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Dehydration occurs when the body loses more fluid than it gains fluid. The body is composed of approximately 50% to 70% water, thus it only makes sense that the body needs water to function. In the body, it is important that the cells, the most basic functional unit of the body, have more water entering the cell as opposed to leaving it. But in cases of dehydration, more water is leaving the cell than entering. Thus, when there is excessive loss of body fluids, particularly water, dehydration happens. Apart from this, electrolyte imbalance also occurs

Water is normally lost every day. It occurs in different forms, such as water vapor during exhalation and in liquid form in sweat, urine and stool. Apart from the water, salt is also lost but in much smaller amounts.

Causes of Dehydration

Anything that leads to excessive loss of body fluids can lead to dehydration. These include:

  • Food poisoning and other infections that lead to fever, vomiting or diarrhea
  • Prolonged exposure to the hot weather, especially when coupled with physical activity
  • Certain diseases, such as diabetes, which are associated with rapid loss of fluids
  • Skin injuries through loss of water by means of damaged skin, such as burns, mouth sores or other skin infections
  • Alcohol intoxication

Signs and Symptoms of Dehydration

Mild to moderate cases of dehydration can show any of the following signs and symptoms. These include:

  • Dry, sticky mouth
  • Dry throat
  • Thirst
  • Reduced urine output that is usually dark in color
    • For infants, lack of wet diapers for three hours
    • For older children, no urine output for eight hours
  • Constipation
  • Dry skin
  • Headache
  • Tiredness
  • Sleepiness

Severe cases of dehydration may lead to more intense signs and symptoms. Severe dehydration is life-threatening

  • Mouth, Mucus membranes and skin very dry
  • Extreme thirst
  • Little to no urine output – urine is dark yellow or amber in color
  • Absence of sweating
  • Fever
  • Rapid pulse
  • Rapid breathing
  • Hypotension (low blood pressure)
  • Delirium
  • Loss of consciousness

First Aid Management for Dehydration

Dehydration caused by prolonged exposure to hot weather, or heat stroke, will have a different first aid management. But for the other causes of dehydration, the following tips can be done:

Give clear fluids, such as water, fruit juices and sports drinks to individuals suffering from dehydration

Give clear fluids, such as water, fruit juices and sports drinks to individuals suffering from dehydration

  • Give the individual two quarts of clear fluids, such as water, fruit juices and sports drinks every two to four hours. Do not give diuretics, such as sodas, caffeine and alcohol.
    • If dehydration is a result of diarrhea or vomiting, drink small amounts but more frequently.
    • In cases of excessive vomiting and watery diarrhea, drink diluted fruit juice or oral rehydration solutions because water dilutes the minerals in the body.
  • Take plenty of rest and do not engage in strenuous activity.
  • If there is fever, give appropriate first aid.

Learn how to properly manage dehydration by joining First Aid Courses. These First Aid Courses help treat the condition and avoid possible complications from developing.

Dehydration occurs when more fluid is lost than accumulated by the body. As a result, electrolyte imbalance occurs in the body.

i)                    Get CPR certification at the basic level

First Aid and CPR tools used for Live presentation in a CPR and First Aid Class

First Aid and CPR tools used for Live presentation in a CPR and First Aid Class

This is a mandatory requirement for anyone looking to train as an instructor. There are a number of organizations that offer these training sessions for individuals who want to become a certified CPR instructor. Some of the organizations include the Red Cross (look out for the local office in your locality), the National Safety Council as well as St. John’s Ambulance. The courses may specifically be offered for professionals working in the health sector, individuals working in other sectors but who require certification at their workplace as well as those who want to get knowledge in the field and require no certification.


ii)                   The second step involves getting to do the exam that is designed for pre-instructors. The good news with this option is that you can also choose to do the exam online prior to the training. In case you decide to use Red Cross as a training organization, this is a requirement if you have to pass your exam. If however, you plan on using other organizations, then this exam does not come as a pre-requisite.

iii)                 The third step that forms an integral part of the process of becoming a certified CPR instructor is the completion of the First Required Course. The purpose of this course is to prepare the student for the course ahead as well as formulate appropriate methods of instruction, assessment as well as take into account the cultural aspect of the course. The advantage of this stage is that it can be done online as well as completed through a number of training chapters.

iv)                 The instructor course is the fourth step in the procedure of becoming a certified CPR instructor. Just as the name suggests, this stage provides an individual with exposure to other first aid courses which will cover the following areas: Basic Life Support, advanced cardiac life support as well as Pediatric Advanced life support. The importance of this is made manifest by the fact that there are select target audiences for select courses, making the course tailored to different careers.

v)                  Depending on the training organization that you use, it may be imperative for a newly certified CPR instructor to be monitored on their first class to make sure that they have it altogether and that they will yield ideal results. To make sure that you get the most of this experience, make sure that you make use of the instructor material that is readily available for you.

vi)                 The last step as far as the procedure of attaining the level of certified CPR instructor is concerned involves taking the recertification course as often as is required. Take note that in many cases, the CPR certificate may be renewed provided the instructor has taught at least a single course during the period when the certificate was in force. The purpose for recertification, as may be made obvious by the name, is to ensure that instructors remain on top of their game.

