Category Archives: First Aid Techniques

Choking, How to help and what to look for.

Choking, How to help and what to look for.

Choking can happen to anyone of any age, and is one of the worst fears for many new parents as it happens fast causing serious problems including death. In most cases where the victim can still cough the object will come free on its own. However once the victim is unable to cough anymore the airway is potentially blocked and the victims life is now in jeopardy.

The most common causes of chocking include trying to swallow large pieces of food, eating while talking, walking or playing, being under the influence of an intoxicant or elicit substance while eating.

What to look for:

-Inability to speak, cough or breath

-Change in face color like bluish, red, or paler than normal

-Look of panic with wide eyes “Fear”

-One or both hands clutching the throat or flailing

-High pitch whistle or noise when they attempt to breath or cough

In the Adult or Child once you have identified yourself and that you are going to attempt to help them:

1) Encourage the Victim to continue to cough the object free

2) If the victim can no longer cough, speak or breathe

-Stand or kneel beside the victim and wrap one arm diagonally across the victims chest

-Bend the victim forward at the waist at a 90 degree angle

-With the palm of your hand deliver 5 FIRM BACK BLOWS between the shoulder blades to encourage them to cough.

3) If the object has NOT come free in the first 5 Back Blows

-Quickly stand the victim up strait and place one hand in a first just above the belly button thumb side in.

-Place your other hand over your fist hand and pull sharply in and up in a ” J ” like Motion 5 Times

4) Repeat the 5 FIRM BACK BLOWS & the 5 ABDOMINAL J THRUSTS until they POP or DROP.

5) If the Victim becomes unconscious and is not breathing Call for help 911 and begin CPR 30 Compression, 2 Breaths, Repeat 5 Times in a row. After your 5th cycle of 30/2 if the victim is not breathing repeat until help arrives.

To prevent yourself or others from chocking just remind them to chew food well before swallowing, eat slowly and calmly, try not to talk, laugh or do physical activities while chewing and avoid mixing meals with other substances which could alter your personality.

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.

SHOCK – What to look for & How to Help

SHOCK – What to look for & How to Help

Shock is one of those things that all of us will experience sometime in our life and yet many of us have forgotten that it also can be a deadly scenario. “Shock Always Has A Cause” and that’s one thing that we can use to help us treat it, once you figure out what has caused it “Fix it” and shock will begin to lessen.

Shock happens when your body goes through a sudden internal or external event causing the body to demand more oxygen rich blood. In doing so the body will focus the remaining oxygen rich blood it has into key body parts to sustain your life and yet leave others unattended. Any vital organ which does not have enough blood or oxygen will eventually begin to fail. This is why “Shock Can Be Deadly”.

“Anyone can go into Shock, even those rescuing the casualties”

To make it easy just remember that it “Doesn’t Matter what caused the Casualty to go into shock” once you figure out what caused it “Fix it”.

Shock can often be caused by:

-Excessive Blood Loss – A Weak Heart – Extensive Burns – Infection – Excessive Fluid Loss – Fear or Anxiety – and many more

What to look for:

Altered Personality – Extreme Anxiety – Cool / Clammy Skin – Pale Skin tone – Confusion – Excessive thirst – Rapid Breathing – Nausea / Vomiting / weakness – Drowsiness.

How to help:

-Move or Remove the casualty “If possible” from the area that may be causing the shock.

-Assess the victim and find the root of the cause “Shock Always Has A Cause”

-Offer comfort / warmth and reassurance

-Treat the cause of the shock and follow your local emergency response techniques.

Shock Treatments:

– Altered Personality / Consciousness – Offer Comfort, warmth and reassurance while guiding the casualty away from danger or harm. Never restrain a casualty as they may lash out, find a position of comfort and wait for medical help to arrive or transport the patient using 911 recommendations to your local medical facility.

– Extreme Anxiety – Offer Comfort, warmth and reassurance, respect the casualties personal comfort level’s and boundaries and assist the casualty in breathing exercises to help reduce anxiety. Be patient and monitor the casualties breathing, if their breathing becomes altered or they are uncontrollable contact 911 for help, “211” in Alberta is also another hot key number to use if you need to talk to a qualified mental health professional.

– Blood Loss – Immediately Apply Direct Pressure to the wound with a clean non stick dressing, if bleeding persists and a pressure bandage around the dressing to secure a “Even” Pressure “Not tight” You do not want to “stop blood flow”, If bleeding persists add pressure points “The Pressure Points are in your Joints!” Place a rolled up piece of dressing or an object large enough to fit into the joint above the wound and have the casualty press the joint inward against the artery’s “This will help slow the blood flow”. “Only” Apply a Tourniquet under the advisement of a 911 dispatcher.

