All posts by jason

What is COPD?

COPD “Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease”

What is COPD “Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease?

– Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease “COPD” is a common, “lung” disease that is characterized by persistent airway and/or alveolar abnormalities leading to a limitation of airflow caused by a significant exposure to noxious particles or gases. The “Chronic” airflow limitation is caused by a mixture of respiratory diseases “e.g: Obstructive Bronchiolitis, emphysema…

What causes COPD?

Around the world, the most common risk factor that increases your chance of contracting COPD is “Tobacco Smoking”. Other risk factors that are now clinically proven to be linked to COPD are associated with exposure to airborne particulates such as “pipe smoking, cigar, water pipe / bong, marijuana smoking, airborne exposure to smoke…etc” Non smokers may also develop COPD due to a continual long-term exposure to noxious gases & particles, combined with a variety of factors like genetics, airway hyper-responsiveness and poor lung growth during childhood.

Risk Factors also include:

Etiology “the cause, set of causes, or manner of causation”

  • Smoking
  • Inhaling Pollutants “Indoor / Outdoor”
  • Occupational Exposures “Biomass Fuel / Natural Gas / Particulate Dust
  • Genetic factors “Hereditary deficiency of alpha-1 antitypic AATD

Pathobiology “The branch of biology that deals with pathology”

  • Impaired Lung Grown “Growth Disorder / Disease”
  • Accelerated Decline in lung tissue “Disease”
  • Lung Injury
  • Lung & Systemic Inflammation “Disease”
  • Chronic Bronchitis
  • Asthma & Airway Hyper-Reactivity

Infections

Pathology “the science of the causes and effects of diseases”

  • Small Airway disorders or abnormalities “Disease / Disorder”

Diagnosis

COPD should be considered by all medical practitioners for a patient who is expressing dyspnea “difficult or labored breathing”, chronic cough or sputum production, and/or history of exposure to risk factors as mentioned above. Other factors to consider include recurrent lower respiratory tract infections, family members with diagnosed COPD and a history of risk factors as mentioned. A detailed medical history must be gone through with the patient and “Spirometry” should be tested to ensure a proper diagnosis. “Please consult your local physician for more information

Differential Diagnosisdifferentiating between two or more conditions”

Asthma verses COPD, a major differential diagnosis is Asthma, and in many patience with chronic asthma, a clear distinction from COPD is not possible using current medical imaging and physiological testing techniques. In patience with chronic Asthma, current medical management of COPD verses Asthma is similar and grants relief for the sufferer from symptoms. However there are some key points that can help separate Asthma from COPD like “Onset in Mid-Life vs. Onset early in life often childhood” or “Symptoms slowly progress and worsen where Asthma would have symptoms that vary widely from day to day” Some other common illness with the same symptoms also fall into Differential Diagnoses with more clear seperations like “Congestive Heart Failure, Bronchiectasis, Tuberculosis, Obliterative Bronchialitis & Diffuse Panbronchiolitis”.

The goal of a COPD assessment are to determine the severity of airflow restrictions, its impact on the patients health and the risk of future events that could lead to serious complications leading to hospitalization or even death.

Please consult your physician if you believe you have COPD and request full “Spirometry / breathing test / lung function test” testing.

Symptoms of COPD

  • Feeling short of breath while resting or when doing physical activity
  • Cough “Chronic
  • Wheezing
  • Fatigue
  • Mucus production that does not go away

In some patients, COPD can also cause the oxygen levels within the blood to become low. If this occurs, a person can be given supplemental oxygen to counter the symptoms. Breathlessness should not be confused with low oxygen levels. People with COPD can experience shortness of breath or have a hard time breathing even if they have good oxygen levels. Therefore, breathlessness is not always a good guide for weather you need to use oxygen.

Treatments

To formulate a proper treatment plan, please consult your physician after diagnosis. Some main points your physician will go over with you are, “For Smokers, this includes Tobacco, Cannabis, Vaping, Cigars, all inhaled vapors or particles”, the first step is to “Stop Smoking”. To aid in the cessation of smoking, programs, medications and therapy have been made available to all forms of smoking addictions being from either tobacco or cannabis, “Please consult your physician for more details on what works for you”.

Medications

Medications may also be prescribed “by your physician” to relieve symptoms of COPD and prevent symptom flare ups that can lead to further loss of lung function.

Lifestyle

Proper Nutrition & staying in good physical shape are also important not just for symptom relief, but also for your quality of life. Pulmonary rehabilitation programs offer supervised exercise and education for those with breathing problems and should be a part of a comprehensive treatment plan for anyone with COPD.

Support Groups

Many communities also offer support groups that can provide education and opportunities for COPD patience and their caregivers to share their experience with other people with COPD and families.

Surgery

In some cases, surgical procedures such as a lung volume reduction surgery or lung transplantation may be an option to consider. Please refer to your physician for this advanced treatment.

Q&A

What is Emphysema?

Answer” – Emphysema is a condition in which the air sacs of the lungs are damaged and enlarged, causing breathlessness.

Can COPD be fatal?

Answer” – Yes / No, Normally COPD is not Fatal, however left untreated and without proper attention it can worsted to the point of potentially fatal lung damage that can leave very few options. Please consult your Physician before symptoms worsen.

Can COPD be treated?

Answer” – Yes, Please consult your physician for testing, treatments and plants to put in place to help increase your chance of success

Is Smoking Cannabis as bad as Tobacco for COPD?

Answer” – Yes, all inhaled smokes, vapors, particulates that can affect the airflow to your lungs / heart / brain can have an adverse effect on lung function and eventually after exposure will lead to long lasting damage or side effects.

Will COPD ever go away?

Answer” – NO, COPD is a lifelong condition, the lungs have been damaged and can never fully return to normal. Therefore the breathlessness and fatigue may never go away entirely, but people can learn to manage their condition and continue to lead a fulfilling life with steps to be proactive like, stop all forms of smoking, take medication regularly and attend pulmonary rehabilitation.

If your symptoms get worse at any time or you notice new symptoms from the list above, call your doctor or Health Link “811 in Alberta”. You can also call the “Health Link Alberta 24/7 if you have questions about C.Diff or any of the information in this handout.

This information was taken From Center of Disease Control “CDC” (COPD Guide) Information slip, American Thoracic Society, Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease “GOLD GUIDE”, National Institute of Health COPD Action Plan Guide, University of Michigan COPD Assessment Guide for Medical Professionals.

“This material is for information purposes only. It should not be used in place of medical advice, instruction, and/or treatment. If you have questions, speak to your doctor or appropriate healthcare provider.”

In any emergency just remember to Protect Yourself!!! Call 911!!! Don’t Waste Time!!!

Learn First Aid Today, Save a Life Tomorrow, let first aid training in Edmonton be your Saving Grace

Cannabis – What is it and what does it do to my body?

Cannabis – Information from the Source

This post is a quick guide to help you understand the information that is being tossed out to the internet about Cannabis and understand the difference between true researched information and fiction. Questions you may have about Cannabis or Marijuana like “Can it Cure Cancer? Does it help with Seizures? Can you Overdose? What are the effects on the brain? Can I use it while pregnant? What are the effects on the body?.” These questions we’ll hopefully address and shed some light on the true nature of this versatile plant.

What is Cannabis?

Cannabis is derived from the Cannabis plant “Cannabis Sativa / Indica / Ruderalis” , it grows wild in many of the tropical and temperate areas of the world. It can grow in almost any climate, and is increasingly cultivated by means of indoor hydroponics technology. Cannabis must not get confused with Hemp, they are from the same plant family but are completely different in appearance, chemical make up, cultivation and application. Although they may look the same, Hemp completely lacks the psychoactive properties that Cannabis is known for. For more information on Hemp please visit https://ministryofhemp.com/hemp/not-marijuana/

The main ingredient in Cannabis is called “Delta-9 tetrahydro-cannabin”, commonly known as “THC”. This is the part of the plant that gives the “high” or psychoactive properties. There is a wide range of THC potency between cannabis products.