Child AED Pads

Child AED Pads

Defibrillation makes reference to the use of a special device pin order to send electric shock waves to the heart with the aim of restoring its natural rhythm. Unlike many first aid techniques that can be carried out in the absence of equipment, this procedure requires the use of a defibrillator. The gadget used is commonly known as an AED, in full, automatic external defibrillator. It is because of the use of this gadget that many training centers provide CPR and AED training. What makes defibrillation important?

The sudden increase in persons with cardiac arrest across the world is what makes it important for individuals to undergo AED training where skills required for proper defibrillation will be taught. One of the factors that users would cite in previous years as far as first aid for cardiac arrests is concerned was the cost of getting gadgets such as AEDs. The good news is that in recent years, the cost of getting such has decreased significantly with many more brands available at the disposal of clients. What’s more, the availability of AED’s has eased so that you can always place your orders whether online or at a chemist store.

Even if you are not in a position to get an AED to allow you to carry out defibrillation in case of an emergency, it is still imperative to undergo this training so that you are adequately prepared should an emergency arise. Part of the reason for this is that these days you are likely to find an AED at business premises, shopping malls, schools and hotels among many other public places. You are better off well trained and an emergency does not arise than for an emergency to occur and you have no idea where to start even with the gadgets required for defibrillation.

How exactly does the use of the AED work during first aid?

When a victim’s heart stops beating, the only solution lies in the use of devices that will cause electrical heart activity to cease before it can be set in proper rhythm. The process of stopping electrical activity in the heart is known as depolarization. So vital is this technique that scientists have come up with gadgets that can be used by just about anyone.

To understand how the AED works and what role it plays during defibrillation, one would have to understand the functioning of the heart. Since the work of the heart of to pump blood, the dual modes of action are both mechanical and electrical in nature. The mechanical function is influenced by electrical functionality of the heart. This electrical aspect on the other hand, works due to the exchange of electrolytes thus allowing for electric current to flow. When the heart stops beating, this current ceases. To resuscitate someone, it is imperative to introduce a current that will restore the normal functioning of the heart with regard to the electrical functionality. AEDs will often come with instructions to use depending on the manufacturer, but all of them use the same principle.

Even though it has been proven that administering CPR and AED on patients who are suffering from a stroke or other heart complications can save lives, there are still a lot of people who think that these techniques are not necessary. This is why learning about the death rate of cardiovascular diseases is important in order to learn why life-saving techniques should be administered immediately. Here are some of the studies that illustrate the real gravity of cardiovascular diseases.

How high is the death or mortality rate of cardiovascular diseases?

Chest Pain - symmptom of cardiovascular diseases

Chest Pain – symmptom of cardiovascular diseases

According to the data that was released by Statistics Canada for 2011, one person dies from cardiovascular diseases every seven minutes, making stroke and other cardiovascular diseases the most common causes of death in the country. in 2008, cardiovascular diseases claimed the lives of more than 69, 000 Canadians. 58% of these cases were caused by Ischemic Heart Disease which is more commonly referred to as Coronary Artery Disease while 28% of these cases were caused by heart attack. These studies show that even though the fatality rate of cardiovascular diseases differ, they collectively claim the lives of thousands of Canadians each year. It also shows that anyone who has a heart disease is at risk even if the disease is not as fatal or as common as the other types.

What is the mortality rate for hospitalized patients?

For many, administering CPR and AED is unnecessary especially if an ambulance is on its way since hospitalization prevents death. What they do not realize is that a lot of patients who are hospitalized can still die from cardiovascular diseases. According to the statistics that was released by the Canadian Heart Failure Network, nine out of 100 patients who are hospitalized and are more than 65 years of age die because of heart problems and complications. This is why administering CPR and other first aid techniques is still crucial even for patients who are about to be sent to the hospital.

What is the role of CPR and AED?

