Tag Archives: One Day First Aid Course

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 tightYou 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.

#FirstAidCourseEdmonton #FirstAidAndBasicLifeSupport #BasicLifeSupport #BLS #BLSforHCP #BCLS #BCLSCourseEdmonton #ACLS #AdvancedCardiovascularLifeSupport #EMR #EmergencyMedicalResponder #ITLS #Shock #HowToTreatShock

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. 1) lay down flat on the ground to gain an anchor point for your body, spread your legs and firmly brace yourself.
  2. 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.

#FirstAidCourseEdmonton #FirstAidAndBasicLifeSupport #BasicLifeSupport #BLS #BLSforHCP #BCLS #BCLSCourseEdmonton #ACLS #AdvancedCardiovascularLifeSupport #EMR #EmergencyMedicalResponder #ITLS

#Drowning #HelpDrowiningVictim #WaterRescue

Should you move a casualty before providing care?

Should you move a casualty before providing care?

Moving a casualty before you provide care has been a question that almost every class brings up. Its a great question with a simple answer There are some reason’s when moving a person may be the only option to save their life or even prevent them from further injury. You may want to move a casualty if there are dangerous environments which could also do further harm to the patient, dangerous animals, toxins / poisons, or even machinery. One thing to remember “before” you move a casualty is “Will this make things better or worse?” You “do” have to weigh the situation vs desirable outcome, often the phrase used is “Life over Limb“. If the Casualties life is in immediate threat due to their surroundings “Move them away from the danger“, however, if moving them makes the situation worse and their surroundings are “not” an issue “Keep them in the position found or in a position of comfort.”

REMEMBER” You may not have to move a patient, if their “Spine” is in danger always refer to your 911 dispatcher for further advice before attempting First Aid techniques.

How to move a Patient from a dangerous environment:

  • Collar Drag – At the head of the patient – Roll the person’s clothing “Collar” behind their neck in a ball in your hand bunching their clothing under the armpits, bend with your knees and lift with your legs, drag the victim to safety.
  • One Arm Drag – Kneeling at the head of the victim slide the persons torso into your lap, lay one of the victims arms across their chest and reach through their opposite arm pit to grip their folded arms wrist, slip your other hand under the other arm pit and grip the folded arms forearm, bend with your knees, lift with your legs and drag to safety.
  • 2 Person Collar Drag – Combine the one arm drag technique with adding a partner, each rescuer should grab the collar on opposite sides of the victim and facing in the direction you wish to go bend with your knees and lift with your legs dragging them to safety.
  • 2 Person Carry – Combine the “one arm drag” technique to lift the victim’s torso and add a partner to lift the legs by folding them across each other gripping by the lower leg under the calf, face in the direction you wish to go, bend with your knees, lift with your legs and carry the victim to safety.

Learn First Aid Today, Save a Life Tomorrow with Saving Grace Medial Academy Ltd

Above all else remember to Protect Yourself!!! Call 911!!! Don’t Wast Time!!!

#HowToMoveCasualties #FirstAidTrainingEdmonton #BasicLifeSupportEdmonton #H2SAlive #AdvancedCardiovascularLifeSupport #BLSforHCP #HCPCPR #ACLS

Detached or Torn Nail, What should I do?

Detached or Torn Nail, What should I do?

You snag your nail on the car door, the bed frame, the corner of the coffee table “It can happen so quickly” or you absently chip you nail polish “Suddenly” your nail rips and your left with a torn nail, in some severe cases you can even separate a nail from your nail bed. Pain, discomfort and even blood loss can occur when you rip your nail either half way or completely off. “What should I do if my nail rips off? Should I rip the remaining torn nail off? How long doe a ripped nail take to heal?” Are some common questions we hope to address in this portion. As much as this hurts, be patient, the nail will heal if you take proper First Aid steps.

What causes a detached / torn nail?