Cannabis is used in Four main forms “Marijuana”, Medical Edible Oil, hashish and hash oil. Marijuana is made from dried flowers and leaves of the cannabis plant. It is the least potent of all the cannabis products and is usually smoked or made into edible products like cookies or brownies. Hashish is made from the resin “a secreted gum” of the cannabis plant. It is dried and pressed into small blocks and smoked. It can also be added to food and eaten. Hash oil, the most potent cannabis product, is a thick oil obtained from hashish, it can also be smoked. Medical Grade Cannabis oil is generally ingested sublingual to absorb directly into the blood stream, it may also be put into foods and other products with a milder affect.

To achieve the desired affect or “High” that some patients are looking for, Cannabis is usually smoked in hand rolled cigarettes “Known as Joints” or special water pipes “Bongs” or even Vapes or Vaporized. These pipes or bongs can be bought or made, for safety reasons please consult your physician or local distributor.

Why do People use Cannabis?

Cannabis has many functions, primarily in previous years it has been used to experience a sense of mild euphoria and relaxation, often referred to as a “high”. However, this should not be confused as there is a difference in the types of plants that produce a compound called Cannabidiol “CBD” versus tetrahydrocannabinol or “THC”.

  • Consuming / Smoking cannabis with a mild to high level of THC causes changes in the user’s mood and also affects how they think and perceive the environment, e.g everyday activities such as watching the television and listening to music can become altered and more intense as THC acts as a psychoactive.

Short Term Effects of THC Include:

  • Feeling of well-being
  • Talkativeness
  • Drowsiness
  • Loss of inhibitions
  • Decreased Nausea
  • Increased appetite
  • Loss of Co-ordination “Slowed / altered Motor Skills”
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Dryness of the eyes, mouth and throat.
  • Anxiety & Paranoia – Amplification of conditions like Schizophrenia

With current medical research CBD or Cannabidiol has been shown to act as a mild to high level analgesic and has properties that can benefit many medical conditions such as, fibromyalgia, muscular or skeletal including spinal damage, seizures, chronic pain and more. CBD has “No psychoactive properties” and will not make you high or lower your ability to function or operate machinery. For a more detailed list on what CBD may help with consult your local physician to see if its right for you.

CBD versus THC

As legal use of medical Cannabis and other products become more available you may have more questions like what is the difference between CBD and THC. Although they are similar even down to the same molecular structure “21 carbon atoms, 30 hydrogen atoms & 2 oxygen atoms” the “bioavailability” and your body’s way to process them is completely different. Your “Endocannabinoid system” also known as ESC is a biological system composed of endocannabinoids which are endogenous lipid-based retrograde neurotransmitters that bind to cannabinoid receptors “Works with your central nervous system, including the brain

“Despite their similar chemical structures, CBD and THC don’t have the same psychoactive effect.”

CBD – Medical Benefits

  • Seizure “Reduction in time & severity
  • Inflammation reduction
  • Cancer “Reduction in Pain or discomfort
  • Pain / acute or chronic reduction “Moderate form Analgesic
  • Inflammatory bowel disease “reduction in severity
  • Nausea “low form Antiemetic
  • Migraines “Reduction in time & Severity
  • Psychosis or mental disorder “Moderate Aid in reduction of anxiety / depression

THC – Medical Benefits

  • Glaucoma “Reduction of Intracranial Pressure
  • Cancer “Reduction in Pain or discomfort
  • Insomnia “Reduction in mucosal membrane production / Dry eyes
  • Low appetite “Increases appetite
  • Nausea “Moderate form Antiemetic
  • Muscle Spasticity “Muscle Relaxant
  • Anxiety “Reduces inhibitions
  • Pain “Low form analgesic

Side Effects

CBD is well tolerated, even in large doses. Research suggests any side effects that do occur with CBD use are likely the result of “drug-to-drug” interactions between CBD and other medications you may be taking.

THC causes temporary side effects as long as you continue to use THC products.

  • Increased Heart Rate
  • Coordination Problems “Slow Reaction Rate
  • Dry Mouth
  • Red Eyes “Dry eyes
  • Memory Loss
  • Impairment “Inability to judge distance and time
  • Anxiety / Paranoia increase “Schizophrenia like symptoms
  • Brain Development inhibitor THC is proven to reduce brain development in Children / Teens & adolescence leading to long lasting side effects and reduction in brain function
  • Addiction – THC “is” an addictive psychoactive substance that can lead to long term dependency and use. If you feel you ”Need” THC to cope or deal with life and consume it every day speak to your doctor about addiction counseling. The statement that many use is “I can quit any time I want, I just don’t want too. I don‘t need it I just prefer it

Questions & Answers

Does Cannabis cure cancer?

  • “No” Current Medical Research does not support the use of Cannabis as a “Cure” of Cancer. However Cannabis has been shown to greatly benefit the symptoms and discomfort associated with this ailment.

Can I smoke or use Cannabis while pregnant?

  • Do not Smoke or consume THC while pregnant, Smoking THC while pregnant “May alleviate nausea symptoms, reduce stress and discomfort on the mother”, however the smoke itself is harmful to the baby and will reduce blood oxygen ratio to the unborn child‘s brain, this will reduce central nervous system & brain development in their most critical stage. Smoking during Pregnancy of any substance increases the risk of SIDS “Sudden Infant Death Syndrome” and Brain Development Damage. THC will pass through the placental barrier and reduce brain development leading to long lasting side effects. The Canadian Medical Association strongly urges you “Do Not Smoke While Pregnant” of any substance. Consumption of CBD with “edibles / oils” during pregnancy at this time has no current medical side effects.

What age is safe to use Cannabis?

  • At this time medical research has proven that early consumption of THC can greatly impact brain development and psychological well being. THC has now been medically proven to reduce and permanently damage synaptic relay time, emotional regulation, as well as cognitive function and psychological well being. For this reason many countries that have legalized Cannabis use warn that age groups that still have brain development progress should avoid THC to avoid risk of Brain Development damage, for this reason Canada Health Advises “Don‘t use THC if you or your family has a history of psychosis, substance use disorders or other mental health problems“. Legal age in Canada for consumption of such substances is 18-21 depending on the province. Consumption of CBD at this time has no current medical side effects.

Can you overdose on Cannabis?

  • “Yes” you can Overdose quite rapidly if you are unsure of the quality, quantity or percentage of THC present in the Cannabis product you are consuming. Symptoms include Nausea, vomiting, light headed, shortness of breath, inability to focus, vertigo, tightness of chest, unconsciousness and more. The method of consumption also plays a factor on the length of time and severity of the overdose, currently common methods of consumption include inhalation “smoking / vaping / bong”, ingested “Edibles / Oils”, Absorbed “topical ointments”, Injected “Do not inject Cannabis” For these reasons please consult your physician and do not personally alter your dosage without consulting a medical professional. Consumption of CBD at this time has no current medical side effects or documented Overdose.

Can I drive after using Cannabis?

  • In Alberta Canada Cannabis use or “Mind Altering substance use” of any kind is strictly prohibited and Cannabis containing THC is “Banned” from being in cars or any motor vehicle, with the exception of those being used as a temporary residence, such as “parked” RV’s. As THC can alter your mood, reaction time, and consciousness “Do not consume THC and operate a vehicle of any kind” “Stay alive, don’t use and drive”

To answer more questions and go through the research provided above please visit https://aglc.ca/cannabis

There are many false articles circulating around the internet about Cannabis use and the interaction it has within your body. Please do your research, follow your medical professionals advice, and above all else do not buy or use illegally grown / sold or altered Cannabis.

We never know what can happen, its always good to be prepared and have the knowledge we need to help those who need it.

“This material is for information purposes only and is taken from The Canadian Red Cross / Alberta Heart & Stroke Foundation & Alberta Health Services. This information should not be used in place of medical, Technical advice, instructor, and/or treatment. If you have questions, speak to your local Physician or Safety Training Facility.”

Just Remember:

Protect Yourself!!! Call 911!!! Don’t Waste Time!!!

Learn First Aid Today & Save a Life Tomorrow with Saving Grace Medical Academy Ltd.

Natural Gas Exposure

Natural Gas Exposure

What is Natural Gas?

Natural gas is a fossil fuel that is found beneath the earth’s surface. It has “no odor to begin with”, gas companies add “Mercaptan” a warning smell “rotten eggs” so that it can be easily detected if there is a leak. Natural gas mainly consists of methane, which is a highly flammable gas.

