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 centimeters wide. They sometimes clear in the center 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 ot 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.

“This material is for information purposes only and is taken from the CDC and Canadian Medical Association. 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

#FirstAidCourseEdmonton #H2SAlive #BasicLifeSupport #BLS #BLSforHCP #BCLS #BCLSCourseEdmonton #ACLS #AdvancedCardiovascularLifeSupport #EMR #EmergencyMedicalResponder #ITLS #Impetigo #FaceBlisters

“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 neighborhood? 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.


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.


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




Phone Service Line” Will not help during emergencies


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

  • RememberStay Alive, Don’t Drink & Drive or Toke & Drive


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


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.


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

“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

#FirstAidCourseEdmonton #H2SAlive #BasicLifeSupport #BLS #BLSforHCP #H2sAliveEdmonton #EnformH2S #BCLS #BCLSCourseEdmonton #ACLS #AdvancedCardiovascularLifeSupport #EMR #EmergencyMedicalResponder #ITLS #NineOneOne #EightOneOne #TwoOneOne

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 contactDirect Contact”. The virus is spread from the faeces 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 faeces 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?

  1. 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.
  2. Avoid sharing cups, eating utensils, items of personal hygiene “for example: towels, scrub brushes, face towels, loofah, toothbrushes”, and clothing “especially shoes, socks & underwear”.
  3. Hand sanitizer and surface surface sanitizer
  4. 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 etiquetteCover 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:

  1. Persistent Fever “38C or above for 72 hours or more
  2. Abnormal movements / jerking movements
  3. Rapid breathing
  4. Excessive tiredness, drowsiness
  5. Excessive irritability
  6. 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 “anyrashif present” has gone and “anyfever 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 workers” should report the illness to the director of the childcare centre 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.

“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

#FirstAidCourseEdmonton #H2SAlive #BasicLifeSupport #BLS #BLSforHCP #H2sAliveEdmonton #EnformH2S #BCLS #BCLSCourseEdmonton #ACLS #AdvancedCardiovascularLifeSupport #EMR #EmergencyMedicalResponder #ITLS #HFM #HandMouthAndFootDisease

C-Diff “Clostridium Difficile” What you need to know.

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”


  1. Only take antibiotics as prescribed by your doctor “follow the directions
  2. Be sure you clean your own hands often, especially after using the bathroom and before eating
  3. 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.

“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

#FirstAidCourseEdmonton #H2SAlive #BasicLifeSupport #BLS #BLSforHCP #H2sAliveEdmonton #EnformH2S #BCLS #BCLSCourseEdmonton #ACLS #AdvancedCardiovascularLifeSupport #EMR #EmergencyMedicalResponder #ITLS #Cdiff #ClostridiumDifficile