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First Aid First Aid
 
HEALTH NEWS
 

First Aid

 
ASTHMA
 
In an asthma attack the muscles of the air passages go into spasm and he linings of the airways swell.
 
Recognition
 
  •    Difficulty in breathing
  •    Wheezing
  •    Distress & anxiety
  •    Coughing
  •    Exhaustion
What to do:
  •   Reassure & calm the casualty
  •   Sit them upright & leaning forward
  •   Ensure a good air supply
  •   Assist with medication
 
         If the attack does not ease within 3 minutes ask the casualty to take another dose from their inhaler.

        Get medical help if the inhaler has no effect after 5 minutes or if the casualty is getting worse
 
Bleeding
 
What to do :
1. Apply direct pressure with a gloved hand at wound site, making sure there are no embedded objects.
2. Raise & support the injured limb above the heart.
3. Ensure casualty is sitting or lying down.
4. Apply a sterile dressing / pad to the wound with pressure and secure.
5. Treat for shock
 
If embedded object in wound:
        1. Do not apply direct pressure on the object.
         2. Press firmly on either side of object and secure with a bandage.
Internal Bleeding
> Bleeding which cannot be seen on the outside of the body.
> Caused by injury or disease eg ulcer.
> Identification / look out for:
> Blood - Urine, By mouth Urine, Stool
> Confusion
> Loss of consciousness
> Severe bruising.
What to do:
         1. Treat for Shock

- Make the patient lie down

- Raise the legs
        2. Phone for an Ambulance
         3. Monitor until help arrives
 
Do not:
         1. Over heat the patient.
         2. Waste time, which is precious in this case.
 
BURNS
What to do :
         1. The affected area should be immediately kept under cold running water for 10 mins

- Has cooling affects

- Dissipates the localized high heat and reduces further burns.
        2. Clothing and jewellery including rings should be removed.
         3. Burnt area should be covered with sterile, non-fluffy dressing / cling film.
        4. Chemical burns need prolonged washing.
        5. Monitor respiration and pulse as patient invariably goes into Shock
        6. Apply creams, lotions on the burns.
        7. Make the patient move unless you need to for treatment.
        8. Waste time, as burns can result into death.
        9. Feed by mouth - liquid or solids

Choking Adult/Child
        1. If the Victim can breathe or cough, encourage him to continue coughing - just reassure and monitor closely.

       2. If the patient cannot cough, breath or speak – perform abdominal thrusts.

       3. Help the patient by getting behind them and putting your arms around, just above the navel. One hand a fist and grasping it with the other.Lean the person slightly forward.

       4. Pull sharply inwards and upwards. Repeat if neccessary in series of 5's. This should dislodge the obstruction.

       5. If patient becomes unconscious follow protocol for CPR
 
6. If patient's starts breathing spontaneously put them in the Recovery Position and monitor.

7. If breathing does not start spontaneously continue with the above process and call for immediate medical help / ambulance.
 
Choking Infant
 
1. Give up to 5 back slaps

       - If the infant is distressed shows signs of becoming weak or stops breathing or coughing

- Check the infant's mouth, but do not do a finger sweep as you may make the obstruction worse.

- Lay the infant face down along your forearm, with his head low and supporting his body and head.

- Give up to 5 back slaps between the shoulder blades. If choking persists, proceed to step 2.
2. Give up to 5 chest thrusts.

       - Pace 2 fingertips on the lower half of the infant's breastbone, one finger's breadth below the nipples.

- Give up to five sharp thrusts inwards and toward the head at the rate of one every 3 seconds.

- Check the mouth again.

- If choking persists proceed to step 3.
3. Check the infant's mouth.

       - Turn the infant face up along your other forearm.

- Use your fingertips to remove any obvious obstructions.

- If choking persists proceed to step 4.
4. Repeat the entire sequence.

- Repeat steps 1 - 3 three times.

- If the obstruction still does not clear, take the infant with you to CALL AN ABULANCE.

- Continue the sequence until help arrives; the obstruction is cleared from the airway; or the infant becomes unconscious - If the infant loses consciousness, give rescue breaths and chest compressions.
 
