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Blast injuries is a form of physical trauma that occur as a result of direct or indirect exposure to explosions, it often causes life threatening injuries to single or multiple victims all at the same time.

Factors that Affect Likelihood of Blast Injuries

Every explosion generates a complex wave pressure from which blast injuries result from. Several factors affect the probability of blast injuries, which include:

  • Medium – water has greater possibility for injury as compared to explosion in are due to the slow rate of dissipation
  • Distance – the closer  an individual is from an explosion, the great pressure from blast is experienced
  • Site of blast – individuals closer to solid surfaces will be exposed to enhanced blast pressure, therefore are at greater risks of injury

Classification of Blast Injuries

Blast injuries are subdivided into four categories: primary, secondary, tertiary and quaternary or miscellaneous blast-related injuries.

Primary Blast Injuries

  • Occurs as a result of direct effect on the tissue of the blast overpressure
  • Organs that are particularly vulnerable these kinds of injuries are air-filled organs, such as the lungs, ear, and gastrointestinal tract, and fluid-filled cavities, such as brain and spinal cord

Secondary Blast Injuries

  • Occurs as a result of people getting hit by debris that is directly displaced by the waves of blast pressure
  • Causes combination of blunt and penetrating trauma injuries

Tertiary Blast Injuries

  • Occurs as a result of high-energy explosions
  • Causes people to fly through the air and hit other objects

Quaternary or Miscellaneous Blast-Related Injuries

  • Injuries that are caused by explosions
  • Such as fire, building collapse, burns, exposure to toxic substances (e.g. carbon monoxide poisoning, cyanide poisoning, radiation), asphyxia and psychological trauma

Causes of Blast Injuries

There are many potential causes of blast injuries, which include:

  • Gas explosions (most common)
  • Armed conflicts
  • Terrorist attacks
  • Suicide bombers

First Aid Management of Blast Injuries

It is necessary to administer first aid to all victims of blast injuries at all times. The proper first aid will depend on the type of injury sustained by an individual. Call for emergency local services immediately. The following is the general protocol in cases of blast injuries:

  • If the individual is unconscious, check his/ her airway, breathing and circulation. If necessary, initiate CPR immediately.
  • If there is bleeding, control the bleeding by applying firm, direct pressure on the wound. Use a dressing or any clean absorbent cloth.
  • Begin measures to decrease heat loss and avoid hypothermia.
  • If there are signs and symptoms of shock, treat so.
blast injuries can often progress shock if not given first aid immediately

blast injuries can often progress shock if not given first aid immediately

To learn how to give proper first aid to all victims of blast injuries, enroll in First Aid Training and CPR Courses.

Online Sources:

http://www.patient.co.uk/doctor/Blast-Injury.htm

http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/822587-overview

One of the most important things that rescuers need to consider before administering CPR and AED is if the patient is carrying heart medications at the time of the heart problem or stroke. This is because the priority of rescuers is to administer these medications before proceeding with CPR and other life-saving techniques. Here are some of the guidelines when it comes to administering these medications before proceeding with CPR and AED.

Do not prescribe medications

Medication for Allergic Reactions

Medication for Allergic Reactions

Morphine is considered by many healthcare professionals as the most effective drug of choice for heart problems or stroke since it can lower blood pressure, reduce the need for oxygen and lessen chest pains. However, it is also notorious for causing hypotension in which the blood pressure drops to a critical level which can lead to death especially if it is taken with nitroglycerin or if nitroglycerin is taken thirty minutes before morphine is given. This is why it is not recommended for rescuers to prescribe and administer morphine even if it is already at hand unless a physician gives the green light and the blood pressure of the patient can be monitored consistently. Otherwise, rescuers should exhaust all non-pharmacological ways to help the patient without administering this medication. It should not be given to patients who have taken Plavix as well.