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.

How to place a casualty into the Recovery Position

How to place a casualty into the Recovery Position

There are many different ways to help a casualty during an emergency, but what can we do if we find someone unconscious? If the casualty is “Unconscious without Spine Injuries” the Recovery Position is designed to help keep the victims airway open as well as keeping the Head, Neck & Spine in a relatively strait line so that they can Recover. Many people have used this position not even thinking about it when they were even sick, injured or intoxicated.

To Perform the Recovery Position:

1) Kneel Beside the casualty and place the casualty furthest arm from you above their head.

2) Place the arm closest to you across the casualty’s chest as a protector arm.

3) The Key is in their Knee, bend the nearest leg up at the knee.

4) Carefully slip your hand under the hollow of the casualty’s neck to support the Head Neck & Spine, at the same time use your forearm by slipping it carefully under the shoulder for leverage.

5) Place your free hand on the Key Knee and gently roll the casualty away from you by applying steady pressure against the knee and shoulder at the same time. The casualty’s head should rest on their raised arm.

6) To secure the position pull the key knee further up and bring their protector arm out to use the elbow to stabilize the position.

7) Check the Airway to make sure their still breathing.

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.

How to help a Conscious Drowning Person

How to help a Conscious Drowning Person

Drowning can be a very dangerous situation not only for the victim but also for those attempting to rescue people in danger of drowning. You should always refer to a special trained rescuer like a lifeguard to rescue someone by swimming out. The fear of drowning can cause a panic response in victims which can lead to the victim inadvertently dragging the rescuer down with them.

If you do see someone in danger of drowning and you have access to flotation devices like water-boards, pool noodles or something that you can hold out to reach the victim follow these simple steps:

1) lay down flat on the ground to gain an anchor point for your body, spread your legs and firmly brace yourself.

2) Hold out the object so that the victim can grab it.

-Brace yourself and pull the victim towards the edge of the water allowing the victim to secure themselves.

3) Help the victim from the water if safe to do so.

These steps are designed to help you in any emergency. The difference may be someones life.

“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.

Covid-19 and your Safety as a Student

Covid-19 and your Safety as a Student

Thank you for taking the time to look over this post, it is amazing that we have come so far in the middle of a Pandemic as an Educational hub for Heath Care Professionals across Alberta.

Recently we have been getting many questions about:

  • – “Why are you not teaching in class?
  • – “I have heard this school saying they are training in class why aren’t you?
  • – “Do I have to do the class online or can I just wait it out?

We want to be clear with our students so that they understand that we:

“Have your Health and Safety as our TOP Priority”

At Saving Grace Medical Academy we have chosen to follow the guidelines and restrictions released by our local Alberta Government for “Your Safety and the Safety of our Staff“. Covid-19 has posed some serious challenges for any educational facility. Reduction in students, reduction in capacity, reduction in income, and so much more can lead any business down a path that could end in ruin.

However, we have chosen to “Stand by the guidelines regardless of the outcome”

The guidelines released by the Alberta Government on November 24th and updated again on December 8th outlined some heavy measures to slow the spread of Covid-19 in our province.

Two major Restrictions that came forward were:

  1. All Group training is here by cancelled
  2. If an Employee can work from home they “Must”

What does this mean?

For some educational facilities it meant very little to be honest, and many have chosen to ignore the restrictions and keep training in person regardless of the dangers, citing that it does not apply to them as it is not worded to address Vocational Schools specifically. Thus placing students in Large Groups within the confines of a classroom with random strangers not in your cohort.

For us here at Saving Grace Medical we want to be clear “Your Safety has ALWAYS been our priority“. At Saving Grace Medical we have maintained a high standard of PPE, social distancing, and sanitization throughout the pandemic. So to answer those first three questions we have been getting quite frequently and even more so after the December 8th release.

Why are you not teaching in class?

  • All Basic Life Support Provider CPR&AED “HCP” courses can be taught online, Thus allowing us to follow the guidelines by training you properly “and” safely. Due to Covid-19 the Heart & Stroke Foundation has released a program called “Basic Life Support Provider Interim Training“, this 2 part course allows you to take an OHS certified online training class and granting temporary certification until the restrictions or danger has been lifted. Once the danger has been reduced in our area Part 2 “In class training, BLS Interim Part 2” will resume with a condensed CPR skill evaluation which meets and exceeds all OHS requirements as well as AHS, Covenant Health and all Governing Body requirements.

