Cardiovascular disease, which includes heart attack and stroke, kills more people than anything else on the planet. Risk Factors are factors that affect our chances of having cardiovascular disease. The three main categories are: Controllable Risk Factors, Non-Controllable Risk Factors, and Contributing, or Other Risk Factors. “Contributing” Risk Factors include Diabetes, Obesity, and Stress. Controllable Risk Factors include Smoking, Diet, Exercise, and High Blood Pressure, and finally, the Non-Controllable Risk Factors, which include Heredity, Gender, and Age.
Monthly Archives: March 2015
We talk a lot about CPR & AED... why? Well, if you ever are in need of either, you won't be asking this question. Either you'll be around and get it, or you won't - so you can't ask a question anyway.
External Defibrillators (AEDs). Proper administration of an AED device to a victim of cardiac arrest within the first 1 to 5 minutes can raise a victim’s survival chances to as high as 74%.
AED’s are becoming increasingly affordable and common, and AED use is thought by many to be easier than learning CPR. AEDs are lightweight, run on batteries, analyze the heart rhythm, and automatically indicate when to shock, and when to continue CPR.
The AED unit should be retrieved right after the EMS are notified. Have someone else retrieve and begin setting the unit up while you attend to the victim.
When it comes to Heart Health (meaning basically, avoiding heart attacks and Sudden Cardiac Arrest) the best type of exercise for good heart health is called Aerobic exercise. Aerobic exercise is any activity that causes your heart and breathing rates to increase for sustained periods of time. Examples of aerobic activity include running, walking, bicycling, hiking, swimming, or sports like tennis, soccer, or basketball. This kind of activity can strengthen your heart; it can help improve circulation, occasionally even creating new blood vessels, and even helps to lower blood pressure. A good aerobic exercise program, combined with a healthy diet can help to decrease the chances of a heart attack. If a person still has High Blood Pressure, even after the modification of their smoking, diet, and exercise levels, they should see a doctor for prescribed blood pressure medications that are readily available.
Hepatitis, however, is a far more common risk.
Viral Hepatitis Updates from CDC
HCV Testing Makes Public Health Sense
In response to Is widespread screening for hepatitis C justified?, Drs. Jonathan Mermin and John W. Ward of CDC wanted to set the record straight on a number of key points including “the CDC and USPSTF recommendations for one-time testing of persons born during 1945-1965 are based on sound evidence that HCV testing linked to care is beneficial for patients, cost effective, and with the potential of averting over 120,000 deaths from HCV.”
Read about BBP & Universal Precautions
WHO issues its first hepatitis B treatment guidelines
WHO issued its first-ever guidance for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B. Worldwide, some 240 million people have chronic hepatitis B virus with the highest rates of infection in Africa and Asia. People with chronic hepatitis B infection are at increased risk of dying from cirrhosis and liver cancer. Key recommendations include: the use of a few simple non-invasive tests to assess the stage of liver disease to help identify who needs treatment; prioritizing treatment for those with cirrhosis - the most advanced stage of liver disease; the use of two safe and highly effective medicines for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B; and regular monitoring using simple tests for early detection of liver cancer, to assess whether treatment is working, and if treatment can be stopped.
New Hepatitis C & Injection Drug Use Fact Sheet
CDC has developed a fact sheet on Hepatitis C and injection drug use. The fact sheet includes an overview of hepatitis C including symptoms, testing, transmission, prevention, treatment, and reinfection.
There was a great article in the State Journal about " Knowing CPR more important than outdated outdoors 'skills' "
It's true - people forget their CPR & First Aid Skills. Refresh them.
First Aid Kits get old and have expired items. Refresh them.
Spring is here - adventures begin... be ready!
What is the "Recovery Position"? When and Why is it used?
If you are alone and must leave a breathing victim to get help or call the EMS, place the victim in the recovery position (lying on their left side with head resting on arm). This is done in case the victim vomits while you are gone, so they will not choke. Do so whenever a victim is breathing, but unconscious. Do not move the victim if you suspect head or spinal trauma.
Burns may be caused by a number of things, from thermal energy (heat), chemical processes, or electrical exposure. We characterize the seriousness of a burn by the degree of its depth in skin tissue. A first-degree burn, therefore, affects only the superficial layers of the skin. A common example of first-degree burn is sunburn. Pain, tenderness, and redness commonly characterize this condition.
A second-degree burn involves deeper tissue damage. It may be caused by exposure to very hot surfaces, or by scalding from hot liquids or steam. A splotchy, red and white appearance, and the appearance of blisters often characterize second-degree burns. Because of the significant pain and fluid loss, shock is also a consideration.
