Tag Archives: Breath For Life

Deadly Bleeding & How to Stop it

Deadly Bleeding or Severe bleeding that ends with large amounts of Blood being lost has the potential to end a victims life very quickly. Either “Internal” or “External” bleeding depending on the volume of Blood being lost can become life threatening and must be controlled as soon as possible. Many of our students have asked great questions including, how much blood can you lose before its too much? How much Blood do we have? Whats the difference between internal and external bleeding? How can I tell if its an Arterial bleed or venous? Are there any tricks I can do to help stop the bleeding? Should I use a tourniquet?

On “average” many people have about 5 to 6 liters of blood within their body, of course size, gender, age and athleticism play factors on this volume as we are all unique. The “average” blood loss that many people can sustain is about 2 cups / 500 ml or 1/2 liter, this volume is much less than many people are aware of and indeed has the potential to become life threatening. So whats the best way to stop the bleeding? As we are not able to do very much for Internal bleeding “Bleeding trapped under the skin” other than seeking medical attention right away, lets focus on external bleeding.

EXTERNAL BLEEDINGBlood is coming out of their body

There are 2 types of external bleeding, Arterial & Venous, the best way to describe them is not to focus on the Blood itself but the volume that is being lost. Arterial bleeds or “From the Artery” will have a “HIGH” volume and may spray, Venous or “From the Vein” will have a “LOW” volume and will steadily bleed out.

The 3 P’s to STOP External Bleeding
1) Pressure… 2) Pressure….. 3) Pressure………

Of course each of these moderate pressures are different and have a different skill that we as rescuers can use to help “Slow the Blood-flow” so that it can stop itself. “Never use a tourniquet” or hard pressure as tourniquet’s STOP blood-flow and any body part deprived of blood & oxygen will eventually die. This can lead to severe complications when the victim arrives at the hospital to receive further medical care. As first response rescuers lets focus on how to “Slow the Blood-flowso your own body can stop the bleeding itself, this skill will be invaluable for anyone who has external bleeding from either an artery or vein.

The 3 P’s to STOP External Bleeding Stand For
1) Direct Pressure 2) Pressure Bandages 3) Pressure Points

What to Do:

  1. Make sure its safe for you to help the victim before you approach them. If safe to do so check the victim.
  2. If the bleeding looks high in volume or you are not comfortable with care call 911 for further medical aid.
  3. With the wound in view, expose the wound “rinse with cool clean water if needed
  4. Apply direct pressure with a bandage to the wound “Slow the Blood-Flow” If bleeding persists always add more bandages never take away blood soaked bandages as your wound is beginning to clot.
  5. Apply a Pressure Bandage, to secure a direct pressure bandage use either roller gauze or a triangular bandages to secure your direct pressure bandages in place with a “Moderate pressure” always make sure that circulation is maintained distally or “after the wound“, to do this try pressing on the skin past the wound, if the blood flow is normal the skin will blanch then return to its original color quickly.
  6. For persistent bleeding and Arterial bleeds add the use of pressure points, to do this use an object like a roll of gauze or bandages and place them in the Joint “Arm Pit, Groin, elbow” above the wound then have the victim bend the joint pressing the object in. This will create a pressure on the veins and arteries above to the wound thus slowing the blood flow even more. The addition of Cool packs and elevation may further increase your ability to slow the blood-flow and achiever our goal of having the bleeding stopped.
  7. Combined the 3 Pressures, Direct Pressure, Pressure Bandage & Pressure Points have been shown to greatly increase survival rate of victims experiencing blood loss. Just remember to continue care and seek medical aid for any bleeding that has the potential to be severe.

In any Emergency Remember To:
Protect Yourself!!! Call 911!!! Don’t Waste Time!!!

Swoop into first aid and give a breath of life, let first aid training in Edmonton be your Saving Grace.

