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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.

How does One Deal with a Hangover?

June 3rd, 2014 | Posted by vanfirstaid in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on How does One Deal with a Hangover?)

One of the most common types of conditions that people will face from time to time  is the question, how does one deal with a hangover? A number of us are all too familiar with the throbbing headaches, the fatigue, the chills as well as the amnesia that usually follows binge-drinking. The effects are not usually a pretty sight, and for many who love their drink, it becomes important to find out how one can deal with this condition, albeit self-inflicted. To do so effectively, you would have to understand the functioning of the body as far as the intake and metabolism of alcohol is concerned. Follow the steps below to enable you cope better whenever you have a hangover.

Manage the Dehydration

Alcohol is manufactured in such a way that its constituents make it a diuretic, which is a substance that causes an increase in the frequency of urination. This is what causes the feeling of drying up after one has imbibed their favorite drink. The first thing to do even prior to knowing how to deal with a hangover is to take adequate amounts of water. This will go a long way in helping get rid of the dehydration that characterizes hangovers. Do this before sleeping and once more in the morning (or when you wake up). Is this all there is to dealing with a hangover? The good news is that there is much more you can do if you want to deal with a hangover, the bad news is that there really is no cure for a hangover.

What About My Stomach Ache?

Why do some people get a stomach ache whenever they have a hangover? This is because of the impurities that are included during the processing of alcoholic drinks. The concentration of these impurities will differ from one brand to the other, but has been shown to be very high in drinks that are malt-based. The other benefit of drinking enough water comes in at this point. The water will aid in the dilution of impurities following metabolism of the alcohol within the body in addition to facilitating the re-hydration of the individual. Another way to deal with a hangover as far as these impurities are concerned is to make toast a portion of your meals following a drinking session.

Have You Tried Eating Toast?

The purpose of using the toast, which is basically charred bread is that it acts as a filter thus effectively eliminating the impurities within the body. In severe cases of alcohol poisoning, one of the measures that doctors take up is the use of Carbon channeled to the patient’s digestive system. Some people will advocate for the use of fatty foods under the guise that this creates an oily lining on the digestive system so that the alcohol is not absorbed readily from the digestive system. Whether this is true or not, it is important to take food prior to drinking as this acts as a buffer zone so that the electrolytes are replaced frequently thus preventing dehydration. These are tips that will help you deal with a hangover and feel much better.

What If My Friend is Unconscious?

Have you ever worried about a friend who has had too much to drink and has fallen unconscious? First aid training teaches individuals how to manage semi-conscious and unconscious victims. Learn what position to place the victim and how to manage vomiting victims by enrolling in a first aid course near you. An unconscious and vomiting victim can be fatal. Learn to prevent an serious incident by taking a course.

How To Treat A Cold or Sore Throat At Home

April 7th, 2014 | Posted by vanfirstaid in Basic First Aid Skills - (Comments Off on How To Treat A Cold or Sore Throat At Home)

Are you suffering from a cold or sore throat? You do not have to worry because you can deal with the problem from the comfort of your home without having to seek for medical assistance or going to the chemist to buy drugs. There are a wide range of home remedies for cold you can use to get rid of the cold and prevent other related ailments. The good thing about the home remedies is that they help eliminate the symptoms immediately unlike the artificial drugs that take some times to cure the health problem.

Cold or Sore Throat Home Remedies

Garlic tea

Garlic tea is a well known for strengthening the immune system. It is effective in treating cold or sore throat because it has both antibacterial and antiviral properties that make it effective to cure cold, flu and coughs. One of the best ways to take full advantage of the healing power of garlic is to take fresh garlic tea. All you need to do is to sweeten it with a little raw honey to make it delicious and boost its power to heal the cold

  • Peel two to three cloves of fresh garlic and crush them lightly.
  • Add them to two cups of water and allow it to boil.
  • Reduce the heat and allow it to simmer for another fifteen minutes.
  • Strain the garlic and let the tea cool down to a temperature that is right for the mouth.
  • Add the raw honey, squeeze a lemon juice and drink as much as you can.

Honey and red onion cough syrup

This is another home remedy for both adults and children suffering from cold or flu. Prepare it using the following procedure.

  • Peel, wash and slice the whole onion horizontally.
  • Starting with the base of the onion, arrange the slices in a bowl alternating with layers of the honey or brown sugar. However, raw honey that has healing properties is more effective.
  • Continue adding the layers of the onion and sweetener until the onion is fully reconstructed in the bowl.
  • Cover and let the sweetened onion remain in the bowl on your counter for twelve to fifteen hours. The next day, you will get one cup or more of the syrup in the bowl.