Even though CPR and AED administration or usage is only part of the entire treatment process for people who are suffering from a heart attack or complication, it is still very important since it can set the pace for the rest of the treatment process. Depending on the success or outcome of these interventions, doctors and other healthcare professionals can decide on the next step. Administering these interventions minutes or seconds after an attack can also prevent permanent debilitating medical conditions which are caused by the lack of oxygen circulation in the body.

An essential part of CPR and AED basics is knowing the types of defibrillators and how they are different from each other. This ensures that first aid rescuers are well-aware of the differences among the type of defibrillator that they are allowed to use and the ones that should only be manipulated or adjusted by a healthcare professional. Here are the different types of defibrillators that exist on the market today.

Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators (ICD)

Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators are equipments that monitor a person’s heart rate 24 hours a day. It is implanted inside the patient’s chest through an open surgery where it shall remain inactive until it detects a heart rate pattern that is indicative of a heart attack. Once it detects the presence of a heart attack, these defibrillators automatically administers a jolt of electricity. These defibrillators are designed for individuals who are suffering from arrhythmias and are only prescribed for those who have life-threatening diseases or conditions since by principle, inserting a foreign material inside the human body has a lot of risks and limitations.

AED Trainer placed on CPR training mannequin

AED Trainer placed on CPR training mannequin


During emergency situations in which the patient is still suffering from a cardiac arrest despite the presence of this implant, it is still the rescuer’s duty to perform chest compressions alone. However, determining the reason why the implant has failed to prevent the cardiac arrest or attack or assessing the implant is not a part of the rescuer’s duties.

Wearable Defibrillator

Designed to be a more affordable version of an ICD, a wearable defibrillator is a fairly new technology which allows patients who are not suitable candidates for an ICD implant because of certain blood-related medical conditions or the presence of an impending heart operation. Several studies are still being conducted to test its efficiency and so far, the results are promising. According to a study that was conducted by the professionals at the American College of Cardiology Foundation, this type of defibrillator is an excellent tool for patients who are at risk for sudden cardiac arrest.

Automatic External Defibrillators (AED)

AED’s are designed for rescuers and other individuals who have little to no medical background since it is the easiest to use among the three and is more affordable. In most offices and workplace environment, having a working AED is a requirement especially those that are in high-risk industries. This is why taking CPR AED classes is important for rescuers aside from knowing how to administer proper chest compressions.

ACL Tear

November 20th, 2013 | Posted by Julius Mark in First Aid Traning - (0 Comments)

The anterior cruciate ligament of commonly abbreviated as ACL is one of the primary stabilizing structures that support the knee providing for its forward and backward motion of the femur and tibia and injury to this supporting ligament is known as ACL tear which is a very common sport related injury that affects many athletes. This ligament crosses in the center of the knee and injury usually occurs when the foot is firmly planted with the knee being hyper-extended and the person suddenly twists his/her torso and femur.

Ice Pack for Knee Injuries

Ice Pack for Knee Injuries

The individual who suffers an ACL tear typically reports a “popping” sound or feeling a tearing sensation upon the sudden twisting motion immediately preceding the injury. If the individual experiences significant swelling of the affected joint within two to four hours after the injury, the anterior cruciate ligament may be suspected and the clinical symptoms progress within the first 24 hours and the patient experiences acute pain, joint instability and discomfort when moving and ambulating.

Immediate emergency treatment of ACL tear

Immediate post injury management and care include the RICE technique (rest, application of ice, compression and elevating the injured extremity). The joint is assessed and evaluated for fracture of the bone as well as any other associated injury to the supporting structures of the joint. Joint effusion and hemarthrosis require joint aspiration and wrapping with compression elastic dressing to help minimize the swelling and relieve the individual of the discomfort and pain.

Surgical intervention of ACL tear

Treatment usually depends on the severity of the ACL tear and the effects of the injury as well as the impact on the person on his activities of daily living. Early supporting treatment involves the application of a brace, physical therapy and avoidance of strenuous physical activities that would stress out the affected joint such as running and jumping. Surgical reconstruction of the anterior cruciate ligament can follow after near-normal joint function and range of motion is achieved which generally involves tendon repair and grafting. This is usually performed as an ambulatory arthroscopic surgery, a procedure in which the surgeon uses an arthroscope to visualize and repair the damage of the anterior cruciate ligament. The best surgical candidates for this type of procedure are younger more active patients however, older and less active patients may choose to undergo with this procedure as well.