Natural gas can be burned to produce electricity, heat homes and has many other uses including residential, industrial and commercial use. It can even be used for fuel in some vehicles. As natural gas burns cleaner that other fossil fuels such as oil and coal, and the by-product of the combustion of Natural Gas is Carbon Dioxide and water it has been chosen as the main form of energy to heat furnaces, water heaters, space heaters, pool‘s, Jacuzzi‘s, fireplaces, clothes dryers, stoves and lights.

Where is Natural Gas found?

Fossil fuel based, Natural Gas is a non-renewable resource. Natural gas is found in deep underground rock formations or associated with other hydrocarbon reservoirs in coal beds and as methane clathrate. Petroleum is another non-renewable resource and fossil fuel found in close proximity to and with natural gas.

Natural gas is created naturally over the course of hundreds of millions of years. It is formed when layers of decomposing plants and animals are subjected to intense heat from the Earth and pressure from rocks. All this pressure, heat and millions of years turned the natural material into coal, petroleum and natural gas.

How to Recognize a Gas leak?

Smells like rotten eggs “When from Commercial Lines”

Natural Gas is Colorless

Exposure “Low Level”

Headaches and dizziness

Fatigue

Nausea

Irregular Breathing

Exposure “High Level”

Death by suffocation

Loss of consciousness

Nausea

Severe Headaches

Fatigue

Memory Problems

Lack of Coordination

What to do?

Evacuate the area by moving “Cross-Wind” of where you suspect the gas leak

Call 911 “Big leak” or in “North America – ATCO Gas – 1-800-511-3447”

First Aid is “not” normally required, If you smell Natural Gas “Rotten Eggs” Evacuate the area immediately, If irritation/redness develops or other symptoms, move away from exposure area into fresh air and flush eyes with clean water. If you suspect a Natural Gas leak

“Do Not” activate any source of ignition such as electrical switches, vehicles, telephones, cellular phone, two way radios or door bells. Eliminate ignition sources such as open flame or spark “natural gas is highly flammable”.

For more information contact your local Gas Retailer or Distributor, if you are wondering about getting a Gas Audit, or have your gas appliances inspected please contact your local Retailer.

“This material is for information purposes only and is taken from local Gas Distributors, MSDS or SDS “Safety Data Sheet” on Natural Gas and Atco Gas. This information should not be used in place of medical, contractor or HVAC Technician advice, instructor, and/or treatment. If you have questions, speak to your local Gas Distributor or appropriate Gas Retailer.”

We never know what can happen, its always good to be prepared and have the knowledge we need to help those who need it.

“This material is for information purposes only and is taken from The Canadian Red Cross / Alberta Heart & Stroke Foundation & Alberta Health Services. This information should not be used in place of medical, Technical advice, instructor, and/or treatment. If you have questions, speak to your local Physician or Safety Training Facility.”

Just Remember:

Protect Yourself!!! Call 911!!! Don’t Waste Time!!!

Learn First Aid Today & Save a Life Tomorrow with Saving Grace Medical Academy Ltd.

Saving Grace Medical Academy Ltd

What are Cysts?

Cysts

What is a Cyst? This article is designed to help you understand more about yourself, others, and the medical world around you. Many view the word “Cyst” as being unclean, or infectious, or disease bearing. The truth about Cycts is actually quite far from those.

What are Cysts?

Cysts are one of the most common benign tumors of the skin. They present as a round, rubbery, mobile mass that stretches out the overlaying skin and is tethered to the surface of the skin by a pore or “punctum”, this “punctum“ acts like a tether that allows the Cyst to “float“ more often than not in the surrounding bodily fluids.

Cysts can be found “anywhere on or in the body, and anyone can have them.

The term “Cyst” refers to a fluid-filled structure of cells, whereas a tumor consist of a mass of abnormal cells with abnormal growth potential. Cysts are not associated with tumors typically as they have a very thin rim surrounding the fluid and may be popped, whereas a tumor would have a thickened rim that surrounds it that expands with time.

Types of Cysts – arachnoid, colloid, dermoid, epidermis, pineal, cervical, breast, ganglion, etc…

What causes a Cyst?

Cysts frequently result from a plugging of the pore. A sac of skin forms and gets larger as it becomes filled with keratin, a component of your skin cells, CSF “Cerebral Spinal Fluid“, colloid, or blood. Keratin is a pasty, whitish material that sometimes can be expressed from the cyst and tends to have a foul odor.

Is a Cyst Harmful?

Often No, however there are circumstances where they could cause damage, lack of blood flow, or harmful pressure to build up on the surrounding tissue and organs. Normally cysts are “benign” and do not develop into cancers. Once in a while, they may rupture and become inflamed which results in redness, swelling and pain in the area. Sometimes pus will drain. To avoid inflammation or infection of a cysts, it is best “not” to squeeze it.

Does a Cyst need to be removed?

The majority of cysts cause no problems and therefore do not need to be removed, it is the location of the cyst and the level of discomfort that will dictate your desire to have them removed. On occasion, a cyst may become objectionably large, interfere with function, get inflamed or are symptomatic. In these cases, removal is achieved by local surgical excision. Small, asymptomatic cysts may be removed electively by contracting your physician to arrange an elective removal. “Always consult your physician before making body modifications.”

Very often, cysts do not produce any symptoms and do not enlarge over time. If a cyst is not causing symptoms and is not thought to be associated with a tumor, you might never develop a problem with the cyst. An operation to remove the cyst might carry a greater risk than living with the cyst. Your doctor can help you weight the risks of “watching and waiting” with the risks of undergoing surgery.

How can a doctor tell if the cyst is not cancerous? A CT “Cat Scan” or particularly, an MRI scan of a cyst generally shows no solid or nodular components that could suggest an associated “malignant tumor”. Sometimes, when a cyst appears benign but the doctor cannot be 100% certain, repeated radiological studies over time will be recommended. A malignant tumor would be expected to grow over time, whereas a benign cyst might not.

Is radiation therapy ever used to treat a Cyst? In general, radiation is used to kill dividing cells “cancerous growth”. The fluid inside a cyst does not contain dividing cells, and the cells forming the walls of most cysts “including arachnoid, colloid, dermoid, epidermis, and pineal cysts” are not dividing. If the cyst is suspected of being malignant or tumor related a pointed dose of radiation may be injected “into” the cyst to destroy the cells within, however this is rare and your physician would know more.

Will I develop more Cysts?

You may develop more cysts over time and there is no way to prevent this from happening. You may also only ever have one cyst in your lifetime. Cysts have many factors which allow the cells to grow in such a manor, environment, radiation exposure, mould, bacteria, viruses, the reason why a cyst would appear is quite vast and unfortunately not always apparent.

In general, if the wall of the cyst is completely removed, the chance of the cyst recurrence I quite low. If the cyst is drained but the “bubble” or sack that contained the fluid is left intact, the odds of fluid re-accumulating are much higher as the cell walls may “heal” and reseal fluid within.

Do I have a disease if I have a Cyst?

  • Answer – “No”

A cyst is a random event that does have some factors too their appearance. Typically a Cyst does not have an associated disease or cause, they are a random occurrence that anyone could have.

We never know what can happen, its always good to be prepared and have the knowledge we need to help those who need it.

“This material is for information purposes only and is taken from The Canadian Red Cross / Alberta Heart & Stroke Foundation & Alberta Health Services. This information should not be used in place of medical, Technical advice, instructor, and/or treatment. If you have questions, speak to your local Physician or Safety Training Facility.”

Just Remember:

Protect Yourself!!! Call 911!!! Don’t Waste Time!!!

Learn First Aid Today & Save a Life Tomorrow with Saving Grace Medical Academy Ltd.

What is Hydrocephalus?

Hydrocephalus

What is Hydrocephalus?

Hydrocephalus is a condition in which there has been an excess build up of CSF “Cerebrospinal Fluid” a clear fluid surrounding the brain. The excessive accumulation of CSF results in an abnormal dilation of the spaces in the brain called “Ventricles”, this dilation causes harmful pressure to build up on the brain and connective tissues.

  • HydrocephalusWater on the Brain”, in Greek literally means “watery head”, “Hydro” meaning water, and “Cephalus” referring to the head.

“Hydrocephalus can happen at ANY age”

Hydrocephalus is life threatening and has a 75% chance of causing long lasting brain damage and motor disability, and a 30% mental disability rate.