This syrup contains a range of nutrients, minerals and vitamins from the onion and the honey that help to reduce the cough and sooth the sore throat. Take a spoonful of the syrup as required. The good thing about this syrup is that it does not have the taste of the onion that may make it taste poor when taken.

9 Things You Need for First Aid and Why

April 4th, 2014 | Posted by vanfirstaid in Being Prepared - (0 Comments)

Being prepared in an emergency is a key part of any first aid course. However, being preprepared can be confusing. Here’s our top 9 list of things you need for first aid and why.

A Watch:

In order to take a proper pulse, you must have a watch with a second hand and you must take the pulse for at least 15 seconds, if you don’t take the pulse for this minimum amount of time then you may not catch a very slow beating heart.


Your personal protection is very important and thus you should always carry a pair of gloves.  Ideally you would want latex free gloves as there is a growing population of people that are allergic to latex.

Gloves and First Aid

Wearing gloves is an essential component of providing first aid and / or CPR care as it prevents the rescuer or victim from transferring any blood borne pathogens.

Face Mask:

A disposable face mask is cheap and will allow you to give breaths while doing CPR and still protect you from any potential diseases that the patient may have.  The face must be disposed of after use or sterilized appropriately.

A Marker:

Need to quickly write down the patients allergies and medication?  Use a decent marker, you will be able to write on virtually any surface, even the patient, and they are very easy to obtain and carry on you.

Tensor Bandages:

Chances are that you will see sprains more often than any other injury as a first aider an a tensor bandage offers the perfect solution for this.  They are small and portable and can be used for a variety of tasks.

Triangle Bandage:

These are amazing tools and can be used to help splint, tie things down, and in emergency situations to tourniquet but only in extreme situations do you want to tourniquet someone like a femoral bleed or when medical help is hours away.


These are amazing tools but you must be careful when using them.  Think of these as scissors on steroids so use them carefully and appropriately.  That being said, they can cut through coins and pretty much anything else so they are great for cutting off patients apparel when you need to attach an AED.  USE THESE CAREFULLY as they can be very dangerous tools.

Alcohol Wipes:

These are a luxury item and you should only really be bringing them if you have the extra room and if you have the resources to maintain them as they do expire and should be replaced frequently.

Distilled Water:

This is not your average water bottle purchased at your local convenient store because it is necessary for you and the patient that the water has been distilled so that it won’t react with anything in the environment.

Carry these with you and be prepared for many of the first aid situations that you will encounter.

Pulmonary Embolism: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

March 25th, 2014 | Posted by vanfirstaid in Circulatory Emergency - (Comments Off on Pulmonary Embolism: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment)

Pulmonary embolism is a fatal medical condition that requires emergency medical services as soon as possible. It is when there is a sudden blockage in one or more lung arteries. It is usually caused by a blood clot in any part of the body, most commonly the leg, that breaks loose and travels to the major blood vessel of the lung through the bloodstream. An estimated half of all the people who experience pulmonary embolism show no symptoms, although the commonly associated symptoms will be discussed later.

Pulmonary embolism may occur to anyone, even in healthy individuals. In cases of multiple or large clots, it may result to death. Other less serious complications include lasting damage to the affected lung, decreased levels of oxygen in the blood and damage to the other body organs from the decreased oxygen distributed to the organs. Treatment is usually aimed at dissolving the clots and prevention of other clots from forming.

Causes of Pulmonary Embolism

Pulmonary embolism is often a complication from deep vein thrombosis (DVT), where blood clots originating from the deep veins of body, frequently the legs, travel to the arteries in the lungs, although it should be noted that not all cases of DVT result to pulmonary embolism. The following may also cause pulmonary embolism:

  • Other substances can form blockages within the blood vessels of the lung itself
    • Fat from within the marrow of a broken bone
    • Amniotic fluid
    • Part of a tumour
    • Air bubbles

Risk Factors for Pulmonary Embolism

The following factors are known to increase chances of developing pulmonary embolism in individuals:

  • Inactivity for prolonged periods, e.g. bed rest or long flights or car trips
  • Recent surgery involving the brain, abdomen, pelvic or legs
  • Recent fractures
  • Certain illnesses such as chronic heart disease, high blood pressure, paralysis, cancer or severe infection
  • Conditions such as heart attack, stroke
  • Taking medications such as, birth control pills or hormone therapy
  • Pregnancy and childbirth, especially if caesarean section
  • Family history of pulmonary embolism
  • Smoking