Stroke VS TIA “Transient Ischemic Attack”

During our instruction of “Cardiovascular Disease” or CVD for short we get many questions on weather or not Stroke’s or TIA’s are closely related to “Heart Attack’s or Angina“. For this reason we normally teach them at the same time to help our new rescuers understand what to look for and how to react during an emergency caused by a Stroke or a TIA “Transient Ischemic Attack“. Some of the more basic questions asked would be: Is a Stroke or TIA life threatening? Can a person suffering a Stroke regain their lost abilities? Is a Stroke or TIA permanent? What are the symptoms of a Stroke or a TIA? What are some of the risk factors that lead to a Stroke or TIA? We will do our best to help you understand the basics and know what to look for.

TIA “Transient Ischemic Attack”
TIA’s have been termed as a “Mini Stroke” with symptoms that mimic that of a full blown Stroke but are short lived and will subside within a few minutes. TIA’s much like Strokes are mainly caused by similar disorders like Cardiovascular Disease CVD, Atherosclerosis or Hereditary defects. The easiest way to explain what TIA’s are is to picture a clear tube in your mind that lets blood flow through it perfectly, now pinch the tube slightly so that the flow of blood is restricted. If this was within your Brain the Brain Tissue that has the restricted flow of blood would starve for Blood & Oxygen causing symptoms that mimic that of a Stroke this is called a “TIA or Transient Ischemic Attack“. Much like a Heart attack is to Angina the similarities are uncanny. Just like Angina the symptoms of a TIA will be short lived and will normally go away once Blood & Oxygen demand has been reduced or assisted with medication

STROKE
A Stroke takes place when the Brain or Specific Brain tissue within the Brain is cut off from Oxygenated Blood. This can lead to the death of the Brain tissue leading to a life threatening emergency known as a Stroke. As previously stated any tissue within the body that has a lack of oxygenated blood will eventually begin to decay and die. Using the same description of a plastic tube with blood flowing through it in your mind, now pinch the tube completely off so that no blood can pass through it, the blockage stops the flow of Oxygen rich blood to the Brain leading to the eventual death of the tissue termed as a “Stroke“.

Much like a Heart attack and Angina the difference between a Stroke or a TIA “Transient Ischemic Attack” isn’t much more than an Artery or blood vessel “tube” being restricted and an Artery or blood vessel “tube” being blocked. For many people a TIA is your “Wake Up Call” as your body is now telling you that there are some risk factors that you need to take care of before the TIA “BECOMES” a Stroke.

Symptoms of a Stroke or TIA:
-(4 Suddons) Sudden Headache “Migraine” ,Sudden Weakness “One side of the body more than the other” ,Sudden Speech Problems “Aphasia” , Sudden Anxiety – Slurred or hard to understand speech with jumbled words – Facial Droop “One Side” – Loss of motor skills “One Side“.

Risk Factors:
-Smoking -High Blood Pressure -Poor Diet “Processed Foods” -High Cholesterol -Obesity -Lack of regular Exercise -High Stress -Gender -Heredity -Age.

How to Help:

  1. Have the Person rest in a comfortable position and try not to move as much as possible.
  2. Call 911 “You can not tell the difference between a Stroke or a TIA” the TIA will be short lived about 15 minutes, a Stroke will not as brain damage is taking place and can be permanent or even Fatal. Don’t Waste time trying to figure it out “better safe than sorry“.
  3. Keep the person calm, assist with any medications if they have them and wait for an ambulance or the symptoms to subside.

Weather your daily life or habits fall under some of the risk factors or all of them you should notice that many of these are easily fixed with some changes in personal outlook and removing of bad habits. Everyone want’s to live a long and healthy life, once you know the risks you can take charge of your own life and do what you can to avoid your body failing on you.

In Any Emergency Remember To:
Protect Yourself!!! Call 911!!! Don’t Waste Time!!!

Swoop Into first aid and give a breath of life, let first aid training in Edmonton be your Saving Grace.

Angina VS Heart Attack

When we teach about “Cardiovascular Disease” or CVD for short we notice that many people are a little unclear as to the difference between a Heart Attack or Angina. Can a Heart attack kill you? Can Angina be life threatening? Can Angina become a heart attack? What are the symptoms for Angina or a Heart Attack? We will do our best to explain the differences and what to look for to help you understand the potential deadly emergency when dealing with Angina & Heart Attack scenarios.