Look for nitroglycerin

If the patient is wearing a nitroglycerin necklace or tag but the container is empty, rescuers should try to obtain nitroglycerin from other sources such as bystanders who have the medication at hand. Nitroglycerin usually comes in a tablet form which should be given sublingually. This means that the patient should be instructed to keep the medication under his or her tongue until it is fully dissolved. It is important for rescuers to ensure that the medication is taken properly since a heart emergency or problem can make the patient less coherent which would make him or her more susceptible to taking the medicine the wrong way. If a nitroglycerin patch is already on the skin, rescuers should peel it off and clean the area properly before using an AED.

Check for aspirin allergy

Aside from nitroglycerin, aspirin is another medication that rescuers can give to patients who are suffering from a heart attack. For faster absorption, rescuers should instruct the patient to chew the tablets before swallowing. However, rescuers should first ask the patients or the guardians if the patient is allergic to aspirin since allergic reactions to aspirin is normally fatal.

workplace cpr instructor

workplace cpr instructor

Basic life support skills can be applied in many places to save life. Workplace CPR ensures that employer and employees are well versed with first aid skills that can help save life or more damage in the workplace. Regardless of whether you work in traditional or modern office setting, employees will handle issues that will lead to need for CPR or any other techniques geared towards saving a life.  There is nothing bad as working in an office and watch someone struggle with a medical emergency, but you cannot offer any help. Despite that employees may not gain skills like the ones of first responders, they need to be equipped with skills that can help then handle emergencies that may arise in the office.

Enhance Productivity

Many organizations has set side resources and time to ensure that their employees are trained on basic workplace CPR and how they can work efficiently as first responders. Employees in any company are the greatest assets and losing any of them because of an emergency that can be dealt with is bad. Such situations also lead to reduced productivity because of the emotional damage even to other workers. CPR acts as one of the key techniques that can help a person facing an emergency remain stable before emergency service provider arrives.

Simple and Flexible Workplace CPR Training Programs

The good thing is that in the modern days the mouth to mouth CPR technique which cause concerns among many people is not longer common. The new technique that uses only hands in the entire procedure is more hygienic and employees need to gain the skills on how to apply it. Many course providers in Canada have flexible workplace CPR training schedules designed for workplace education. The course are simple to understand and can be done either at the workplace, other training grounds or even online. This makes the training easy for the employees to complete. CPR training for employees is designed to take few hours, thus less hours are spent in the training.

There are hands on tools offered upon request to help learners who like learning more through experience learn effectively. After the completion of the workplace CPR course the team get certified to offer t basic life support and gain team building experience that enhance productivity in an organization. Therefore, it is essential for employers to take charge of the welfare of employees and help them gain skills that can help them in the rest of their life.

Responding in Radiation AccidentsRadiation refers to the transmission of energy. This can include ultraviolet light, nuclear energy, sound, heat, and x-rays. Radiation accidents often occur in industrial workplaces especially those that involve handling of radioactive materials or radioactive waste materials. It can also occur as part of acts of terror.

Volunteer first aider, paramedics and EMTs may be called up to respond in radiation accidents. You should know how to provide first aid in such unique situations to avoid putting yourself in danger. As a first aider, you should always remember that your role is to provide first aid procedures. You do not have the adequate training to handle and contain radiation.

Industrial experts should be available at the scene to lead the rescue efforts. If you are the first to respond, call the local authorities or, if it involves workplaces, the company. Note important details such as the type of radiation involved, the number of victims, and the injuries sustained. Look for radiation hazard labels. These labels usually have propeller sign on yellow background and include the radioactive material identification number. Notify the authorities so that they can send in the right equipment and experts immediately. If the authorities instruct you to leave the scene, do so immediately and safely. Stay in a safe place. Concrete or thick metal walls, construction equipment, heavy vehicles, and earth banks offer some additional protection or shielding.

Do not attempt to initiate rescue efforts if you have no adequate training and protective equipment. It is recommended that you wait for the experts to arrive and to direct your activities.

Emergency care and management of radiation accidents is an advanced first aid skill. It requires completing an advanced training in order to ensure your personal safety. Prolonged exposure to radiation can cause changes in the body cells. If enough radiation is absorbed by the body, serious health complications may result. In fact, some types of radioactive energies, at a certain dosage, can lead to death.