Symptoms of Pulmonary Embolism

In half of pulmonary embolism cases, it is asymptomatic. In the other half that reported symptoms, the symptoms include:

  • Sudden, inexplicable shortness of breath
  • Trouble breathing
  • Chest pain
  • Coughing with or without blood
  • Arrhythmia
  • Increased heart rate
  • Swelling of the leg or along a vein
  • Pain and tenderness in the leg
  • Anxiety
  • Light-headedness or syncope
  • Wheezing
  • Sweating excessively

Treatment for Pulmonary Embolism

Pulmonary embolism requires immediate medical treatment to avoid complications from progressing. Medications or surgical procedures may be required to thin the blood or remove the clot. Treatment for pulmonary embolism includes:

  • Medications
    • Anticoagulants
    • Clot dissolvers (thrombolytics)
    • Surgical procedures
      • Clot removal
      • Vein filter
      • Surgery
      • In cases where there is no pulse detected, follow protocol for CPR.

Disclaimer: This article does not provide medical advice or treatment. The information given should not be used for self-diagnosis. Seek medical attention when necessary. To learn more about to how to give CPR in cases of medical emergencies such as pulmonary embolism, enrol in first aid and CPR classes with an American or Canadian provider.


Pulmonary embolism (2013). Mayo Clinic. Retrieved September 27, 2013, from

Pulmonary Embolism – Topic Overview. 2011. WebMD. Retrieved September 27, 2013, from

First Aid for Nosebleeds

March 22nd, 2014 | Posted by vanfirstaid in Basic First Aid Skills - (Comments Off on First Aid for Nosebleeds)
home medicines

First Aid for nose bleed

One of the most common medical emergencies is nosebleeds. This is a problem that affects all people regardless of their age or sex and a topic covered in basic first aid training. The problem mainly occurs as a result of trauma of the nose, nose picking and many others. Just like any other first aid, the first thing you are supposed to do is to check the condition of the patient so that you can make an informed decision on what you are supposed to do. If you realize that the victim is very unstable, you should call an emergency service provider or call 911 for more assistance. Note that as you wait for the emergency health provider to arrive, you need to put some measures to reduce or stop the bleeding because this can be fatal.

How to carry out nosebleeds first aid

Since nosebleeds involve blood streaming, it is necessary that you wear a disposable face shield or gloves if you have them.

  • Sit the victim down and make sure he or she is leaning slightly forward. Request the victim to pinch the soft, fleshy section of the nose firmly for ten to fifteen minutes.
  • The mouth should be open to allow effective breathing through the mouth and also to spit any blood from the mouth. Ensure there is a sink, container or bowl in front for the victim to spit the blood.
  • Check their blood pressure and pulse to find out if they are normal.
  • After fifteen minutes are over, let the victim release the pressure to find out if the bleeding is under control. If you realize that it is not yet controlled, let the victim continue with the pinching.
  • In case the nosebleeds continues after fifteen minutes of pressure the victim need to be taken to an accident and emergency facility.

Determine what may be the underlying cause

It is good to know what is the underlying cause of the nosebleeds even as you give the first aid. Determine if the cause may be as a result of the following.

  • Trauma or recent surgery
  • If the victim is suffering from leukemia, hemophilia or if there are cases of bleeding disorders in their family.
  • Check for any sign of facial pain, rhinorrhoea, nasal obstruction, allergens, cranial neuropathy and other environmental factors.

If the nosebleed stop with first aid, you can consider administering topical antiseptic to the victim. In case the victim suffers from regular bleeding of the nose, it is good to visit nose, ear or throat specialist for more checkups.

Why opt for Flexible Online CPR certification Courses?

March 22nd, 2014 | Posted by vanfirstaid in First Aid and CPR - (Comments Off on Why opt for Flexible Online CPR certification Courses?)

There has been an increased popularity of online CPR certification courses in Canada. This has been enhanced by the high number of approved course providers offering the online courses. The change of lifestyle whereby many people are engaged with other activities have made them find it more convenient to study online at their own time. The good thing is that the content of the courses is similar to the one provided in the offline training.

Wide variety of online CPR certification course providers

Considering the needs of CPR training, there are several organizations providing the certification courses in offsite locations. Many people are occupied at all times and may not have enough time to attend the training in person. This has made many of the course providers to offer the certification courses online. Another advantage of the training is that the course providers offer programs that meet the regulations and rules laid down by all the relevant authorities. In addition to the CPR certification programs, the course providers provide other training such as basic life support training, pediatric advanced level support training, automated external defibrillator training, advanced cardiac life support and other emergency training.