I have this school that says they are training in class why aren’t you?

  • We take Covid-19 seriously even if others don’t, it is an unknown disease that has unknown potential complications with the ability to spread rapidly even with precautions put in place. We assume that you would not want to be exposed to any disease, so we won’t put our students at risk by needlessly placing them in a confined space with unknown variables at this time when other options are available. Nobody wants to catch a disease.

Do I have to do the class online or can I just wait it out?

  • To maintain your continuing competencies as “any health care provider” in Canada, it is still a requirement to adhere to the local and governing requirements of your job. Covid-19 has posed some interesting problems for logistics of training. However being as that it is 2020, and we have a multitude of educational boons to lean on with platforms to choose from, it gives us the edge to utilize online learning as a tool to maintain the education of our students and OHS guidelines at the same time. We know it’s not as convenient as some would like it, we also know that its not the end of the world to not have your CPR and First Aid class. However, we are working within the rules set forth by OHS and AHS for your safety and have some simple measures.

Take your course online – Be patient – The pandemic will end – Life will continue

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

How do you perform a Primary Survey?

How do you perform a Primary Survey?

The phrase “Primary Survey” can be a little hard to decipher if you have never taken a First Aid Course before, not only that but it is always hard to remember specific steps in any Emergency Setting for those who are not dedicated Emergency Medical Professionals.

The best way to think of the “Primary Survey” is to think about the bodies Primary Need. As humans we use many fuels to support our life, however there is one in specific that all our bodies hinge on. “Oxygen”. Oxygen is the key to any emergency, if the victim is breathing but unconscious roll them into the recovery position, if the victim is “Not” breathing “Start CPR”.

That means your “Primary Survey” is simplified to this… The victim is breathing… Or … The victim is “not” breathing.

To perform the Primary Survey look for the Primary Need by performing these 3 steps.

1) Check the Scene for Safety, then check the victim

-They are breathing, They are “Not” breathing

2) Call 911

3) Care For the Victim.

“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.

Should you drive an ill or injured person to the hospital?

Should you drive an ill or injured person to the hospital?

This question gets asked by students taking our first aid courses all the time, and we do see the conundrum that many face in an Emergency as Liability, distance, Time or even a persons life may be at stake. For these very reasons we have come up with the simplest way to look at it.

Try not to……, but if you do decide to take a person to the hospital we have included some steps to keep you and the patient safe. Lets call this “Stay & Play VS Load & Go”

Stay & Play = “Wait for an Ambulance

  • – Never drive an ill or injured person to the hospital if their condition is “Life Threatening” or spine related. The movement of being in a vehicle may adversely affect their injuries. You may not have to move the patient, your 911 Dispatcher will advise you on options you may have to secure the best medical aid given.

Load & Go = “Take them to a hospital

  • – For “Non-Life Threatening” injuries or illness.

Step #1 – “911 on Speaker Phone” – Have 911 on speaker phone so everyone knows what the dispatcher needs you to do. This will also let the hospital know you are coming.

Step #2 – “Take a Partner – Have a calm person drive while you continue care. Having a partner to help in an emergency setting can make all the difference. Emergencies can change.

Step #3 – “You Can NOT Speed – as your vehicle is not a designated emergency vehicle its lack of visibility and sirens will put you and others into danger if you attempt to break the rules of the road. Just remember, if you get there safely, the victim will too, Better safe than sorry.

“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.

Online – BLS Basic Life Support Provider CPR&AED “HCP” Is back up and running!

Covid -19 Basic Life Support Interim Training

Health Care Provider Level CPR “AKA” Basic Life Support Provider BLS

Over the years of helping students get the training they need for the employment they require, we have had countless questions on whether or not someone needs the Health Care Provider level CPR also known as Basic Life Support Provider or the general public version of CPR. We understand the confusion as many societies offer their own version of the HCP Health Care Provider CPR course. The final decision on what course a student needs is what their governing society accepts.

But what about Covid – 19?

  • How do we do our CPR class with social distancing?
  • How can we still keep up to date on life saving techniques but not infect patients?
  • What options do I have to keep certified or even recertify during the “Covid-19 Pandemic”?

We have had many students contact us as the Covid-19 Pandemic was breaking out across the world with their concerns. Fear, sadness, and uncertainty are common in this new world where “Self Isolation, Distancing, Disease and Death” loom at every turn.

We want to help our students and those around the world. Saving Grace Medical is a Family based business that has been in operation sense 2011, helping Health Care Professionals and General Public get the life saving training they need to both match Occupational Health & Safety Regulations for their workplace. We know the fear and anxiety that you may be faced with by going back to work, the fear that has been perpetuated by social media and some of the false news that may have sparked panic.

