playing and performing school activities without worsening the symptoms.

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

Overview on Colles’ wrist fracture

March 2nd, 2018 | Posted by corinne grace in Skeletal Injuries - (Comments Off on Overview on Colles’ wrist fracture)

A Colles’ wrist fracture is a condition where the radius bone found in the forearm breaks. This condition causes abnormal bending of the wrist. It causes severe pain and difficulty holding or gripping anything due to swelling of the wrist. This condition is likely to occur among older people and children with fragile bones.

Symptoms of Colles’ wrist fracture

  • Severe wrist pain
  • Swelling and bruising of the area
  • Tingling and numbness sensation in the fingers
  • The extremity or fingers becomes pale

Causes and risk factors

  • Osteoporosis

    Colles’ wrist fracture

    Tingling and numbness sensation in the fingers.

  • Elderly people
  • Diminished muscle strength or lack agility and poor balance makes a person prone to falling.
  • Deficiency in calcium or vitamin D
  • Walking or performing activities on ice or snow that requires plenty of forward motion.

Treatment

  • Avoid moving the affected wrist after the injury. Wear a splint to prevent unnecessary movements and delays the healing. The splint should be as long as the forearm, wrist and the hand. A splint can be in the form of a ruler or a folded newspaper. Place the arm on the splint, leave it at the angle that it was bent. Wrap the lower arm and the wrist using an Ace bandage. A scarf or a bandana can also be used to wrap the affected area. Avoid wrapping it too tight to prevent problems with circulation and worsen the condition.
  • Apply ice compress on the affected wrist. Make ice compress by placing ice in plastic bag and wrap it in towel before placing to the area for at least 10 minutes at a time to lessen the swelling and the pain.
  • Use the given over-the-counter medication to lower the swelling and pain.
  • Consult a physical therapist for a rehabilitation regimen to reinforce the wrist, lessen the pain and restore range of movement.

Tips

  • Increase eating foods rich in calcium, dark and green leafy vegetables and low-fat dairy products.
  • Perform regular exercises to strengthen the muscles and bones such as jogging and weight lifting.
  • Wear a wrist guard when performing activities to prevent the risk of colles’ wrist fracture. It will also protect the wrist when falling.

Disclaimer / More Information

The material posted on this page on Colles’ wrist fracture is for learning purposes only. Learn to recognize the signs of the injury and how it is managed by taking a first aid and CPR class with one of our training providers.

What is iliac crest pain?

March 1st, 2018 | Posted by corinne grace in Skeletal Injuries - (Comments Off on What is iliac crest pain?)

Iliac crest pain is damage or inflammation to the ilium which is the muscle around the hipbone to result to severe and sharp pain. The hipbone is composed of the ilium, ischium and the pubis. The iliac is attached to the largest muscle in the back or lattisimus dorsi, muscle in the hip or gluteus maximus and the abdominal muscles.

A direct blow to the body has the high risk of developing iliac crest contusion especially in people playing contact sports such as football and hockey. Accidents from biking and falling on the ground and placing strong force in the hip area can develop iliac crest contusion.

Causes of iliac crest pain

  • Trauma such as collisions or a fall can cause tenderness and pain in the lower back and the hips
  • Weak muscles in the abdomen and lower back
  • Overweight
  • Sacroiliac joint dysfunction
  • Apophyseal injury
  • Iliolumbar syndrome

    iliac crest pain

    Low back pain that spreads down the leg.

  • Piriformis syndrome
  • Gluteus medius pain

Symptoms

  • Low back pain that spreads down the leg
  • Severe muscle spasms on the buttocks
  • Pain when walking due to inflammation of the joints
  • Swelling, tenderness and bruising of the affected area
  • Bending and twisting causes severe pain

Treatment

  • Take plenty of rest especially the affected area immediately after the injury to lessen straining the lower back or the hipbone.
  • Apply cold compress in the area in the form of an ice packs. Wrap the ice pack in a towel before placing in the area for at least 15 minutes, 3 times every day to lessen the pain and the inflammation.
  • Elevate the affected area above the level of the heart to lessen the swelling.
  • Apply warm compress in the area in the form of a warm pad to lessen constant pain in the back due to inflammation of the ligaments and muscles in the iliac crest. It also increases flow of blood in the area and for fast healing of the condition.
  • Perform gentle stretching of the muscle of the hip to restore the strength and prevent further damage. Stretch the hip flexors, hamstrings and quadriceps with the help of the physical therapist before starting an activity.
  • Provide an over-the-counter medications to reduce the inflammation and the pain.

Tips

  • Wear proper foot wear especially when playing sports or a runner.
  • Run on good quality tracks, avoid running uphill or downhill until totally healed.
  • Proper warming up of the muscles, joints and stretching to increase flow of blood in the area. Cooling down and stretching after performing any physical activities.

Disclaimer / More Information

The material posted on this page on iliac crest pain is for learning purposes only. Learn more about the causes and how it is managed by taking a first aid and CPR class with one of our training providers.