CPR Training

Any kind of CPR training is a good thing!

Flexible Timing and Several Programs Offered

The CPR certification training certified in Canada include the interactive session, testing sessions, internet based learning process with the course tutors. The timing of programs is usually flexible and all interested candidates are given opportunities to schedule the learning programs according to their needs. The trainees offer emergency action plan, health and safety programs, updated health and safety program and other programs at a more affordable cost.

The heath-care institutes provide updated Health & Safety program, an Emergency Action Plan and lots more health-related programs at affordable prices. For anyone interested in any of the online programs, then you can look for the training courses offered by different organizations in Canada. After completing the online courses successfully, you get certified to provide CPR first aid. The certification is valid for a period of two to three years depending on the institution where you get the CPR certification.

Getting certified to offer CPR training is a great asset in Canada, because you are empowered to offer the first aid at home or in the workplace. Most employees also tend to ask for this certification during selection and recruitment. Therefore, you also increase your prospect of landing a good job and high salary because the certification makes you a great asset in any workplace.

First Aid For Hypertensive Emergency

March 22nd, 2014 | Posted by vanfirstaid in Circulatory Emergency - (Comments Off on First Aid For Hypertensive Emergency)

Hypertensive emergency is a type of hypertensive crisis wherein blood pressure spikes to a very harmful level that it may damage the organs of the body.

First Aid For Hypertensive Emergency

First Aid For Hypertensive Emergency

Hypertensive emergency is a type of hypertensive crisis wherein blood level spikes to a very harmful level that it may potentially damage the organs of the body and cause other complications. There is a need to reduce blood pressure immediately to avoid imminent organ damage. Blood pressure readings is given in two numbers, written as 120/80 mmHg. The first number is called the systolic blood pressure whereas the second number is called the diastolic blood pressure. Normal blood pressure should read less than 120/80 mmHg most of the time, whereas hypertension is read as any number greater than 140/90 mmHg.

Hypertensive emergency is different from hypertensive urgency, another type of hypertensive crisis, wherein there is a spike in blood pressure but there is no damage that occurs to the organs of the body. It can be managed with blood pressure medication. On the other hand, given from its names, hypertensive emergency is a medical emergency that requires immediate emergency medical help. Treatment to lower high blood in a hypertensive emergency can usually only be done in an emergency room.

Causes of Hypertensive Emergency

The following may lead to hypertensive emergencies:

  • Forgetting to take blood pressure medication
  • Heart attack
  • Heart failure
  • Kidney failure
  • Stroke
  • Aorta rupture (the main artery of the body)
  • Interactions that may occur between medications

Signs and Symptoms of Hypertensive Emergency

In some cases of hypertension, there are no symptoms present. However, in cases of hypertensive emergencies, the following signs and symptoms may include:

  • Severe chest pain
  • Intense headache, supplemented by blurred vision and/ or increasing confusion
  • Severe anxiety
  • Shortness of breath, that may be increasing
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Unresponsiveness

Complications of Hypertensive Emergency

If left untreated or treatment time takes too long, complications may arise from hypertensive emergencies. Some of the hypertensive emergencies be severe, which can include:

  • Altered mental state, e.g. confusion
  • Stroke or bleeding into the brain
  • Heart failure
  • Heart attack
  • Unstable angina
  • Pulmonary oedema (or fluid in the lungs)
  • Aneurysm
  • Eclampsia (occurs during pregnancy)

First Aid Management of Hypertensive Emergency

When a person discovers that they have hypertension, it should be treated immediately to avoid progressing to hypertensive emergencies. In scenarios that a person shows symptoms of hypertensive emergency, the following steps are generally recommended:

  • Call for emergency medical services immediately. If there is no access to this, have another person drive the victim to the hospital right away.
  • Do not wait to see if pressure reduces on its own.

Disclaimer: This article does not provide medical advice or treatment. The information given should not be used for self-diagnosis. Seek medical attention when necessary. Learning how to recognize symptoms of medical emergencies can help save a life. To learn more about to how to recognize symptoms, enrol in first aid and CPR training that includes content related to circulatory emergencies.


High blood pressure (hypertension). (2011). Mayo Clinic. Retrieved on October 14, 2013, from

Nazario, Brunilda. (2011). WebMD.  Retrieved on October 15, 2013, from


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.

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.

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.

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