CPR
 
 
 
 
Adults:
 
Check for scene safety
Check for response: (Gentle Tap & Shout)
Call for Help (If a second rescuer is available ask them to dial 999/112, if alone make call yourself).
Open Airway (Head Tilt – Chin lift)
Check for normal breathing (Look, Listen, Feel 5 – 10 seconds).Signs of Life include Normal breathing, Coughing or Movements). If victim is not breathing ,give 2 breaths that make the chest rise
Give 2 Breaths. (1 Second each)
Give 30 Compressions (Rate of 100 per minute).
Give 2 Breaths (1 Second each)
Continue cycles of 30 –2 until help arrives
Compression Location: center of chest between nipples.
Compresion Method: 2 hands
Compression depth: 11/2 to 2 inches
Compression rate: 100 a minute
Child
Check for scene safety
Check for response: (Gentle Tap & Shout)
Call for Help (If a second rescuer is available ask them to dial 999/112, if alone do 2 minutes of CPR).
Open Airway (Head Tilt – Chin lift)
Check for normal breathing (Look, Listen, Feel 5 – 10 seconds).Signs of Life include Normal breathing, Coughing or Movements). If victim is not breathing ,give 2 breaths that make the chest rise
Give 2 Breaths. (1 Second each)
Give 30 Compressions (Rate of 100 per minute).
Sample Text Give 2 Breaths (1 Second each)
Continue cycles of 30 –2 until help arrives
 
Compression Location: center of chest between nipples.
Compresion Method: 1 or 2 hands
Compression depth: 1/2 to1/3 inches
Compression rate: 100 a minute
 
Infant
Check for scene safety
Check for response: (Gentle Tap & Shout)
Call for Help (If a second rescuer is available ask them to dial 999/112, if alone do 2 minutes of CPR).
Open Airway (Head Tilt – Chin lift)
Check for signs of Life (Look, Listen, Feel 5 – 10 seconds). Signs of Life include Normal breathing, Coughing or Movements).
Give 2 Breaths. (1 Second each)
Give 30 Compressions (Rate of 100 per minute).
Give 2 Breaths (1 Second each)
Continue cycles of 30 –2 until help arrives

Compression Location: just below nipple line
Compresion method: 2 fingers
Compression depth: 1/2 to1/3 inches
Compression rate: 100 a minute
 
ELECTRIC SHOCK
 
 
Very common and mostly fatal.

Identification / look out for:
Unconsciousness
Burns
What to do:
1. Switch off the main switch.
2. Break the contact between electrical source and patient using dry non-conductive object like wooden stick.
3. Call for help
4.        If breathing and heartbeat has stopped begin        C.P.R
5.        If breathing, but unconscious:        Recovery Position
6.        Treat any        Burns
7.        Treat any        Shock
Do not:
 
1. Touch the patient directly.

2. Go near the area if high voltage electricity is suspected and call for immediate help / ambulance
FRACTURES
 
 
A fracture is a cracked or broken bone.
 
Identification / look out for:
 
S – swelling

P - pain

L – loss of movement

I – irregular shape

N – Numbness

T – tenderness

S – shock
What to do:
1. Immobilisation of the affected area is required - Get Help!
2. Keep the patient still and support the injured area.
3. For arm fractures a sling can be made to support and immobilise the affected area, which can be hung around the neck using triangular bandage or cloth.
 
4.Lower leg fractures: support the injured leg with your hands to prevent movement of fracture.
 
5. In case of open fracture control bleeding with sterile dressing.
Do not:
 
 
1. Try to straighten the broken limb
 
2. Move the patient without support
 
3. Ask the patient to move on his own
 
HEART ATTACK / ANGINA
 
 
Angina
Inadequate blood supply to the heart due to the narrowing of the coronary arteries. The arteries cannot sufficient sufficient blood to meet increased demand during exertion.

Heart Attack
Inadequate blood supply to the heart due to a blockage in the coronary artery.
 