Your duties at the scene of aradiation accident should include:

  1. Protecting yourself from exposure to radiation.
  2. Noting any hazard information or labels that indicate a radiation hazard.
  3. Calling local disaster and emergency services for expert assistance.
  4. Providing first aid procedures you are trained to do, given that you have go signal from the experts, adequate protection, and appropriate equipment.
  5. Providing first aid for victims who have been decontaminated.
  6. Helping in crowd control and management of the scene.
  7. Helping prevent further spread of radiation by controlling contaminate objects.

Before emergency care can be given, the patient should be decontaminated. If you have no training in decontaminating radiation, let the experts do so. The patient should also be moved to the safe zone before you provide care.

Femur Fracture

August 17th, 2013 | Posted by Julius Mark in How to be Prepared - (0 Comments)

What is a femur fracture?

Femur, the longest and strongest bone of human body, contributes the skeleton of the thigh. Since femur is the strongest bone with a lot of muscle bulk veiling it, only hard forces (for instance car crashes, falling from heights) can cause it to break away.

Types of femur fracture:

Femur is divided into different parts anatomically, which means fracture at a specific point will give the fracture specific name; following femur fractures occur commonly:

–          Fracture of femoral head

–          Fracture of femoral neck

–          Subtrochanteric fracture

–          Fracture of the shaft of femur

The first three fractures are usually associated with hip fractures and involve the proximal part of the bone.

A sharp thrust may cause dislocation of hip bone, leading especially to the fracture of the femoral head.

Subtrochanteric fracture involves the shaft of the femur immediately beneath the greater and lesser trochanter.

Fractures of shaft of femur:                                         

The fracture of the shaft of the femur is classified into three types:

–          Type 1: spiral or transverse

The bone breaks either spirally or in a linear pattern, completely separated from the other part.

–          Type 2: comminuted

In this type the bone breaks away into little fragments.

–          Type 3: open

Open fractures are those in which the bone breaks completely with piercing the surrounding tissue; that includes skin and muscles. This type may alternatively be known as: compound fracture.

Other types of fractures are:

Greenstick fracture: a fracture in which bone doesn’t completely separate from the other part. The fracture in turn spans only half way through the bone. This fracture is therefore an incomplete fracture.

Femur fracture Causes:

–          High energy collisions

–          Car or motorbike crashes

–          Gunshot wounds (uncommon)

–          Free fall with direct landing on legs causing an upward thrust (associated with other fractures of lower limb)

–          Osteoporosis or osteopenia

–          Low force incidents- with nutritional deficiencies (weaker bones)

Femur fracture Symptoms and investigations:

The symptoms include:

–          Sharp pain

–          Deformed bone

–          Bruises (at times)

–          If open fracture occurs, the bone may itself be seen.

For further investigations and confirmations the doctor may ask you to get an x-ray or CT (Computed Tomography) done.

Femur fracture Complications:

Breakage of a femur bone can cause sharp ends to sever the surrounding blood vessels. This may lead to formation of clots. The clots may detach and run in the blood as emboli. These disseminating emboli can cause further complications by plugging into small blood vessels of body and blocking their blood flow leading to ischemia.

The sharp ends of bone may also damage the nerves of environs.

Infections, fat embolism, non- or mal- alignment are some other complications.

Femur fracture Treatment and recovery:

Treatment depends on severity of injury and maybe surgical or non surgical.

The femur fractures usually involve surgical treatment. If, however, the Femur Fracturebone has suffered a less severe injury, non surgical treatment might be considered. The non surgical treatment involves nothing but a cast that is wrapped around the injured area.

2-3 month strict rest and immobility are important to let the bone settle in its place and avoid mal-alignment.

Asthma Attack in Pregnant WomenAsthma attacks in pregnant women are quite common, even for those who have never had asthma before.Having asthma does not necessarily mean that the pregnancy will become more difficult or dangerous to either the fetus or the mother.Asthma is a respiratory condition which affects the airways, specifically the bronchi. People with asthma have more sensitive than normal lung airways.