More than 50% of hydrocephalus is congenital “present at birth”

What are Ventricles?

The ventricular system is a set of four interconnected cavities (ventricles) in the brain, where the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is produced. Within each ventricle is a region of choroid plexus, a network of ependymal cells involved in the production of CSF. The ventricular system is continuous with the central canal of the spinal cord (from the fourth ventricle) allowing for the flow of CSF to circulate. All of the ventricular system and the central canal of the spinal cord are lined with ependyma, a specialised form of epithelium.

What is CSF “Cerebrospinal Fluid?

Cerebrospinal Fluid, the clear fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord has three critical functions:

It acts as a “Shock absorber” for the brain and spinal cord to protect the brains connective tissue from harmful impact damage and excess movement.

It acts as a river to flow nutrients to the brain and remove waste

It flows between the cranium and spine to regulate changes in pressure within the brain.

Common Causes

A variety of medical problems can cause hydrocephalus. In many children the problem is there at “birth”, this kind of hyrocephalis is referred to as “congenital”. Most cases of congenital hydrocephalus are thought to be caused by a complex interaction of genetic and environmental factors “Exposure to radiation, mold, virus, bacteria, genetic defect, impact damage in utero, Car accident and so on

  • Aqueductal Obstruction “Stenosis” – The most common cause of congenital hydrocephalus is obstruction “narrowing or blockage” of the cerebral aqueduct “a long, narrow passageway between the third and fourth ventricle in the brain.” NO FEVER”
  • Neural Tube Defects, or Myelomeningocele – Spina Bifida, meaning “Open spine”, actually refers to the condition in which the structures of vertebrae, muscles, ligaments, etc… supporting and protecting the spinal cord are impaired, not the spinal cord itself.
  • Intraventricular Haemorrhage – Intraventricular haemorrhage is an acquired form of hydrocephalus and most frequently affects premature newborns. It occurs when small blood vessels lying alongside the ventricular lining of the brain rupture. This can lead to scarring of the ventricles or plug the arachnoid villi sites of CSF absorption.
  • Meningitis & Bacterial / Viral Exposure – Meningitis is an inflammation of the membranes “Meninges” of the brain and spinal cord. It may be caused by bacterial infections or, less frequently, viral infections. FEVER
  • Head Trauma – A head trauma can damage the brains tissues, nerves or blood vessels. Blood from these ruptured vessels may enter the CSF pathways and cause blockage or restricted flow.
  • Tumors – In children, brain tumors most commonly occur in the back of the brain “posterior fossa”. as a tumor grows it may fill or compress the ventricles blocking the flow of CSF.
  • Cysts – Arachnoid cysts are congenital in origin and may occur anywhere in the brain. In children, they are often located in the back of the brain and in the region of the third ventricle.
  • Dandy-Walker Syndrome – Dandy-Walker Syndrome is where the fourth ventricle “last ventricle to the spine” is enlarged because of partial or complete closure of its outlets “no drainage of CSF”. Associated with developmental defects.

Symptoms “How to recognize it”

“If you suspect Hyrdocephalus DO NOT HESITATE, the Child’s life is in Danger!

  1. In Infant age 0-1: Abnormal Enlargement of Babe’s head, soft spot “fontanel” is tense and bulging: scalp can appear thin “Stretched due to the swelling” prominent scalp veins, NO FEVER in congenital hydrocephalus, vomiting, drowsiness, irritability, downward deviation of baby’s eyes “Sun-setting eyes”, seizure, poor appetite.
  2. In Child age 1-8: Headache “Rubbing at head or ears“, Nausea, vomiting, “NO FEVER in congenital hydrocephalus” lethargy, limp movements, unable to stay awake, poor coordination, change in personality, loss of motor functions, seizure and poor appetite, From Birth-Abnormal Enlargement of Babe’s head.
  3. In Adult age 8+: Headache, difficulty remaining awake or waking up, loss of coordination or balance, bladder control problems, impaired “double vision”, cognitive impairment
  4. Elderly – Loss of coordination or balance, shuffling gait, memory loss, headache, bladder control loss, forgetfulness, migraine like symptoms. Nausea, vomiting, drowsiness.

What can you do?

Take them to the Hospital Immediately! Hydrocephalus can easily be misdiagnosed as a viral infection and be prescribed antibiotics “This will not help in congenital hydrocephalusNO FEVER and lead to potential for increased brain damage. Hydrocephalus needs immediate surgery to minimize brain damage and potential for death.

Diagnosing Hydrocephalus

Parents should remember that this is “Not” your fault”

Your Doctor will recommend a course of treatment based on what they find, they will review medical history and perform examinations including a complete neurological examination with diagnostic testing. “Do not be afraid to ask questions regarding symptoms / options / treatments”, anything that you can think of to help narrow down the cause can impact the treatments available. The neurological examination will also help to determine the severity of the child’s condition. Further tests such as ultrasound “if the patient is an infant”, computed tomography “CT or CAT scan”, or a magnetic resonance imaging “MRI” may be ordered. The more your neurosurgeon knows the more likely the chance to minimize brain damage and death. They will also ask for information regarding head circumference at birth along with birth weight, health, defects and head development.

Treatments?

Hydrocephalus can be treated in only three or four ways with current medical technology “2018“. The problem area may be treated directly “removing the cause of CSF obstruction”, or indirectly by diverting the fluid somewhere else. In some cases, two procedures are performed, one to divert the CSF temporarily, and another on a later stage to remove the cause of the obstruction.

  1. Shunt – Often in the emergency setting hydrocephalus is treated at the beginning with a “Shunt”. A shunt is a flexible but sturdy silastic tube. A shunt system consist of the shunt, a catheter, and a valve. One end of the catheter is placed within a ventricle inside the brain, but also may be placed potentially within a cyst or site close to the spinal cord. The other end of the catheter is commonly placed within the abdominal cavity, but may also be placed at other sites within the body so excess CSF can be absorbed. “Shunt systems are not perfect devices” Complications may include mechanical failure, infections, obstructions, length, improper flow “too much or too little CSF” or deterioration. Each time the Shunt has a malfunction potential for brain damage increases exponentially.
  2. Obstruction Removal – Neurosurgery is performed to remove the blockage, cyst, tumor that is causing the blockage of CSF flow. CT – Cat scans and MRI’s are needed to see if this is an option, your Neurosurgeon will know once they have all the data and information for them to assess weather removing the obstruction is possible.
  3. Endoscopic Third Ventriculostomy “ETV” – This surgery involves making a hole in the floor of the third ventricle to allow free flow of spinal fluid into the basil cisterns for absorption of CSF. Many neurosurgeons “do not” perform ETV on children below the age of 2 due to the failure rate of up to 40%. However, ETV has the benefit of consistent pressure, flow and the lack of non natural parts within the body, this reduces the chance of malfunction leading to brain damage or death. Depending on the hydrocephalus ETV has a patency rate for up to five years with a 50%-80% no malfunction rate. “Candidacy” – ETV is clearly appropriate for treating “obstructive non-communication hydrocephalus” It is controversial as to weather it is effective in treating non-obstructive communication hydrocephalus. Although some neurosurgeons have used it successfully in these cases with a 1.0% infection rate.
  4. Endoscopic Third Ventriculostomy & Choriod Plexus Cauterization “ETV & CPC” – This technique combines ETV with a procedure called Choroid Plexus Cauterization “CPC”. CPC is where your neurosurgeon in the middle of the ETV inserts a specialized tool “wire” to cauterize the CP tissue beginning at the right foramen of Monro, and following it back to the typically mobile glomus choroideum in the atrium. Your neurosurgeon will have more details to explain the procedure, however by combining ETV and CPC the chances of successfully holding proper Intracranial CSF fluid pressure increase, infection rates decrease to 1.0% or less and raise the success rate of the procedures in general.