Third-degree burns involve charring of the skin tissue. In most cases, third-degree burns will destroy the skin tissue as well as the nerve roots beneath the skin. This may cause a loss of sensation in the burned area. Be very careful not to further contaminate a burned area, as the skin is no longer functioning as an adequate barrier against infection.
The treatment of first and second-degree burns involves the immediate immersion of the burned area in cool water. Do not apply anything other than water to the burned surface. Many ointments and home remedies applied topically actually trap the heat, causing further damage to the burned area. Leave the burned area immersed for approximately 15 minutes. Apply a dry, sterile dressing, and contact the EMS. Some EMS agencies recommend a moist dressing for first or second-degree burns covering less than 10% of the body.
To determine the percentage of body area affected by a burn, you may use a technique known as the rule of nines. According to this principle, each part of the body makes up a percentage of the whole. The head is 9%, the chest and stomach are 9% each, the back of the chest and back of the stomach area are 9% each, the arms are 9% each, the legs are 9% for the front of each, and 9% for the backs, and the groin equals 1%. For an infant, subtract 4% from each leg, one from the groin, and add all 9 percentage points to the head, for a total of 18.
The treatment of third-degree burns should always include early activation of the EMS. Treat the victim for shock. Apply dry, sterile dressing to the wound. Do not attempt to cool the burn with water. Do not attempt to remove anything that may be stuck to the wound.
Another type of burn can be inflicted by contact with chemicals. Whether it is a dangerous corrosive such as sulfuric acid, or a simple cleaning product like bleach, chemicals can damage your skin and endanger your life. To treat a chemical burn, immediately flush the affected area with copious amounts of fresh water. A shower or hose directed on the burned area for approximately 15-20 minutes is often required to remove the chemicals. If clothing is contaminated, carefully remove from the victim. If the chemical is dry or powdered, brush it off of the skin before adding water.
Chemicals splashed into the eyes must be treated in the same way. Eyewash facilities may be available in the work environment, or you may use a hose or sink to flush the chemical from the eyes. Be careful to direct the flow of water away from the face, not across it.
Electrical Burns. First, shut off the power source (remember Assess, Alert, Attend). Second, with an electrical accident you must consider all of the life-threatening situations before dealing with the burn itself. Electricity can stop a heart from beating, it can throw someone a great distance, and it can cause an individual to go into shock. Treat these life-threatening situations before treating the burns. A special consideration for electrical injuries is the presence of entrance and exit wounds. If the electrical current is powerful enough, it may cause a burn where it enters the body, and another burn where it exits. The presence of an exit wound often indicates internal trauma including broken blood vessels, or crushed bones. Contact the EMS immediately.
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What Are Universal Precautions?
Part of assessing the scene in First Aid Response also includes checking for hazards associated with exposure to infectious materials.
Universal Precautions is an approach to infection control. According to the concept of Universal Precautions, all blood and certain body fluids should be treated as if they contain potentially infectious bloodborne pathogens. Bloodborne pathogens are bacteria or viruses that exist in blood, and can cause disease in humans who are exposed to them. A few examples of bloodborne pathogens include H.I.V. (the disease that causes AIDS), Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C. These diseases can be transmitted by any blood-to-blood contact, or by exposure to an individual’s eyes, nose, or mouth. Because of the risk of bloodborne pathogens, individuals engaging in CPR or First Aid activities should follow the guidelines of Universal Precautions, set forth by O.S.H.A. and the U.S. Department of Labor:
Avoid contact with the blood or body fluids of an injury victim while providing care. When possible, use latex or some form of protective gloves, CPR masks, and other appropriate articles of Personal Protective Equipment. Wash hands, and any exposed area with soap and warm water immediately after engaging in First Aid practices, and immediately report any suspected exposure incident to a physician for evaluation and treatment. The basis behind Universal Precautions is that it may be difficult or impossible to tell if an individual may have an infectious disease. ~ Always consider Latex sensitivity on the part of the victim, or the rescuer ~
With this in mind, it is important to treat ALL patients as if they are known to be infectious. Universal Precautions means that personal protective equipment, cautious treatment procedures, proper cleanup, and conscientious reporting must be observed
EVERY TIME with EVERYBODY
We talked about Stroke and recognizing it - A major cause of stroke can be blood clots traveling to the brain.
US healthcare costs for blood clots can reach up to $10 billion per year.
Doctors and nurses can help their patients prevent blood clots [PDF–175KB] by teaching them about risk factors, symptoms, and what to do during long-distance travel. Yes, Travel! Blot Clots are just one risk with travel always be prepared for exigencies when traveling from home