Asthma attacks occur when a trigger, something that irritates the lungs, narrows the airways. The lining then becomes inflamed, whereas the muscles constrict. Moreover, there is an increased production of sticky sputum (phlegm). Pregnant women with asthma, and anyone with asthma, actually, should always have an asthma plan and recognize asthma triggers to avoid unnecessary consequences.

Causes of Asthma Attack in Pregnant Women

The precise cause of asthma has not yet been determined. When symptoms of asthma worsen, it leads to asthma attack. Any of the following may cause asthma attacks. The following are called triggers:

  • Respiratory infections, whether bacterial or viral
  • Air pollution, such as tobacco smoke
  • Allergens, such as pollens, dust mites, etc.
  • Contact with animals, especially cats
  • Indoor conditions
  • Weather conditions
  • Exercise, especially in cold weather
  • Emotional factors, such as laughing or stress
  • Strong smells
  • Certain medications

Risk of Uncontrolled Asthma Attack in Pregnant Women

During asthma attacks, it does not only affect the pregnant mother but the fetus inside the womb as well. It limits oxygen that gets to the fetus as well.

  • Risks to one’s self
    • Hypertension
    • Preeclampsia
    • Morning sickness
    • Vaginal bleeding
    • Induced and/ or complicated labor
    • Risks to the fetus
      • Oxygen deprivation for the baby
      • Unusually slow growth of the fetus, making the baby appear small after birth
      • Low birth weight
      • Preterm birth
      • Death immediately before or after birth

Symptoms of Asthma Attack in Pregnant Women

                Symptoms of asthma attack vary in pregnant women and some pregnancies actually improve asthma symptoms for women. Symptoms for asthma attacks are usually the same for all people

  • Breathing difficulties, very rapid breathing or short breaths, which may lead to trouble sleeping
  • Wheezing or whistling sound while breathing out
  • Frequent coughing that does not stop
  • Chest pressure
  • Tightened muscles of the neck and chest
  • Cyanosis of lips or fingernails
  • Pale, sweating face
  • Difficulty talking
  • Feeling panic or anxiety

First Aid for Asthma Attack in Pregnant Women

It is necessary to treat

href=”http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/pregnancy-and-asthma/MY01977″>asthma attacks in pregnant women to avoid any of the risks mentioned above. Administering first aid during asthma attacks in pregnant women can help minimize risks for injury. Pregnant women can follow the same action plan as non-pregnant women.

  • If there is an asthma plan, use this
  • Stay calm and comfort the pregnant woman. Do not leave the pregnant woman alone at all times.
  • Assist the pregnant women into sitting upright and loosen tight clothing.
  • If the woman has her own inhaler, make use of this. Make sure to borrow one, if none is available. Give one puff of reliever inhaler every after one minute. Give four separate puffs. Use a spacer, if possible.
  • After four minutes, give another four separate puffs each separated by a minute.
  • If the pregnant woman still has trouble breathing, call for emergency medical services. Continue giving four separate puffs every four minutes until help arrives.

It is highly recommended for those living with asthma to join in first aid courses. The article above is for mere information but does not teach proper handling of these cases. To learn more about asthma attacks in pregnant women and management, join in St Mark James First Aid Training.

Treating Hypoglycemia

August 3rd, 2013 | Posted by Julius Mark in How to be Prepared - (0 Comments)

Hypoglycemia, a medical condition characterized by abnormally Hypoglycemialow glucose levels in the body, is commonly associated with diabetes, although non-diabetics may also experience this. The normal blood sugar level ranges from 70 to 100 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) before breakfast as glucose levels may rise after breakfast, depending on diet. When blood sugar level dips below 60 mg/dL, symptoms of hypoglycemia begin to manifest. At levels below 50 mg/dL, brain function may be impaired. A glucose meter can be used to check blood sugar level.

Glucose is the main energy source of the body. It comes from breaking down carbohydrates from food into smaller molecules. Glucose is directly absorbed into the bloodstream and enters the body’s cells. When a person skips meals, insulin is still released, therefore glucose is still removed from blood, thus lowering glucose levels in the blood.