Communication VS Non-Communicating Deffinition

  • Communicating – Communicating Hydrocephalus is when the flow of CSF is blocked after exiting the ventricles, however CSF is still able to flow between the ventricles but is blocked from draining out.
  • Non-Communicating – Non-Communicating also known as “Obstructive” Hydrocephalus occurs from “Aqueductal stenosis” a narrowing of the tube “aquaduct of Sylvius” that flows between the 3rd ventricle and 4th ventricle before exiting to the spine. “This is the most common cause of Hydrocephalus”

Long Term Outcome

There is Hope” – The prognosis for patients diagnosed with hydrocephalus is difficult to predict, although there is some correlation between the specific “cause” of the hydrocephalus, the time between when symptoms began, diagnosis & treatment, as well as the age of the patients can influence the outcome. Brain Damage and complications are further compounded by the presence of associated disorders, the degree to which decompression “relief of CSF pressure or build-up” following shunt placement can also further complicate risks. Parents and guardians should be aware that up to 70% of hydrocephalus patience suffer from both cognitive and physical development disorders.

However “There is Hope” – Those affected by hydrocephalus benefit from rehabilitation therapies and educational interventions, many children go on to lean normal lives with few limitations. Treatment by an interdisciplinary team of medical professionals, rehabilitation specialists, and educational experts are critical to a positive outcome.

Although most children with hydrocephalus are within the normal range of intelligence, most experience “specific” learning difficulties. Immediate memory and auditory/verbal information may be intact, however, there is a rapid loss of information over time and difficulty in retrieving the appropriate bit of information due to brain tissue damage. Most students find it hard to organize themselves, plan ahead and think flexibly. In addition, some may experience difficulty in understanding the passage of time or understand when matters are urgent.

There are many resources out there to help you guide your child through this difficult emergency. For more information contact your physician and don’t be afraid to ask questions or seek support groups.

  • Hydrocephalus Association www.hydroassoc.org
  • Hydrocephalus Foundation INC www.hydrocephalus.org
  • National Hydrocephalus Foundation www.nhfonline.org
  • MedlinePlus: Hydrocephalus www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/hydrocephalus.html
  • Mayo Clinic.com www.mayoclinic.com/health/hydrocephalus/DS00390
  • National Institute of Neurological Disorders www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/hydrocephalus/hydrocephalus.html

We never know what can happen, its always good to be prepared and have the knowledge we need to help those who need it.

“This material is for information purposes only and is taken from The Canadian Red Cross / Alberta Heart & Stroke Foundation & Alberta Health Services. This information should not be used in place of medical, Technical advice, instructor, and/or treatment. If you have questions, speak to your local Physician or Safety Training Facility.”

Just Remember:

Protect Yourself!!! Call 911!!! Don’t Waste Time!!!

Learn First Aid Today & Save a Life Tomorrow with Saving Grace Medical Academy Ltd.

What is Impetigo?

What is Impetigo?

Impetigo is a bacterial skin infection often found on the face, bottom and hands caused by “streptococcus and Staphylococcus aureus AKA: staph” bacteria. It is commonly known as “school sores” because a majority of cases are in school-aged children. However, it can also affect infants, adults and adolescents.

Uncomplicated Impetigo does “not” cause permanent damage to the skin, but is “HIGHLY contagious.

What does it look like?

“Impetigo can easily be misdiagnosed on first glance as Hand Foot & Mouth or even Herpes”.

Impetigo occurs in two forms, blistering and crusted. In Blistering Impetigo the blisters arise on previously normal skin, and “rapidly” grow in size and number. The blisters quickly burst and leave slightly moist or glazed areas with a brown/yellow crust at the edge. The spots expand even after they break open and can be many centimetres wide. They sometimes clear in the centre to produce ring shaped patterns. They are “not” usually painful, but can be itchy.

Impetigo usually appears around the nose, mouth, and other parts of the face. It can also appear on any skin not covered by clothes, such as arms and legs. Impetigo may even appear on the groin or buttocks.

  • In severe cases of impetigo there may be swelling of the lymph glands in the face or neck, severe pain, worsening redness, weakness and fever. “Consult your physician immediately”

Crusted Impetigo has a thick soft yellow crust. Beneath this crust is a moist red area. Crusted Impetigo spots grow slowly and are always smaller than the fully developed spots of blistering Impetigo. They are “not” usually painful, but can be itchy.

Impetigo can occur on top of other skin conditions, particularly itchy ones. When the skin is scratched the infection can enter through the broke skin. Some of these conditions are atopic dermatitis “eczema”, scabies, insect bites and head lice.

In cases where a larger area of skin is affected, patience may also have a fever, swollen lymph nodes or feel generally unwell.

How is it diagnosed?

Your doctor may diagnose impetigo based on a visual inspection of the blisters/sores, or by taking a swab to test for bacteria and check which antibiotic to use. The result of the swab takes several days.

How is it treated?

Depending on how bad the infection is, your doctor may recommend the use of an antibiotic ointment or oral antibiotics in severe cases. Antibiotic ointment should be continued until the sores have completely healed. If oral antibiotics are given it is important to finish the whole course of treatment “usually 5 days” and not stop when the impetigo starts to clear. “The blemishes may vanish but the bacteria may remain”.

Sores should be cleaned every 8-12 hours “Soap and Water”, dried thoroughly and covered with a waterproof dressing. Bathing the blisters with salty water will help to dry them out “use saline solution or dissolve about half a teaspoon of salt in a cup of water”.

How is it Spread?

Impetigo is very easy to catch from other people! Impetigo is usually spread through direct contact with other infected people.

The Bacteria primarily enters through damaged skin. People with conditions causing long term damage to their skin, such as eczema or atopic dermatitis, are at greater risk of infection.

How can you avoid spreading the infection?

“While you have the infection”:

  • Sores should be kept clean and covered with a waterproof dressing to prevent them being touched or scratched.
  • Used dressings should be placed in a sealed bag and put in the garbage bin as soon as they are removed.
  • Hands should be washed thoroughly with soap and running water for 10-15 seconds after sores are touched or redressed.

Children with impetigo should be kept home from school or other group settings if their wounds cannot be kept covered until 24 hours after antibiotic treatment has been started, or until the blisters have dried out if antibiotics are not used.

Bedding “Pillow Cases” should be changed and washed each day.

To Prevent Impetigo children should be taught:

  • To wash their hands often with soap.
  • Not to scratch scabs or pick their nose.
  • Not to share their clothes, towels, pillowcases, or toothbrushes
  • To have scratches and cuts cleaned and covered

Parents should be careful not to allow items such as clothes, towels, bed sheets, razors or toothbrushes used by the affected person to be used by others. Other grooming items, such as nail scissors or tweezers, should be disinfected / washed thoroughly after each use.

School and Childcare Impetigo Prevention.

In addition to general hygiene measures, specific measures to prevent spread in schools and childcare include”

  • Teachers, children and families should understand the importance of hand washing, covering sores and staying home if sick.

Hand washing products “soap dispensers, running water and paper towels” should be available and accessible.

Activities should allow time for hand washing as part of routine practice “before eating and after going to the toilet”

Temporary exclusion from child care or school if their wounds cannot be kept covered until 24 hours after antibiotic treatment as been started, or until the blisters have dried out if antibiotics are not used.

Surfaces such as counters, desks and toys that come in contact with uncovered or poorly covered infections, should be cleaned daily with detergent, and whenever visibly contaminated.

Impetigo “is” dangerous for babies!

It is important for people with Impetigo to keep away from newborns and young babies. Newborn babies are particularly susceptible to impetigo and because their immune systems are not fully developed. This can lead to serious complications, if you suspect your newborn has Impetigo see your physician immediately.

In severe cases of impetigo there may be swelling of the lymph glands in the face or neck, severe pain, worsening redness, weakness and fever. If you or your child has these symptoms, see your physician immediately.

What is the public health response?

Impetigo does “not” need to be reported to Alberta Health Services. Public health units can advise on the control of outbreaks. Schools and Childcare settings must notify parents of students who have potential to contract Impetigo, Parents, Guardians and care givers should be made aware of signs and symptoms and treatment methods that are available to prevent the spread.

Group A streptococcal infection may lead to other rare conditions such as acute post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis 3-6 weeks after the skin infection, which is associated with antibodies produced to fight streptococcal infection. “Consult your physician”

  • In communities in “Australia” that have cases of rheumatic heart disease, episodes of acute rheumatic fever are thought to be triggered by impetigo as well as by throat infections with group A Streptococcus. In those communities prompt treatment and control of impetigo is an important part of preventing rheumatic heart disease.