To help, we wanted to offer the newly accredited “Covid – 19 Pandemic Basic Life Support Interim Class” which will help you get through this tough time and still get the certification you need for employment within the Health Care System.

Basic Life Support Provider Interim Training

This 2 part course helps health care professionals in a simple way, by splitting the Basic Life Support Provider CPR&AED course into two pieces “Online Cognitive Learning” & “In Class Skill Assessments” we can avoid the risk of Covid-19 spreading by having our students attend a fully “Online Learning Lecture + Conference”. Then once the Pandemic is concluded the “In Class Skill Assessments” will be scheduled with the new regulations on hygiene, hand washing and social distancing to maximize safety for our students and staff alike.

For more information please feel free to contact us at www.savinggracemedical.com

Our Basic Life Support Interim Program is run through our Edmonton Location with many time slots to chose from. As Alberta Health Services also recommends that due to liability, if your BLS CPR or Basic Life Support for Health Care Provider certificate expires you should not be allowed to work until it is reactivated. For this reason Saving Grace Medical has extended our BLS program course dates as of this year to “Monday Through Saturday” and even on Sundays upon request for groups. There will be more Basic Life Support Provider CPR/AED Level C courses available for our students.

Getting you the course you need, when you need it! We hope this has helped clear some information on standards set forward by Alberta Health Services.

We look forward to seeing you!

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

SIDS “Sudden Infant Death Syndrome”

SIDS “Sudden Infant Death Syndrome”

What is SIDS “Sudden Infant Death Syndrome?

– SIDS “Sudden Infant Death Syndrome” is defined as a sudden unexplained death before 1 year of age. The death usually occurs in a previously healthy infant, and the cause of death remains unexplained despite a thorough investigation , including a complete autopsy, death scene investigation, and review of the clinical history.

What causes SIDS?

Unfortunately “Doctors do not know what causes SIDS”. It seems to happen more often in premature and low-birth-weight babies however. It also is seen more often in babies who’s mothers didn’t get medical care during the pregnancy and in babies who’s mothers smoke. SIDS may also be more likely in babies who were part of a multiple pregnancy “twins for example” or who’s mothers are younger than 20.

SIDS has also been associated with a sleep period but is unpredictable. It is often referred to as a “diagnosis of exclusion” because it is determined only after ruling out other causes of death, including suffocation, infection, or other illnesses.

SIDS is also “not” the cause of every sudden infant death. Each year in North America thousands of infants tragically die suddenly of no immediate or obvious cause. These deaths are classified as SUID.

SUID “Sudden Unexplained Infant Death” includes all unexpected deaths. These deaths without a clear cause, such as SIDS, and those from a known cause, such as accidental suffocation. Many unexpected infant deaths are accidents, but a disease or another external factor, such as poisoning or neglect, can also cause an infant to die unexpectedly. One-half of SUID cases are SIDS.

Sleep-Related causes of infant death” – These deaths are not SIDS – These causes are linked to how or where a baby sleeps or slept, accidental suffocation, entrapment “trapped between two objects ie: Mattress / Wall” , strangulation or when something presses on or wraps around the baby’s neck blocking the baby’s airway.

Risk Factors:

Age: “Birth 0 – 6 Months”

SIDS has “NO” symptoms or warning signs, babies who die from SIDS seem healthy before being put to bed, they will show “NO” signs of struggle and are often found in the same position as when they were placed in bed.

While the cause of SIDS is unknown, many physicians and researchers believe that SIDS is associated with problems in the ability of the Baby to arouse from sleep, to detect low levels of Oxygen or a build-up of carbon dioxide in the blood. When babies sleep face down, they may re-breathe exhaled carbon dioxide. Normally, rising carbon dioxide levels activates nerve cells in the brainstem, which stimulate the brain’s respiratory and arousal centers “Provoking a movement response to clear the airway”, a Baby will “wake up” turn its head and breath faster to get more oxygen. SIDS may cause the baby to fail to wake.