Hypoglycemia Causes

                Majority of cases of hypoglycemia befall in adults with diabetes mellitus. There are many causes for hypoglycemia. Some of the common causes include the following:

  • Skipping meals
  • Overmedication with insulin or other antidiabetic medications (for diabetics)
  • Certain medications non related to diabetes
  • Severe infection
  • Kidney failure
  • Liver failure
  • Congenital, genetic defects
  • Tumors
  • Alcohol abuse

Hypoglycemia Symptoms

It is important to recognize symptoms of hypoglycemia in order to administer proper treatment right away. The following symptoms may go away almost instantaneously after eating sugary foods.

  • Trembling and weakness
  • Nervousness
  • Extreme hunger
  • Nausea
  • Sweating
  • Blurred vision
  • Dizziness and headache
  • Palpitations

If symptoms are untreated and continue to drop below 40 mg/dL, behavior may begin to change. These are characterized by:

  • Confusion
  • Irritability
  • Having a hard time to concentrate
  • Slurred speech
  • Incapability to stalk or walk properly
    • Twitching muscles
    • Mood swings

Severe cases of hypoglycemia, which are defined by low blood sugar levels of below 20 mg/dL include:

  • Convulsions
  • Unconsciousness
  • Stroke
  • Death

HypoglycemiaDiagnosis

Hypoglycemia is diagnosed in accordance of presence of the three key features, also known as Whipple’s triad. These include:

  • Symptoms consistent with hypoglycemia,
  • Low plasma glucose concentration, and
  • Alleviation of symptoms after raising plasma glucose levels

Hypoglycemia Treatment

Hypoglycemia is treated by restoring blood glucose levels to normal. This can be done quickly and easily by the following steps. Though these hints should not serve as medical advice, nor should replace first aid and CPR courses.

  • Eat 15 to 30 grams of carbohydrates. Some of these examples include:
    • Twelve gummy bears
    • One tablespoon sugar in water
    • Half cup of apple juice, orange juice, regular soda, fat free milk, etc.
    • One small apple, orange, etc.
    • If there is an underlying cause, treatment will be given for this.

Low blood sugar levels in the body should be treated immediately to prevent further decrease of glucose levels. It is highly recommended for diabetics and those who live with diabetics to take first aid training and CPR courses, in cases hypoglycemia and other diabetes-related emergencies may occur.

Alcohol Withdrawal SyndromeAlcohol withdrawal syndrome is an acute toxic state which occurs as a result of a sudden cessation of alcohol intake of a known alcoholic following a session of heavy drinking. Upon the body’s dependence on the substance, an abrupt intake of alcohol can lead to various health complications which is highly dependent on how much alcohol was ingested and for how long.

Alcohol withdrawal syndrome or otherwise known as delirium tremens may be precipitated by infection or acute injury (such as hepatitis, pancreatitis and pneumonia) and is considered the most severe form of withdrawal syndrome.

Initial signs and clinical manifestations of alcohol withdrawal syndrome

Individuals with alcohol withdrawal syndrome will typically show signs of anxiety, uncontrollable fear, irritability, agitation, incontinence and insomnia. Moreover, such individuals show signs of decreased inhibition by being very talkative and preoccupied in their visual, tactile, olfactory and auditory experience which are very terrifying as these forms of hallucinations can lead to injury to the individual’s self as well as the health care providers rendering care.

Autonomic excitability occurs and is evidenced by tachycardia, dilated pupils and profuse sweating or perspiration. Normally, all vital signs are elevated in the individual’s alcoholic state. This form of withdrawal syndrome is very life-threatening and carries with it a high mortality rate if not treated properly.      

Treatment objectives for individuals with alcohol withdrawal syndrome

The ultimate goals in the management of alcohol withdrawal syndrome are  to give adequate sedation and support to allow the victim ample enough rest and recovery without endangering the individual’s peripheral vascular integrity. An in depth physical examination is normally performed in order to identify any preexisting illnesses that might contribute or aggravate injuries (e.g.: pneumonia, head injury). A drug history is also obtained to further elicit additional information that may help facilitate adjustment of any sedative procedure. Baseline blood pressure is determined because the individual’s subsequent treatment/procedures may depend on changes in the individual’s blood pressure.