Speedy treatment and admission to hospital is vital for a positive outcome
 
 
Recognition:
 
Continuous crushing / constricting pain of the chest (more on left side) may even appear at rest.
Possible pain to left arm, left shoulder, jaw and back, but not always.
Nausea / vomiting.
Perspiration.
Feeling of impending doom / death.
Difficulty in breathing.
Faintness and dizziness.
Cold clammy skin.
Ashen coloured face (pale).
Pale skin and blue discoloration of skin.
Initially rapid pulse which weakens
Confusion
Sudden collapse
Shock
What to do:
1. Make the patient sit down in a comfortable position - Half Sitting using pillows as support.
 
2. Call 999 / 112 for Cardiac Ambulance without delay even though they may object.
 
3. Monitor closely, reassure, allow patient to take their own prescribed cardiac medication if they have previous history
 
4.        Be prepared to perform        CPR        should they become unresponsive.
 
 
Cardiac Arrest

Occurs when the patient is:

Unconscious
Not Breathing
No Pulse

Treatment:
Commence        CPR
 
NOSE BLEEDS
 
 
 
What to do:
 
1. Make the patient sit down with head forward
2. Pinch the nose just below the bridge for about 10 minutes and ask the patient to breathe through his mouth and avoiding speaking, swallowing or coughing.
3. If bleeding does not stop, repeat nose pinching for another 10 minutes.
4. If bleeding still does not stop, seek immediate medical help.
5. If bleeding stops ask patient to avoid blowing nose.
 
POISON
 
 
 
What to do:
 
1. Seek immediate medical help / ambulance.
2. Find out the cause of poisoning if possible.
3. If poison absorbed through skin, remove all clothing and wash affected area under running water thoroughly while ensuring your own protection.
4. If patient is conscious do not induce vomiting. Keep vomited material medications etc and to the hospital along with the casualty.
5. If patient unconscious - check airway and monitor breathing and pulse and if required start CPR - (protect yourself)
6. Note down exact time of poison ingestion
Do Not:
1. Make the casualty vomit.
2. Do not feed liquid or solid by mouth.
UNCONSCIOUSNESS
 
Unconsciousness can be caused by many injuries and medical conditions which include:
 
 
1. Head Injury
2. Asphyxia
3. Electrocution
4. Certain Poisons
5. Heart Attack
6. Shock
7. Stroke
8. Epilepsy
9. Diabetes
10. Fainting
11. Heat Imbalance
What to do:

1. Check for danger to yourself - assess the scene
 
2. Check responsivness, shake the casualty.
 
3. Send for an Ambulance
 
4. Proceed to the A.B.C procedure.
 
5. If A.B.C is present and there is no Spinal Injury use Recovery Position medics
 
6.        If unconscious and not breathing commence        CPR
 
7. Try to determine the cause of Unconsciousness and report it to
 
Do Not:

1. Allow any person who has been unconscious to continue without seeking medical help.
 
Shock
 
It is caused by blood loss, heart attack, allergic reaction, loss of bodily fluids, infection and damage to spinal nerves.
 
 
 
Identification / look out for:
 
Sweating
Reduced consciousness or unconscious
Confused and anxiety
Unresponsiveness
Rapid breathing
Rapid and weak pulse
Thirst
Pale cold clammy skin
Nausea and vomiting
What to do:
1. Loosen any tight clothing.
2. To open airway use head tilt chin lift.
3. Treat the cause e.g. bleeding / burns.
4. If no fracture make the patient lie down and raise and support his legs.
5.        If unconscious place in the        Recovery Position
6. Monitor and reassure the casualty
7. Seek immediate medical help / ambulance
In unconscious patient with intact breathing and pulse recovery position ensures the prevention of tongue falling back and blocking the airway.

Do not:

1. Move the patient if a spinal injury is suspected.
Sprain & Strains
Trauma to joint or soft tissue that causes pain and disability depending upon the injury.
Recognition:
Pain.
Swelling, redness and heat of joint.
Joint movement restricted.
Bruising
What to do:
1. Rest injured area.
2. Ice or cold compression.
3.Compression - bandage for support.
4. Elevate injured area.
5. Seek medical help.
 
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