ANGINA
Angina has been termed as “chest pain or pressure that comes and goes” however it can be much more than that. Also the signs and symptoms of Angina mimic the signs and symptoms of a Heart Attack almost perfectly with only a few subtle differences. The main causes of Angina are also similar to that of a Heart Attack stemming from problems like Cardiovascular Disease, heart disorders or Anemia. The easiest way to explain what Angina is is to picture a clear tube in your mind that lets blood flow through it perfectly, now pinch the tube slightly so that the flow of blood is restricted. If this was within your heart the muscle that has the restricted flow of blood would starve for Blood & Oxygen causing symptoms that mimic that of a heart attack “Angina“. The symptoms however would go away once the demand for Blood & Oxygen has been reduced or assisted with medications. Often Angina will go away with rest in about 10 minutes and or medication assistance

HEART ATTACK
Heart Attacks happen when the heart or specific muscle tissue within the heart can’t get enough Oxygenated Blood. This can lead to the death of the heart muscle and tissue leading to a life threatening emergency, as we all know any body part that can not get enough Blood & Oxygen will eventually die. Using the same description of a plastic tube with blood flowing through it in your mind, now pinch the tube completely off so that no blood can pass through it, the blockage stops the flow of Oxygen rich blood to the heart leading to the eventual death of the tissue termed as a “Heart Attack

As you can see the difference between Angina and a Heart Attack isn’t much more than an Artery “tube” being restricted and an Artery “tube” being blocked. Angina for many people is your “Wake Up Call” as your body is now telling you that there are some risk factors that you need to take care of before Angina “BECOMES” a Heart Attack.

Symptoms of a Heart Attack & Angina:
-Squeezing Chest Pain -Problems Breathing -Abdominal or lower back pain “More common in women” – Cold sweaty skin -Bluish or paler than normal skin tone -Nausea & Vomiting -“Denial” -Jaw Pain -Left Arm / Shoulder Pain -Feeling of Heart Burn.

Risk Factors:
-Smoking -High Blood Pressure -Poor Diet “Processed Foods” -High Cholesterol -Obesity -Lack of regular Exercise -High Stress -Gender -Heredity -Age.

How to Help:

  1. Check the Person and have them rest in a comfortable position and try not to move as much as possible.
  2. Call 911 “You can not tell the difference between a heart attack or angina” angina will be short lived about 10 minutes, a heart attack will not. Don’t Waste time trying to figure it out “better safe than sorry“.
  3. Keep the person calm, assist with any medications if they have them and wait for an ambulance or the symptoms to subside.

Weather your daily life or habits fall under some of the risk factors or all of them you should notice that many of these are easily fixed with some changes in personal outlook and removing of bad habits. Everyone want’s to live a long and healthy life, once you know the risks you can take charge of your own life and do what you can to avoid your body failing on you.

In Any Emergency Remember To:
Protect Yourself!!! Call 911!!! Don’t Waste Time!!!

Swoop Into first aid and give a breath of life, let first aid training in Edmonton be your Saving Grace.

Prevention of Emergencies like Stroke, Heart Attack or Angina:

Circulation emergencies like Heart Attacks, Strokes, Angina or even TIA’s “Trans Ischemic Attack’s” might seem to the person experiencing the effects like a sudden event, although the truth is that cardiovascular disease actually develops after a prolonged period of time. Many would feel that the age groups associated with such medical emergencies would only appear in the 40+ age range, when in fact it can begin as early as in your teens.

Prevention methods for these types of emergencies are well known in many groups, and everyone has a theory on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle. For this prevention method we will refer to the basics like Nutrition, Weight Control, Exercise, Stress Control & Breaking Unhealthy Habits.

PREVENTION of CVD “Cardiovascular Disease

Lets start with “Weight Control“, Body fat in an excessive amounts can lead to heart disease, diabetes, gallbladder disease & high blood pressure. As we all know loosing body fat is “NOT EASY“, as your body balances between how much you eat & how many calories you use through out the day, this balance can be tilted in the wrong direction “thus gaining body fat“. There are also other factors like thyroid problems as well as Hormonal changes that need the help of a physician. If your thinking about taking on the challenge of losing body fat there are some easy steps to help.