We never know what can happen, its always good to be prepared and have the knowledge we need to help those who need it.

“This material is for information purposes only and is taken from The Canadian Red Cross / Alberta Heart & Stroke Foundation & Alberta Health Services. This information should not be used in place of medical, Technical advice, instructor, and/or treatment. If you have questions, speak to your local Physician or Safety Training Facility.”

Just Remember:

Protect Yourself!!! Call 911!!! Don’t Waste Time!!!

Learn First Aid Today & Save a Life Tomorrow with Saving Grace Medical Academy Ltd.

“HELP!!!”​ Emergency numbers of Alberta – Knowledge worth Knowing

“HELP!!!” Emergency numbers of Alberta – Knowledge worth Knowing.

In Alberta Canada many people don’t know what “HELP” is available during an emergency. Who would you call if there was a wild or strange animal in your yard or in the neighbourhood? If I am alone and frightened, depressed, scared of someone or something I cant explain who can I call? What is the Poison Control number? Animal Control? Fire? Ambulance? Police? These questions we’ll address as the Canadian Government has put some “Quick Access Numbers” into use that will help. We’ll explain below what each one is and how to utilize them.

911

In Alberta Canada like many other provinces 911 handles a multitude of Emergency Related phone calls. For this reason the Canadian Government has linked 911 to many other emergency hot lines to help streamline the process of getting Emergency Service Workers in touch with you. For this reason, This will help you as you only need to remember 911 and the 911 Dispatcher will help get you to the right emergency connection line. 911 is linked to:

  • – Animal Control,
  • – Poison Control,
  • – Police,
  • – Ambulance,
  • -Fire
  • – CSIS.

811

Health Link” a 24/7 call center provides a number of clinical services including tele-triage and health advice, navigation services and online content support for all Albertans by calling 811 or by using one of its companion web products, MyHealth.Alberta.ca or informAlberta.ca. The specific services include:

  • – Symptom-based nurse triage and health information
  • – System navigation
  • – Dementia Advice Service
  • – Catch-A-Break Osteoporosis screening
  • – AlbertaQuits Tobacco Helpline
  • – Addictions information and referral
  • – Central Access to specialized services
  • – Referrals to clinical services including Specialized Medication Advice and Dietitian Services

711

“NOT IN SERVICE”

611

“Phone Service Line” Will not help during emergencies

511

Traffic Information – Transportation Canada “Alberta” has put this number into service to help those on the highway remain safe and in the know. Road conditions can change rapidly as our weather changes along with driver conditions. This number will help you get in touch with an Automated / Representative that can help give you “Journey Management Options and risk levels” Drive safe

  • -“Remember” Stay Alive, Don’t Drink & Drive or Toke & Drive

411

Directory Services” This is a phone service which will connect you with the Canada 411 Phone Directory.

311

Municipal Services” 311 provides citizens with the choice of accessing Municipal information and services. 311 Citizen Services is your single point of contact for local government information and non-emergency services. Whether you’re a resident, a business owner, or a visitor, your connection to The City is at your finger tips. Non-English-speaking callers may request the assistance of an interpreter. The 311 agent will connect with an external interpretive service to assist with the call. The interpretive service offers assistance in more than 150 languages.

211

Community Health & Social Services” 211 is a free, confidential, multilingual, 24 hour information and referral system. 211 provides information on government and community based health and social services. 211 is available across the province. 211 can help with day-to-day needs and coping with stressful situations before they escalate into a crisis.

211 can provide support in the following situations:

• When you are looking for home care supports for seniors or individuals with disabilities

• When you are trying to find a job

• When you are looking for affordable childcare

• When you want to know where you can volunteer or donate your second-hand items

• When you don’t know where to go for alcohol and/or drug detoxification

• If you are thinking of post-secondary schooling and need to complete your high school diploma or find out how to apply for student loans

• If you are having a tough time finding enough money for food, rent, and other costs

• If you recently moved to Canada and need support connecting to resources

• If you’re a service provider and looking for resources for a client

#377” -City of Edmonton Only –

Non Emergency Police Dispatch” – Edmonton Police are trying to reduce the volume of 911 calls to allow true emergency calls to go through unimpeded. With High call volume 911 may be forced to put you on hold, to some during an emergency this could be fatal. To reduce the risk of fatal non connection with 911 the Alberta Government and the Edmonton City Police “EPS” created #377 to handle all Non-Life Threatening Calls that require police services.

#377 in Edmonton Handles:

– Thefts / Mischief

– Assaults

– Break and Enters into homes/businesses

– Child Abuse/Welfare concerns

– Disturbances/Noise complaints

– Missing Persons

– Sexual Assaults

– Property damage collisions where vehicles are not drivable

– Neighbor disputes

– Family disputes

– Frauds over $5,000.00

– Suspicious persons/vehicles

– Weapons/Gun complaints

Smart Phone Emergency SOS System

Many smart phones from the 4th generation and up will have an “SOS” system built into the OS itself, this can normally be accessed by pressing the “Power Button a specific set of times 3-5” This loud audible system when set to Auto Activation will automatically call 911 for you and send out an SOS text message to your “In Case of Emergency ICE contact”, they will receive a Picture and Text reading SOS “I need help” with the pictures and your GPS coordinates if options have been enabled properly.

For more information on your SOS system built within your smart device, please consult your Manufacturer.

NOTE – Many Emergency Medical Professionals have been taught to utilize this system in the absence of your consciousness to receive information about the casualty that the casualty wishes EMS to know. This helps EMS personnel alter their treatment plans to match the individual if they are rendered unconscious. This “app” is known as the “Medical ID App” pl;ease consult your manufacturer to see how to enable this life saving option as well.

We never know what can happen, its always good to be prepared and have the knowledge we need to help those who need it.

“This material is for information purposes only and is taken from The Canadian Red Cross / Alberta Heart & Stroke Foundation & Alberta Health Services. This information should not be used in place of medical, Technical advice, instructor, and/or treatment. If you have questions, speak to your local Physician or Safety Training Facility.”

Just Remember:

Protect Yourself!!! Call 911!!! Don’t Waste Time!!!

Learn First Aid Today & Save a Life Tomorrow with Saving Grace Medical Academy Ltd.

 

Hand, Foot & Mouth Disease : What you need to know

Hand, Foot & Mouth Disease : What you need to know

“Hand, foot and mouth disease is a very common viral disease of childhood which is easily passed from person to person. It usually causes a mild illness but rarely causes serious illness. It is not related to the foot and mouth disease that affects animals. Good hygiene helps prevent infection.”

What is hand foot and mouth disease?

Hand, foot and mouth disease is generally a mild illness caused by “Enteroviruses”, including “Coxsackieviruses”. It is usually not a serious illness and is not related to the foot and mouth disease that affects animals. It mainly occurs in children under 10 years of age but can also occur in older children and adults.

What are the symptoms?

Hand, foot and mouth disease starts with blisters that begin as small red dots which later become ulcers. Blisters appear inside the cheeks, gums, and on the sides of the tongue, as well as on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. In infants, blisters can sometimes be seen in the groin area. Blisters usually last for 7-10 days.

Children can sometimes have a low fever, sore throat, tiredness, feel off or melancholy and may be hungry for a day or two.

Very rarely, “Enteroviruses” can cause other illnesses that affect the heart, brain, lining of the brain “meningitis”, lungs, or eyes.

How is it spread?

Hand, foot and mouth disease is usually spread by person to person contact “Direct Contact”. The virus is spread from the feces of an infected person to the mouth of the next person by contaminated hands. It is also spread by secretions “saliva, spittle, sneeze, cough, nasal secretions” from the mouth or respiratory system, and be direct contact with the fluid from the blisters.

The virus usually takes between three and five days after contact with an infected person before blisters appear. The virus can remain in feces from 4 to 8 weeks “Up to 2 months or longer in some cases“.

Who is at risk?

The viruses that cause “Hand, foot & mouth disease” are common and normally only affect children up to the age of 10, however some adults may be affected in rare cases.

Many adults, including pregnant women, are often exposed to these viruses without symptoms. There is no clear evidence of risk to unborn babies from hand, foot and mouth disease. However infected mothers can pass the infection onto newborn babies who lack the ability to fend of the virus.