Recovery from ACL tear

After surgery, the patient is normally prescribed with oral opiod analgesics, NSAIDs and cryotherapy (a cooling pad incorporated in the post operative dressing). The patient is taught on how to monitor his/her neurovascular status of the affected extremity, proper postoperative wound care and the immediate need to report and signs of complications. Exercises such as ankle pumps, quadriceps sets and hamstring sets are encouraged during early stages of the postoperative recovery period. The nurse should reinforce instructions and health care teaching regarding weight-bearing limitations, exercise restrictions and the use of a knee brace or immobilizing aid to allow for uninterrupted healing. Physical therapy is encouraged so that the patient can gradually gain back his/her full range of motion and weight bearing capabilities. Rehabilitation and recover after an ACL tear typically takes six months to an entire year.

Corticosteroids Overdose

November 13th, 2013 | Posted by Julius Mark in First Aid Traning - (0 Comments)

Corticosteroids overdose occurs when an individual takes in more than the recommended dosage of corticosteroids, a type of anti-inflammatory medicine.

Corticosteroids overdose occurs when an individual takes in more than the recommended dosage of corticosteroids. Corticosteroids are a type of anti-inflammatory medications. Corticosteroids may be applied topically, inhaled, ingested or injected, though the most common forms of corticosteroid overdoses occurs with ingestion. Any of these forms can cause corticosteroids overdose, whether accidentally or intentionally. The use of corticosteroids has risks of side effects, thus the doctor generally prescribes the lowest possible dosage of corticosteroids to manage the symptoms.

Where Corticosteroids are Found:

The following corticosteroids are sold under a variety of different names, some of which are the following:

  • Alclometasone dipropionate (Delonal)
  • Beclomethasone dipropionate (Diprosone)
  • Betamethasone valerate (Valisone)
  • Clobetasol propionate (Temovate)
  • Clocortolone pivalate (Cloderm)
  • Desoximetasone (Topicort)
  • Flunisolide (AeroBid)
  • Flurandrenolide (Cordran)
  • Hydrocortisone (Cortef)
  • Methylprednisolone (Medrol)
  • Mometasone furoate (Elocon)
  • Prednisolone sodium phosphate (Pred Fonte)
  • Prednisone (Deltasone)
  • Triamcinolone acetonide (Aristocort)

Poisonous Ingredients Leading to Corticosteroids Overdose

Corticosteroids can include a range of potential poisonous ingredients, which can include:

  • Betamethasone
  • Clobetasol propionate
  • Cortisone
  • Desonide
  • Dexamethasone
  • Diflorasone
  • Flunisolide
  • Fluocinonide
  • Hydrocortisone
  • Methylprednisolone
  • Prednisone
  • Triamcinolone

Forms of Corticosteroids Overdose

There are different ways to overdose corticosteroids. Some of the forms include:

  • Ingestion of pills or liquids (most common)
  • Injection of formulas to the skin, joints, muscles or veins
  • Topical application of creams and ointments on the skin
  • Inhalation of forms into the nose or lungs

Signs and Symptoms of Corticosteroids Overdose

Some of common signs and symptoms of corticosteroids overdose may include:

  • Itching or burning skin
  • Dry skin
  • Swelling in the lower legs, ankles or feet
  • Muscle weakness
  • High blood pressure
  • Cessation of menstrual cycle
  • Deafness
  • Sleepiness
  • Weakness
  • Nervousness
  • Psychosis
  • Depression
  • Convulsions
  • Worsening of health conditions

First Aid Management for Corticosteroids Overdose

Treatment for corticosteroids overdose will involve removing the remaining beta blocker in the system. Some first aid trips recommended in cases of beta blockers overdose include:

  • Immediately call for emergency medical service if the individual has collapsed or stopped breathing.
  • Initiate CPR if the individual has weak breathing or is not breathing at all.
  • If no symptoms are present, call Poison Control Centre immediately and they will advice on how to continue.
  • Do not force the individual to vomit, nor should food or beverages be given unless approved by the Poison Control Centre.
  • Bring the overdosed corticosteroid drug, empty bottle, or cream to the emergency room or doctor’s office or give to the emergency team.

Disclaimer: This article does not provide medical advice and should not be substituted for formal training. The information given should not be used for self-diagnosis. Seek medical attention when necessary. It is important to recognise medical emergencies at all times to avoid complications from developing. To learn more about to how to properly manage corticosteroids overdose, enrol in First Aid Courses and CPR Courses with St Mark James Training.

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Trauma first aid not only refers to disaster treatment provided for victims that need immediate physical care but also immediate aid to mental, psychological and spiritual aspects of the survivor.