  1. Get your Body fat % analyzed by a Professional to see that there is a problem.
  2. Portion Sizes” Starving yourself will “NOT” work, your body will only hoard the calories to sustain itself. However if you eat like your growing then you will. Remember your stomach should be about the size of your fist, that means you should eat that as a proportionate size per meal.
  3. Exercise” As more and more technology makes our life simpler we see less and less people being active other than with their “thumbs“. Exercise has been something that people have been prompted to do ever sense grade school, and for good reasons. Exercise helps you by keeping your cardiovascular system fit and even burns off excessive calories, this helps you: –Cope with stressImproves self-esteemburns body fatImproves sleep qualityImproves immune systemFights Depression
  4. Nutrition” if your body is a biological machine than what fuels you chose to put into the machine may either make it run better, or worse. Try starting off with a balanced diet, human’s are “Omnivorous” and choosing just one food group rather than all may cause long term damage to your body like iron deficiencies, diabetes, immune system defectiveness, and many other ailments that have been medically documented to appear in the absence of a balanced diet between “all” food groups. for further information check the Canadian Food Guide to give you an idea of a balanced diet. Also remember to stay hydrated, your body is mostly fluids and that amount should be kept up with water intake of about 8 cups of water a day, add more if you attend vigorous activities.
  5. Stress” A normal part of life, however learning to cope with stress may not be easy. Do your best to reduce stress to keep your body healthy, a slogan to remember is “A Healthy mind leads to a Healthy Body” Or visa-versa depending on your goals.

Just remember to do what you can and keep realistic goals that you can achieve.

In Any Emergency Remember too:
Protect Yourself!!! Call 911!!! Don’t Waste Time!!!

Swoop in & give a breath of life, let first aid training in Edmonton be your Saving Grace.

Allergic Reactions, What to Look For & How to Help

What is an allergic reaction? How can I help someone having an allergic reaction? What does an allergic reaction look like? Can an allergy be fatal? What does an extreme allergy or Anaphylaxis look like? What causes allergies? These are some of the questions that we have received within our first aid courses, to begin an allergic reaction is an immune response causing hypersensitivity to substances that either contact or enter the body.

Substances causing the allergy are called Allergens, these can be almost anything from bee venom, pollen, pet dander, shell fish and many other substances. When your body comes into contact with an allergen it reacts as if the substance was a pathogen or harmful substance. This causes the body to have an immune response and release histamines, histamines are involved with the body’s immune response causing tissue inflammation or swelling at the sight of contact with the allergen. Depending on where the body begins to swell this can range from a slight irritation to extremes that may be life threatening “Anaphylaxis“.

Depending on the person’s sensitivity to the substance their body’s immune response “Allergy” may be slow to react or almost instantaneous. The severity of the reaction depends on each individuals immune system and sensitivity.

How to Spot an Allergy Mild or Severe “Anaphylaxis”

-Mild-

  • Itchy skin with raised areas, Hives or even a Rash
  • Tightness in the throat or chest, congestion
  • Dizziness , weakness or confusion

-Severe “Anaphylaxis-

  • Swelling of the face, lips, neck, ears or hands, if the tongue or throat swell this may block the airway “Dangerous”
  • Redness of the skin that may be raised with a rash, hives or blotchy.
  • Weakness or dizziness with nausea or vomiting
  • breathing difficulties, wheezing or coughing

How to Help:

  • If the scene is safe to do so “Check” the victim and make sure they are breathing.
  • If the victim’s allergy is severe “Anaphylaxis” or has trouble breathing and loses consciousness have someone “Call 911” and make sure emergency response is on the way.
  • Care” for the Victim by offering comfort warmth & reasurance as anxiety can make symptoms worse
  • if the reaction is extreme with swelling or difficulty breathing & the victim “Has an Epi-Pen” or epinephrine auto-injector help the person use it. “Make sure to follow the 5 rights of medication assistance” and Assist “Don’t Give” the victims medication.
  • Always refer the victim to an emergency facility if the allergic reaction is severe “Anaphylaxis” and seek medical attention. Symptoms may return even after using an Epi-Pen within as little as 15 minutes.