Daycare / Childcare / After or Pre- school settings – Outbreaks may occur in childcare settings “more than 3 confirmed cases. “You do not need to report Hand, foot and mouth disease to AHS or the CDC“, however the Daycare / school / childcare facility MUST report the illness or disease to the Parents of the children attending the facility or those who may be affected and give information on: “what to look for, how to treat the illness and how to prevent the spread Hand, foot and mouth disease.

How is it prevented?

Hand washing & Good hygiene is the best protection. Wash hands with soap and water after going to the toilet, before eating, after wiping noses, and after changing nappies / diapers or soiled clothing.

Avoid sharing cups, eating utensils, items of personal hygiene “for example: towels, scrub brushes, face towels, loofah, toothbrushes”, and clothing “especially shoes, socks & underwear”.

Hand sanitizer and surface surface sanitizer

Thoroughly wash any soiled clothing and any surfaces that may have been contaminated

  • CLEANING – Hand, foot & Mouth is easily destroyed with Soap & Water, using solution of ¼ bleach & water, as well as alcohol based cleaning solutions.

Teach children about cough & sneeze etiquette “Cover your mouth when you cough / Sneeze into your sleeve” Coughing / Sneezing into an elbow is better than coughing into your hands.

Dispose of used tissues in the bin straight away, then wash your hands afterwards with soap and water.

How is it diagnosed?

Your doctor can diagnose hand, foot and mouth disease based on the symptoms, laboratory tests are “not” usually necessary as this disease “should” resolve itself within 5-10 days.

How is it treated?

Usually NO treatment is needed other than wound care.” Pharmaceuticals “Children’s Grade” to help lower fever and discomfort is available and does help with discomfort. “Do NOT give children aspirin”

Allow blisters to dry out naturally. The blisters should not be deliberately burst because the fluid within them is infectious. “Wash the affected area with soap and water, let dry with no ointment overnight”.

Topical antibiotic ointment like “Polysporin” may be used during the day ease tightness of the wounds, and help remove hard crusts that may appear, however the wounds must dry out overnight. “No Band-Aids or covers should be used”

  • Make sure young children are drinking enough as painful mouth sores can make some children reluctant to swallow liquids.

What are the signs of a SERIOUS infection?

  • Sings that an infant or older child might have a more serious form of hand, foot and mouth disease include any of the following:
  • Persistent Fever “38C or above for 72 hours or more”
  • Abnormal movements / jerking movements
  • Rapid breathing
  • Excessive tiredness, drowsiness
  • Excessive irritability
  • Difficulty walking

If any of these signs are present then the child should be seen by a doctor urgently even if they have been checked earlier in the illness.

How long should children stay away from Childcare & School settings?

Children with hand, foot and mouth disease should be excluded from school or childcare facilities until “Their blisters have dried-up”, and “any” rash “if present” has gone and “any” fever has settled.

  • Often Hand, foot & mouth will run its course within 5-10 days, but may last up to 2 weeks with possibly contamination in the stool up to 2 months.

A child will only need to stay away from public places as long as the symptoms present themselves, if the child maintains good hygiene and hand washing and keeps their hands to themselves they may be in public places, “hand washing is the key”

What is the public health response?

As mentioned earlier, Hand, foot and mouth disease is not a modifiable disease under the Public Health Act. HOWEVER, to help prevent spread, “Parents / Guardians / Teachers / Day-Care workersshould report the illness to the director of the childcare center or the school principal so that affected students / parents are notified on the illness.

Further information

In Alberta Canada you can contact the “Health Link by phoning 811” at anytime to speak to a Dedicated Health Care Professional. They will help answer your questions and go through the illness signs and symptoms with you..

This information was taken From Center of Disease Control “CDC” (Hand, Foot & Mouth Disease) Information slip.

We never know what can happen, its always good to be prepared and have the knowledge we need to help those who need it.

“This material is for information purposes only and is taken from The Canadian Red Cross / Alberta Heart & Stroke Foundation & Alberta Health Services. This information should not be used in place of medical, Technical advice, instructor, and/or treatment. If you have questions, speak to your local Physician or Safety Training Facility.”

Just Remember:

Protect Yourself!!! Call 911!!! Don’t Waste Time!!!

Learn First Aid Today & Save a Life Tomorrow with Saving Grace Medical Academy Ltd.

What is Gout?

GOUT

What is Gout?

Gout is a painful condition similar to arthritis involving the joints as the body is subjected to an imbalance of Uric Acid build up. The joints are the most commonly affected part of the body, especially the big toes and knee’s. When the big toes are involved it is known as “Podagra”. Uric Acid can also be deposited in the kidneys and urinary tract causing “Kidney Stones”, if left untreated this can also lead to “Kidney Damage”.

Progressive gout can cause bone deterioration and deformity of the extremities. When someone has many attacks over years, Tophaceous gout can develop. “Tophaceous Gout” means that a large amounts of Uric Acid crystals have accumulated into masses called “Tophi” aka “Toe-fi”. Tophi are visible and/or can be felt in the soft tissues over joints “Looking like large Cysts or Blisters on the joints”, this is especially common on fingers, hands, elbows, feet, and Achilles tendons. They can even have a white or yellow substance inside which could be drained when inflamed by medical professionals.

What causes Gout?

Gout is caused by a defect or damage to your renal system or commonly known as your Urinary System “Two Kidneys, Two Ureters, a Urethra and a Bladder”, this damage causes an abundance of “uric acid” to be formed. When we eat foods high in purines, the body breaks down the purines by creating uric acid, an over abundance of uric acid then can cause a painful condition involving the joints similar to arthritis as the body then accumulates uric acid unable to excrete it fast enough through normal bladder channels. About a third of those who produce high levels of Uric Acid will develop Gout, however it is not known why some people develop symptoms and others do not. Once the Uric Acid is in the blood stream it can form sharp, needle like crystals that are deposited in the joints, tendons, and surrounding tissues.

Risk Factors also include:

Etiology “the cause, set of causes, or manner of causation

  • Obesity
  • High Blood Pressure

Pathobiology “The branch of biology that deals with pathology

  • Injury or recent surgery
  • Fasting or Overeating “Irregular eating habits”
  • Consuming excessive amounts of Alcohol on a regular basis.
  • Diets high in meat, shellfish, and beverages sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup
  • Taking medications that increase blood levels of uric acid “Diuretics”

Pathology “the science of the causes and effects of diseases

  • Renal Defect “Defects to your Kidneys, Uriters, Bladder or Urethra”

Diagnosis

Gout can be diagnosed by confirming and identification of monosodium urate crystals in synovial fluid of the affected joint or tissue. The Fluid is drawn from the affected joint to look for the uric acid crystals and often clinicians will treat the gout when there are both classic symptoms and high levels of uric acid in the blood. X-rays of the affected joint may also show calcium-containing crystal deposits in the cartilage and further options may be discussed with your physician on treatment.

Symptoms of GOUT

Symptoms of “Acute Gout” are sudden, severe joint pain with redness, swelling, and tenderness of the joint. The joint may feel quite warm to the touch and even throb.

  • Pain in your big toes
  • Pain in your knees, ankles, wrists and or elbows
  • Intense pain that strikes in the middle of the night “Knees and lower extremeties are often the first to strike
  • Pain that occurs in flares: rapidly worsens, then starts to ease up in the joints.
  • Strange lumps and bumps around your joints
  • Kidney Stones
  • Distortion of joints along fingers and toes “Tophi Gout”

Complications

Rapidly progressing “Osteoarthritis” can occur due to wearing down joint cartilage, bone cysts or spurs, and even fractures may occur with prolonged gout flairs.

Pseudo gout – Like Gout, pseudo gout is a form of arthritis that cuases dudden joint pain and swelling. The “Pseudo” part means that it looks like something else. The term Pseudo Gout is used because this is very similar to gout, while gout is caused by “uric acid crystals” pseudo gout is caused by “calcium pyrophosphate dehydrate crystals CPPD. Though the two have similar symptoms, treatment is somewhat different.

Pseudo gout causes sudden attacks of joint pain, swelling, and warmth of the flesh in the affected area and even fever. The attacks can last for days to weeks. The knee is the most commonly affected but it can also affect the ankles, feet, shoulders, elbows, wrists or hands “any joint”. CPPD crystals can also be deposited in the joint cartilage and never cause symptoms.

