Emergency Life Saving Tips
Here you will find our newsletter articles with subject and questions not usually covered in our classes. We will continue to update on new and upcoming discoveries and ideas. As with everything in medicine, information changes as new discoveries arise. We welcome questions and comments and don’t forget to subscribe to receive updates and discounts.
What is Secondary Drowning and what you need know!
Secondary Drowning or Dry Drowning
As many of us this summer head to the beaches, pools, rivers and lakes. We should also keep in mind and specially parents that although rare, secondary drowning can be fatal if warning symptoms are ignored.
What is it?
- Inhaled water into the lungs causes serious damage such as swelling and irritation.
- If symptoms are ignored it can be fatal.
- According to the National Library of Medicine 90% of drownings occurs in freshwater (specially in swimming pools) than in saltwater.
- Studies have shown that Secondary Drowning appear over several minutes to about 48 hours.
Look out for these symptoms
- Persistent coughing, having a hard time breathing.
- Extreme sense of fatigue, tired, lethargy.
- Altered mental status.
- Chest pain.
Things to keep in mind…..
- Don’t wait to get seen by a medical professional.
- Oxygen therapy is crucial.
- Diuretics and electrolytes will also be implemented in the treatment.
- Remember that children deteriorate much quicker than adults, but also respond faster to treatment if treated early.
How to approach an emergency
- Make sure the scene is safe for YOU! – look around for dangerous objects, things you can trip on, traffic, and people.
- Never run, unless your life depends on it. – HR, BP goes up, tunnel vision occurs, impaired judgement happens, not worth it. Think about it; have you ever seen a fireman run into a building on fire? I think not!
- Look around and get the Big picture. As you approach the scene gather information about your location, where you are at and what resources you may potentially need.
- Introduce yourself first and ask if you can help. – This is important with someone that is conscious since some people may not actually want your help. In which case you can decide to call 911 and report the emergency.
- If they choose to accept your help do not move them unless you have to, to render help.
Things to keep in mind….to be protected from liability
- Do not accept compensation.
- Stick to the scope of your training – Don’t do more than what you know.
- Do not abandon the injured or leave the scene until medical personnel arrives or someone with the same knowledge or above.
- Being certified in CPR or First Aid does not mean you are protected. Everyone is protected whether certified or not. Certifications are only for proof of training, mainly your employer.
* Bright red because it contains rich oxygen.
* If cut, it will cause rapid pulsating spurts because it has high pressure (Blood Pressure).
* Fatal in 3-5 minutes if nothing is done.
What to do?
* Apply hard, consistent pressure. Don’t let go! (Use hands, fingers, cloth, etc)
* Apply Tourniquet (at least 3 inches above injury) if available or know how to improvise one.
* Do not remove Tourniquet or loosen it. (it’s a myth that person will lose limb)
* Elevate if possible.
* Dark red because it contains CO2 (Carbon Dioxide).
* If cut, it will cause continuous flow because it has less pressure (Blood Pressure).
* Could be fatal in uncontrolled, can be difficult to stop.
What to do?
* Apply continuous firm pressure.
* A compression dressing works best.
* Elevate if possible.
* Don’t apply a Tourniquet (but there is always an exception – If uncontrolled, then do so).
** Things to keep in mind……
* Don’t remove impaled objects.
* Penetrating injuries (gunshot or stab wound) pack hole with cloth/dressing/gauze and cover with pressure dressing.
* Internal bleeding should be treated as an emergency because you can’t see how bad it is ( this is where knowing signs and symptoms helps)
* Average human has about 5 liters or 1.5 gallons.
* A newborn baby has about a cup.
In CPR, you push 2-2.4 inches (5-6 CM) on the sternum so that you could reach the heart muscle and push as much blood as possible and getting it to the brain and other major organs. When this happens, something has to give and what occurs many times is that the cartilage surrounding the sternum will give.
Bones do break, it happens. As we age our bones become brittle and stiff. So when you are pushing at least 2 inches during compressions ribs may be susceptible to damage and possibly break. Even in this case, continuing CPR is vitaly crucial to save a life.
CHILDREN AND INFANTS
**THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND…..
- Bones and cartilage heal, the heart and brain do not.
- Children and Infants are different.
- Internal bleeding should be treated as an emergency because you can’t see how bad it is ( this is where knowing signs and symptoms helps)
- Average human has about 5 liters or 1.5 gallons.
- A newborn baby has about a cup.
Heart disease has been around since the Egyptians, as found in a 3,500 year old mummy.
Our bodies contain about 100,000 miles of vessels according to the Franklin Institute and the heart pumps the equivalent of 14,000 L of blood everyday, that’s a lot of blood! The buildup of plaque or arteriosclerosis is the main contributor to heart attacks along with many other side effects. This plaque buildup along all of your vessels are not going away except for physically having a medical procedure such as Laser Angioplasty by using a laser to vaporize the blockage or Atherectomy to shave off tiny amounts. Other methods are Balloon Angioplasty by having a balloon open the blocked area and Stent Placement were a mesh coil is used to create better blood flow. When too much of a vessel is blocked, bypass surgery is a common option.
**THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND…..
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Lower back pain
- Cold hands or feet
- Pain or numbness in your legs, hands, or feet
- Discoloration of the skin in the affected area
- Decreased or absent pulses, especially in the feet
- Sores or ulcers that won’t heal
In case you or someone is having these symptoms please consult your doctor. If you are having chest pain, call 911 and:
- Take an Aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid)
- Make sure you are not allergic!
- Crush or chew the Aspirin – you need it to dissolve so it can be absorbed quickly through your mucous membrane in your mouth.
- Focus on calming yourself and breathing
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