To Assist with an Epinephrine Auto-Injector

  1. Check the 5 Rights of Medication before assisting
  2. Help the victim remove the safety cap “Blue to the sky
  3. Tell the person to firmly place the injector tip “Orange against the Thigh” hard enough to hear or feel the needle release. “Click” and hold for 10 seconds.
  4. Remove the Auto-Injector
  5. Keep the Auto-Injector with the victim for proper disposal at the hospital.

If you have an allergy, read ingredients or labels carefully and always be sure to ask when you are eating out about what is in the food. Avoid allergens and be sure to check with your physician about childhood allergies.

In Any Emergency Remember To:
Protect Yourself!!! Call 911!!! Don’t Waste Time!!!

Swoop in & Give a Breath of Life, Let First Aid Training in Edmonton be your Saving Grace.

Assisting With Medications During First Aid

Should I give a medication to someone who asks for it? Should I help a person to take their medications? Should I keep extra medications in my first aid kit just in case? These questions are some of the more prominent questions we are asked in class as we instruct First Aid students on how to help with Medications during a First Aid situation.

To shed some light on Medication use in First Aid scenarios & according to the Alberta Occupational Health & Safety regulations First Aid attendants have very specific guidelines on what they can and should not do with Medications in First Aid.

To make this easy “In Alberta” First Aiders are “NOT Allowed” to diagnose, prescribe or administer “Give” any medication. However they are allowed to “Assist” individuals with their “own” prescribed medication if the casualty identifies the medication on their own & is able to take it without assistance.

What does this mean about giving medications in an emergency? Simply put “you CAN Assistbutyou can NOT Give“. The victim must take the medications on their own and be of sound enough mind to understand the risks. This includes all over the counter medications and above counter medications.

To Assist With Medications:

  • The ill or injured person must be conscious and able to understand the risks involved with taking a medication & be able to take it themselves “Self Administration
  • The First Aiders Assistance should be limited to preparing the medication for the victim, this is restricted to but includes oral & auto-injected medications.
  • The victim should be certain that nothing will interfere or react negatively with the medication and should follow the written instructions on the label / device.
  • The Five Rights of Medications are met:
  1. Right Person – If it is a prescribed medication the names match the person taking it on the label.
  2. Right Medication – Use the appropriate medication for the situation “Read the Label”
  3. Right Amount – Follow directions on the bottle / device or package on how much the victim should receive
  4. Right Time – Help the victim “Before they hit the Floor“, the victim must be conscious and able to understand how to use medications.
  5. Right Method – There are only 4 ways a medication can get into your body “Injected / Inhaled / Ingested or AbsorbedRead the Label & follow the Directions carefully.

For medications in first aid kits just remember that medications are subject to the individual’s needs. This means that stocking a first aid kit with medications is not advised as each person has different requirements on medications and they should only take those that are prescribed for themselves or have the medication on them.

In any Emergency remember too:
Protect Yourself!!! Call 911!!! Don’t Waste Time!!!

Swoop in and give a Breath of Life, Let First Aid Training be your Saving Grace.

 

Choking, Larger or Pregnant Victims What to look for & How to Help

As we have mentioned in our previous posts Choking is an emergency that can affect anyone of any age, size or gender. For this post we will focus on those with unique situations like being pregnant, beings seated or just being a larger person. These special scenario’s are designed to help you gain extra knowledge to aid a variety of victims of any nature.

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
  • They may suddenly attempt to rush to the restroom

For the Pregnant or Larger Person:
As mentioned in the Post “Choking, What to look for & How to Help” perform your 5 FIRM BACK BLOWS but instead of giving abdominal J thrusts perform 5 CHEST THRUSTS. Alternate between your 5 FIRM BACK BLOWS & 5 FIRM CHEST THRUSTS until the object comes free or the person begins to breath, cough or becomes unconscious.