Treatments of Gout

There is “no” treatment that can “completely” remove or prevent the formation of calcium pyrophosphate dehydrate crystals CPPD “The pain causing calcium crystals in the joints” caused by Pseudo-Gout . Treatments for Gout and Pseud-Gout are generally aimed at reducing pain, swelling and the cause.

– Medications –

Acute Gout – May be treated with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs NSAIDS, cortico-steroids

  • – Colchicine – Often used by people who cannot tolerate NSAIDS. Colchicine can have significant side effects based on the dose used. These side effects include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain.
  • -Steroids “Prednisone” – Used in people who cannot take NSAIDS’s or Colchicine. Prednisone is associated with an increased risk of a recurrent gout attack.
  • -Other Medications like “Politicise “Krystexxa”, Probenecid, Xanthine oxidase inhibitors or Haloperidol “Zyloprim” or febuxostat “uloric” may be prescribed by your physician. Please consult your doctor for more information.
  • – Serum urate-lowering therapy “Talk to your physician about this option”

Prophylactic Therapy – “Medicine or course of action used to prevent disease

Prophylactic Therapy is used to prevent or reduce the number of acute Gout attacks. It is used when someone has repeated gout attacks, or has already had joint damage or developed tophi.

Long-Term treatment is aimed at lowering the level of uric acid in the blood so that crystals do not form. Colchicine is often used at low doses for a period of time while drugs that lower uric acid levels are started. “Allopurinol” is one of the most commonly used long term drugs. Allopurinol prevents the formation of uric acid, however it can have side effects including “rash, low white blood cell counts, diarrhea and fever”.

For more information please consult your local physician for options that will suite you body’s needs.

Lifestyle

Obesity is a strong risk factor for developing gout or having an acute gout attack. This risk is especially high in those with known cardiovascular disease CVD.

Dietary changes can reduce the frequency of attacks

Reduce

  • – Avoiding “Red Meat”, including wild game
  • – Avoiding particular seafood especially “shellfish and large salt water fish”
  • – Decrease intake of “Saturated Fats”
  • – Reduce Alcohol Consumption – Alcohol especially “Beer” interferes with the body’s natural ability to eliminate uric acid from the body.
  • – Avoiding foods and beverages containing “high-fructose corn syrup”
  • – Joint immobilization – Patients may be advised to avoid weight bearing “walking or running” if the legs or feet are involved and to limit activity for a period of time to minimize pain and swelling. A splint may be used temporarily to limit movement.

Increase

  • – Increased dietary protein from “low-fat” dairy products
  • – Increase intake of “whole grains, brown rice, oats or beans
  • – Coffee Moderate use “may decrease blood uric acid levels”
  • – Vitamin C 500mg daily has a mild effect on lowering uric acid levels
  • – Cherries, blueberries, purple grapes, and raspberries have also been found to be beneficial at lowering uric acid levels and promoting a healthy renal system.
  • – Weight loss significantly reduces the risk of Gout

Support for Gout

For more information please consult your local physician or visit your local online medical group dedicated to Gout.

Click Here for more information

If your symptoms get worse at any time or you notice new symptoms from the list above, call your doctor or Health Link “811 in Alberta”. You can also call the “Health Link Alberta 24/7 if you have questions about C.Diff or any of the information in this handout.

“This material is for information purposes only. It should not be used in place of medical advice, instruction, and/or treatment. If you have questions, speak to your doctor or appropriate healthcare provider.”

In any emergency just remember to Protect Yourself!!! Call 911!!! Don’t Waste Time!!!

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C-Diff “Clostridium Difficile”

C-Diff “Clostridium Difficile”

What is Clostridium difficile infection?

Clostridium difficile “pronounced Klo-Strid-ee-um dif-uh-seel”, also known as “C,diff” “See-dif”, is a germ that can cause diarrhea. Most cases of C.Diff infection occur in people taking antibiotics. The most common symptoms of C.Diff infection includes:

  • Watery Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Belly Pain and Tenderness

Who is most likely to get C.Diff infection?

The elderly, very young and people with certain medical problems have the greatest chance of getting C.Diff. C.Diff spores can live outside the human body for a very long time and may be found on things in the environment such as bed linens, bed rails, bathroom fixtures, and medical equipment. C.Diff infection can spread from person to person on contaminated equipment and on the hands of doctors, nurses, other healthcare providers and visitors.

Can C.Diff be fatal?

Yes, at the moment the CDC has calculated approximately a %6.0 mortality rate. Fatality due to C.Diff has been attributed to organ failure due to dehydration or complications with other current underlying medical conditions such as immune compromised or age.

Can C.Diff infection be treated?

Yes, there are antibiotics that can be used to treat C.Diff. In some severe cases, a person might have to have surgery to remove the infected part of the intestines. This surgery is needed in only 1 or 2 out of every 100 persons with C.Diff.

What are some of the things that Hospitals are doing ot prevent C.Diff infections?

To prevent C.Diff infections, Health Care Providers and General Public can:

Clean their hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub before and after caring for someone with C.Diff. This can prevent C.Diff and other germs from being passed from pone person to another on their hands.

Carefully clean rooms and equipment that have been used for someone with C.Diff

Use “Contact Precautions” to prevent C.Diff from spreading to other people

“Contact Precautions Mean”

Whenever possible, people with C.Diff with have a single room or share a room only with someone else who also has C.Diff

Wear gloves and wear a PPE gown over clothing while taking care of someone with C.Diff

Visitors may also wear PPE gowns and gloves to prevent spore spread.

When leaving the room, visitors must remove their PPE gown and gloves and wash their hands

In Hospital, Patience with C.Diff are asked to stay in their hospital rooms as much as possible. They should not go to common areas, such as gift shops, cafeterias, living rooms, common rooms.

Hospitals are advised to only give antibiotics when it is “necessary”

“Make sure all Health Care Professionals and those providing care clean their hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub “before” and after caring for you”

Tips

Only take antibiotics as prescribed by your doctor “follow the directions”

Be sure you clean your own hands often, especially after using the bathroom and before eating

Keep your bathroom clean and close the toilet lid before flushing to reduce the spread of spores given off by fecal matter.

Can my friends and family get C.Diff when they visit me?

Yes – C.Diff infection usually does not occur in people who are not taking antibiotics, however those with compromised immune systems, previous underlying medical conditions or infants are susceptible. Visitors are not likely to get C.Diff but can transport it to someone who may be susceptible. To make it safer for visitors, they should:

Clean their hands before they enter your room and as they leave your room.

Avoid using the ill persons bathroom and avoid contact with surfaces which may hold fecal matter.

Avoid contact with infants or those who could be ill already

If I have C.Diff what do I need to do when I go home from the Hospital?

Once you are back at home, you can return to your normal routine. Often, the diarrhea will be better or completely gone before you go home. This makes giving C.Diff to other people much less likely. However there are a few things you should do to lower the chances of developing C.Diff infection in yourself again or spreading it to others as C.Diff can survive up to 5 months outside of the host.

If you are given a prescription to treat C.Diff, take the medicine “exactly” as prescribed by your doctor and pharmacist. Do not take half-doses or stop before you run out. You may feel better but the bacteria is still in your body.

Was your hands often, especially after going to the bathroom and before preparing food.

People who live with you should wash their hands often as well as sleep in separate rooms “avoid sharing toiletry’s”

If you develop more diarrhea after you get home, tell your doctor immediately!

If your symptoms get worse at any time or you notice new symptoms from the list above, call your doctor or Health Link “811 in Alberta”. You can also call the “Health Link Alberta 24/7 if you have questions about C.Diff or any of the information in this handout.

This information was taken From Center of Disease Control “CDC” (Clostridium Difficile) Information slip.

We never know what can happen, its always good to be prepared and have the knowledge we need to help those who need it.

“This material is for information purposes only and is taken from The Canadian Red Cross / Alberta Heart & Stroke Foundation & Alberta Health Services. This information should not be used in place of medical, Technical advice, instructor, and/or treatment. If you have questions, speak to your local Physician or Safety Training Facility.”

Just Remember:

Protect Yourself!!! Call 911!!! Don’t Waste Time!!!

Learn First Aid Today & Save a Life Tomorrow with Saving Grace Medical Academy Ltd.