  • Babies who sleep on their stomach or their sides rather than their back.
  • Overheating while sleeping “Febrile Seizures, Coma, Death”
  • Too soft a sleeping surface, with fluffy blankets or toys.
  • Smoking During Pregnancy “Smoking During pregnancy increases the likelihood of SIDS by three times” This also includes “Tobacco , Marijuana or Illicit Drugs
  • Exposure to passive smoke “Second Hand Smoke” This also doubles the chances for SIDS
  • Young mothers under 20
  • Babies born to mothers who had little, late or no prenatal care
  • Premature or low birth weight babies
  • Hereditary factors like siblings who have died of SIDS
  • Co-Sleeping or Sharing the same sleeping surface “such as a bed” with an individual other than a parent or sharing the same sleeping bed with an individual who is overly tired, under the influence of alcohol / drugs or overweight.
  • The infant has underlying birth defects “ie: brainstem” that make the baby unable to respond to low oxygen or high carbon dioxide blood levels.

Diagnosis

A physician will name SIDS as the cause of death “only” when no other cause is found. To find out why a baby died, medical experts will review the baby’s and parents medical histories, study the area where the baby died and combine an in depth medical exam “autopsy” to find the true cause. If no cause can be determined it will be declared as SIDS / SUDS.

Prevention

Medical professionals have linked many preventative techniques in reducing the risk of SIDS / SUDS. For more information or details on how you can reduce the risk for your baby please consult your local Paediatrician.

The most important thing you can do is to “Always place your baby to sleep on his or her back” rather than on the stomach or side.

  • Don’t smoke while you are pregnant, and don’t expose your baby to second hand smoke after your baby is born.
  • For the first 6 months have your baby sleep in a crop, cradle, or bassinet in the same room where you sleep. It is a safer sleeping arrangement than sharing a bed. Many families choose to “Co-Sleep or Bed-hare” or find that they end up bed-haring even if they do not plan to do so. Bed-shaing should be discussed with your paediatrician.
  • Reduce your use of alcohol or recreational medications such as drugs. If you smoke or have used alcohol, drugs, or medications that can alter your sleep pattern “Sedatives” bed-sharing is especially risky and should be avoided.
  • Never sleep with a baby on a couch or armchair, and it is “not safe” to place your baby on a couch to sleep. The safest place for a baby is in a crib, cradle, or bassinet that meets safety standards and has a firm mattress.
  • Car Seats – Some babies fall asleep while travelling in a car seat. Keep an eye on a baby sleep in in a car and take your baby out of the car seat frequently during long trips and when you reach your destination. Babies should “not” be left to sleep in a car seat, stroller, baby swing, sling or bouncer seat because their airway may become restricted.
  • Toys / Accessories” Keep soft items and loose bedding out of the crib. Items such as blankets, stuffed animals, toys or pillows could suffocate or trap your baby. Dress your baby in sleepers instead of using blankets or provide a small enough blanket that can easily be kicked off.
  • Crib” Make sure the crib mattress is “Firm not soft” with a fitted sheet. Do “not” use bumper pads or other products that attach to crib slats or sides. They could suffocate your baby.
  • Keep the room temperature comfortable so that your baby can sleep in lightweight clothing without a blanket if need be. To gage this, the temperature is about right if an adult can wear a long sleeved T-shirt and pants without feeling cold. Your baby is likely too hot if they sweat or toss and turn a lot.
  • Breastfeed your baby if possible – Breastfed babies have a lower chance of SIDS / SUDS.
  • Consider giving your baby a pacifier at nap time and bedtime. Experts do not know why, though babies who bottle feed to sleep or use a pacifier are at lower risk for SIDS.

– NOTE –

There is no sure way to prevent SIDS, and no test can predict weather a baby is likely to die of SIDS. “Do not” rely on breathing “apnea” monitors, special mattresses, or other devices marketed as a way to reduce your baby’s risk for SIDS. “NONE” of these items have been proved to lower the risk of SIDS and the Public Health Agency of Canada and other experts “do not” advise their use.

Remember SIDS is rare. Be as safe as you can, but don’t let fear keep you from enjoying your baby.

If you have a caregiver or baby sitter, ensure they know all the steps to protecting the child from sudden events that could harm them.

– Above all else – If your Baby tragically is lost to SIDS “You are NOT to blame

  • Do not hesitate to seek emotional support or grief counseling, join a support group or even rely on family to help support you through this tragic loss. For a list of local Emotional and Mental Health links contact “211” in Alberta for a free access to the Mental Health Link.

If your have worries or wish to speak with a medical practitioner about concerns call your doctor or Health Link “811 in Alberta”. You can also call the “Health Link Alberta 24/7 if you have questions about SIDS or any of the information in this handout.

This information was taken From Health Link British Columbia SIDS Information slip, American Paediatric Society, US Department of Health & Human Services, Infant Death Investigation Foundation, Stollery Children’s Hospital, Boston Children’s Hospital.

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

COPD “Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease”

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!!!

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