To Perform the Chest Thrusts:

  1. Stand behind the victim and wrap both arms around the person’s chest under the armpits.
  2. Make a fist and place the thumb side of your fist in the center of the victims chest “Above the bosoms”
  3. Place your other hand over your first and pull back towards you sharply 5 Times.
  4. Continue until the object comes free or the victim becomes unconscious, if the victim becomes unconscious call 911 & Begin CPR 30 Chest Compression 2 Breaths watching for the object to come free. If you can see the object remove it, never perform a blind finger sweep!

For the Seated Victim:

  • For the person in a wheelchair “Lock the wheels in position”
  1. Kneel or crouch behind the victim
  2. wrap your arms around the victim placing a fist “Thumb side in” against the abdomen just above the belly button.
  3. Grip your fist with your other hand and pull sharply in and up in a ” J ” like motion 5 times.
  4. Move your fist to the center of the victims chest and grip your first with your other hand pulling sharply in 5 times
  5. Alternate your 5 Abdominal ” J ” Thrusts & 5 Chest Thrusts until the object comes free or the victim becomes unconscious.

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

Swoop into first aid & give a breath of life, let first aid be your Saving Grace.

Choking Infant, What to Look for & How to Help

For many new parents choking can potentially be one of the biggest threats to a new born or Infants life. It happens so fast and almost anything can cause it as the little ones seem to have a knack for putting just about everything in their mouths. Many Doctors will refer new parents to take a First Aid course prior to the arrival of their newest Minion to help prepare and arm them in the best techniques and knowledge in case of emergencies, for this very same reason we offer a variety of Child Care First Aid courses.

Age Groups can be tricky so we have the following break down, infants are from the age of 0-1 or when they begin to wear toddler size pants and are ambulatory, Children are from 1 to pubescence or 8 years old, anyone with signs of pubescence on is classified as an Adult. For this Post we will focus on Infants or Babies age 0 to 1.

Recognize Chocking in Infants:
Infants just like all age groups have a way to communicate and their basic language once you figure it out can be invaluable to any parent. All infants are equipped with the same “Body Language” which gives us as parents or guardians an edge on how to communicate with any infant. “Pooping Face is Pooping Face” no matter where your place of birth is, just like Choking face is Choking Face. Babies or Infants all have relatively the same reaction to Chocking and the signs are easy to spot once you’ve seen them and had light shed on it.

  • The Baby will stiffen their arms either up above their head or straight out clenching their fist or have open palms
  • The Baby will lean forward
  • The Baby will attempt to clear their own airway with a strained “cugh” sound
  • If the Babies airway is completely blocked no sound will be heard and rapid face color change may occur then unconsciousness.

For the Conscious Choking Baby “Don’t Waste Time”

  1. Crouch down & Sandwich the baby between your forearms supporting the head
  2. Turn the Baby face down with the head lower than the body “Draw them in close to your body like a clutch or football
  3. Lower your forearm with the baby onto your thigh so the head is lower than the feet and the infants back is facing you.
  4. Deliver 5 FIRM BACK BLOWS between the shoulder blades to dislodge the object.
  5. If the object has not been dislodged, while supporting the head roll/turn the baby face up with your supporting arm on your thigh.
  6. Place 2 fingers on the middle of the chest just below the nipple line and “Push hard, Push Fast” about 1/3rd the depth of the chest delivering 5 FIRM CHEST THRUSTS.
  7. Repeat the 5 FIRM BACK BLOWS & 5 FIRM CHEST THRUSTS until the object comes free or the infant becomes unconscious.

If the Baby becomes unconscious place them on a firm flat surface “Floor” and begin CPR immediately! 30 Compression 2 breaths, the object may come free once CPR has began. If you can see the object Never attempt to Grab it between your fingers & Never perform a “Blind Finger Sweep” you only want to sweep for an object if you can see it.

To Perform a Finger Sweep:

  1. Using your Pinkie Finger “Hook” your finger into their mouth using their cheek as a guide to slip your finger between the cheek and gums to the back of the throat behind the object.
  2. Roll” your wrist so that your pinkie finger is positioned under the object.
  3. Flick” the object free

-HOOK / ROLL / FLICK & BE QUICK That is the Pinkie Trick-

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

Swoop into First Aid & Give a Breath of Life, let First Aid Be YOUR Saving Grace.