Ideally, the patient is sedated as directed with a sufficient dosage of sedative medications such as benzodiazepines to help establish and maintain continuity of sedation which significantly reduces agitation, prevents exhaustion, prevents seizures and help promote sleep and comfort. The individual is expected to be calmer, able to respond and maintain an airway on their own without added support. Normally, assessment data will be the guide ED physicians and nurses will follow when adjusting dosages according to the individual’s symptoms and blood pressure response.

Clinical management of alcohol withdrawal syndrome

An Individual who is in the acute phase of alcohol withdrawal syndrome is to be placed in a calm and non-stressful environment (usually in a private room and so that they can be monitored closely. The room should be adequately lighted so help minimize illusions (visual interpretations) as well as hallucinations. Homicidal or suicidal responses are closely associated with such stimulus.

Fluid loss is monitored and intake of fluids via orally or intravenously is prescribed to curb additional fluid imbalance. Temperature, pulse, respiration and blood pressure are recorded every 30 minutes for severe forms of delirium. The aforementioned assessment guide should be recorded and relayed to members of the health care team in the ED to avoid hypothermia and peripheral circulatory collapse which are the tow most common complications of alcohol withdrawal syndrome.

What is First Aid?

April 16th, 2013 | Posted by vanfirstaid in How to be Prepared - (0 Comments)

First aid is an immediate and first line treatment for people with injuries or medical emergencies. It provides relief and prevents further injury or even death before paramedics or professional medical services arrive.

The Golden Period

Giving first aid within the “golden period” – the time between the injury and application of intervention – is very important for it will shorten the duration of healing and recovery, as well as better determine the outcome of first aid kitthe patient’s treatment.

Knowledge of first aid, whether it is a simple scrape or something more serious like a heart attack, will somehow give you confidence to act and do something. Presence of mind and common sense are also important in order to deliver and achieve the expected outcome of the intervention. To learn the basic skills on providing first aid you can take a St Mark James first aid course here.

Recognize an Emergency

First of all, one must be able to identify the injury or situation, and consider the different needs and risks of the victim. Remember that in every situation, there are different types of management schemes; therefore, one must be very careful in assessing the patient and performing first aid, for it can worsen the injury. Communication with the victim and other people in the vicinity is also crucial to the thorough assessment of the patient. Establishing trust between you and the conscious patient as well as his or her companions, is necessary to prevent presumptions from arising. Consider getting help from the people around you because the task can be exhausting.  For example, when giving chest compressions, others who were trained to administer chest compressions could relieve you when you get tired.

The Right Equipment – Owning a First Aid Kit

Having a first aid kit close-at-hand is another important thing. Remember that time is of the essence during an emergency situation, so none of it should be wasted on looking for materials and medicines to be used. Before storing your kits, read the instructions on each item and familiarize yourself with them. This is because you will not have the time to read during an emergency. You also have to check your first aid kits on a regular basis. Check the expiry dates and condition of the medicines to ensure safety. Store your kits in proper containers and organize the items according to function so that it will be easier for you to find your things during an emergency.

A basic first aid kit is composed of:

  1. Several pairs of sterile gloves
  2. Surgical scissors
  3. Sterile bandages, band aids, cotton,  & gauze pieces
  4. Antiseptic such as 70% alcohol and Beta dine solution
  5. Splints for fractures
  6. Pain relievers. Consider topical preparations
  7. A tourniquet for controlling profuse bleeding that cannot be controlled by any other means.
  8. A topical antibiotic gel or cream
  9. Burn creams such as  silver sulfadiazine
  10. Hot and cold packs

In times of accidents, disasters, natural calamities, and health related emergencies, your preparedness and knowledge about first aid will be able to save lives. Being able to respond and act quickly and effectively during emergency situations can make a huge difference between life and death, not only to other people but most especially to your own families.

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