Trauma first aid is considered a fast and effective non-conventional approach in treating victims of large scale calamities, natural disasters and even terrorist attacks. The effects of such stressful and traumatic events are not just limited to a momentary period following the event but the disruptive after effects can persist and go on for several months and possibly even years. The effects experiencing physical pain and mental anguish contribute to further trauma, hence highlighting the very essence and importance of early stabilization and appropriateness of intervention is the priority of trauma first aid. A single but brief exposure to such overwhelming disastrous events can lead to an imbalance of a supposedly normal functioning individual into an emotional roller coaster of physical and psychological suffering and post-traumatic stress disorders.

What is trauma first aid?

Trauma first aid is an approach in which responders holistically treat victims of disaster events. Trauma research is increasingly becoming the mainstream approach in linking the mind and body on how it must be managed and better understood with regards to the biological basis of the traumatic experiences along with the physiologic symptoms that might arise from the extraordinary stressful experience brought about by large scale natural or man-made disasters. When the basic survival instincts take control of a person’s entire mind and body it basically strives to preserve the integrity of the body that might even go over extreme physiologic responses which are very detrimental in the long run even after the extreme trauma has already subsided. When basic survival responses and varying states of dis-regulation persists, such symptoms can have incapacitating effects that hampers daily social interaction and adaptation.

The Value of Trauma first aid

Trauma first aid has so much benefit to offer survivors of disaster events since it approaches survivors in the most holistic manner by drawing out verbal and emotional processing wherein victims are not only treated by their physical injuries but more importantly are given additional emotional support by allowing verbal processing of emotions regarding the traumatic experience victims have recently experienced. Trauma first aid works by correcting the dis-regulation and chronic effects of unhealthy coping which can both aggravate psychological and somatic symptoms.

In disaster scenarios, in which survivors are often difficult to maintain and more than a single session of debriefing, such brief interventions are very important. A treatment that can be effective in lesser but effective means can be very beneficial in providing stabilization to more victims in less time spent per individual but has effective and measurable results.

Trauma first aid Intervention Protocol

Trauma first aid healing is a well structured, manual-based protocol Trauma First Aidintervention that mainly focuses on self-regulation (restoring equilibrium to the body) and maintaining a healthy coping mechanism by working with effective emotional response and cognitive processes. A health care provider must not only be skillfully trained in treating the physiologic aspects of a victim of a major disaster but more importantly be able to provide social support by educating affected individuals about the physiological nature of the trauma experience, how it manifests and how to cope with the effects. These multifaceted approach are among the most important concepts of trauma first aid intervention.

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.

first-aid-for-coachesAs any coach knows, their job is a tough, multi-faceted one. After all, coaches are also teachers, parental figures, friends and at times, paramedics. Sports are also very unpredictable so it’s crucial for coaches to have first aid training so they can take care of their charges to the best of their abilities. Here are several first aid skills that every coach should be familiar with.

  • Coaches should know when to call 911. Every good leader knows when to push the advantage, when to hang tough, when to retreat and when to call for reinforcements. Coaches don’t always have the luxury to pull out and check each one of their athletes for every wound or minor injury. But they should know when to let their player back in the game and when to 911.
  • Every coach should have taken CPR classes. CPR is the one skill that every coach are required to know and valued above all other skills. Coaches are at the front line and should know how to stop a bleeding or how to make a splint.
  • Coaches should know what to do with a neck injury. Most athletes think of their coaches as a pain in their necks and rightly so, for who else would always be on your back and pushing you to become better. But a good coach isn’t only good at breathing down your neck, he or she also knows what to do if you feel a literal pain in the neck.
  • Coaches know that a head injury can become a recurring headache for the team. There are instances, and sports, when a hit to head is inevitable. However, this can result in some pretty scary damages. This is why it’s crucial for all coaches to be able to recognize and react to a head injury.
  • Sprains can become a real pain when not treated immediately. Every good coach knows how much abuse their athletes’ limbs go through and knows how to ice, wrap and elevate sprained limbs like a licensed professional.
  • Coaches know a thing or two about broken bones. A sprain is so different from a fracture or a broken bone and should not be taken lightly.
  • Cuts, bruises and wounds are de rigeur for sports and coaches who should know to dress different kinds of wounds.
  • Some sports simply require a medical team that are there to help the coach take care of his or her team’s bruised and battered bodies. But while the medical team can deal with stuff like cuts and sprains, it’s the coach’s keen eyes who’ll decide if an athlete is almost running on empty and needs to be rehydrated. A coach who doesn’t notice that an athlete is dehydrated might soon have a bigger problem to deal with – heat stroke. A player suffering from heat stroke can become disoriented or lose consciousness. This is a serious problem that can happen even on

Countless parents and players place their full confidence and belief that the coach knows what’s best and knows how to handle emergencies. As such, most organizations require that their coach and coaching staff have first aid certification.

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