It can be very painful to tear or rip your nail from the nail bed. A nail may separate from the nail bed “detach / rip” for many reasons including:

  • -Injuries – Separation caused by injury is common in people who have long finger or toenails. The nail may pry away from the nail bed when it is hit or jammed.
  • -Toe Stubbing – Severe or repetitive toe stubbing may cause a nail to detach. This is also common in athletes who wear shoes that do not have adequate space for motion.
  • -Fungal nail infections – When fungi invade a nail bed and the skin underneath the nail “nail bed”. Toenails are more commonly affected than fingernails, and symptoms include cracked, yellow, discolored, streaked, thickened, or spotted nails.
  • -Skin Conditions – Psoriasis
  • -Chemical Exposure – Some chemicals like “Nail Polish -Remover and even some soaps”
  • -Medications – Chemotherapy or ant malarial medicines can cause nail detachment
  • Severe Illness

After a nail separates from the nail bed for any reason, it will “not” reattach. A new nail will have to grow back in its place. Nails grow back “slowly”. It may take up to 6 months for a fingernail and up to 18 months for a toenail to grow back.

Prevention

  • -File any sharp edges smooth

-Trim nails short “within 2 millimeters” of flesh to avoid snagging “To avoid ingrown toenails leave the inset of the toenail a little longer to keep the edge from curling inwards.

  • -Clean under the nails to remove dirt and fungus
  • If your nail doesn’t look right “Color, Shape, Ridges” talk to a physician as your nail growth pattern may help in other diagnoses.

How to Treat a Detached Nail

Once a nail has been torn or detached, there is little that can be done to replace or repair it.” The main concern is damage to the adjacent tissue like nail bed, flesh and bone. If there seems to be a significant damage to areas around the nail, then a visit to a physician is recommended.

First Aid treatment often helps relieve pain, promote healing, and prevent infection. Treatment may involve removing the nail, keeping the area dry to prevent infection, and waiting for a new nail to grow. Infections and other skin conditions that can cause the separation of nail should be seen by a physician.

Nail Semi Attached

Do not Rip the remaining Nail off” The remaining parts of the old nail will help protect the tender flesh underneath as your new nail begins to grow back. Ripping the excess flesh off may cause excess bleeding and damage to the nail bed.

  1. 1) Stop Bleeding – Apply direct pressure with a clean cloth or bandage until the bleeding stops.
  2. 2) If there is remaining nail, use nail clips or scissors to trim the loose nail as close to the remaining nail bed as comfortable. The old nail will fall off one the new nail takes its place.
  3. 3) Clean the wound with clean water, soak your finger or toe in cool water for 20 minutes after trimming the nail.
  4. 4) Apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly “Vaseline” and cover the area with a non stick bandage.

To Prevent Infection

Let the wound breath so that it may heal, “Wounds that remain covered even with antibiotic ointment may become infected due to the lack of oxygen” Change your bandages often to keep it clean and let the new nail grow.

  • -Soak your foot or hand in a solution of 5 g “1 tsp” of salt dissolved in 1 L “4 Cups” warm water for 20 minutes, 2 or 3 times each day, for the next 3 days. Reapply petroleum jelly, and cover with a fresh adhesive bandage.
  • -Keep the nail bed dry, clean, and covered with petroleum jelly and an adhesive bandage until the nail bed is firm or the nail has grown back. Apply a new adhesive bandage whenever the bandage gets wet, discolored, or contaminated.

Watch for signs of infection such as increased heat, redness, pain, tenderness, swelling or pus. Remove an artificial nail if it separates from the nail bed. If you leave it on, the long, artificial nail can tear the nail bed.

When to see a Physician

Don’t hesitate to get professional help, chances of infection and doing more long term damage can outweigh not going in to a health care professional.

  • -If you are not comfortable with trimming the nail yourself
  • -Have diabetes, peripheral arterial disease, or an immune system problem. These problems may cause reduced blood flow and loss of feeling in the feet. Untreated nail injuries can lead to infection, foot ulcers, gang green, and other serious problems.
  • -The finger or toe is deformed, which may indicate fracture or dislocation.
  • -The wound looks deep or long enough to need stitches
  • -The nail is “completely” torn off or partially cut off from a crush injury or cut
  • -Discoloration or a bruise under the nail covers more than a quarter of the nail or there is continuing, intense pain that feels like “pressure”.

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.

#FirstAidCourseEdmonton #FirstAidAndBasicLifeSupport #BasicLifeSupport #BLS #BLSforHCP #BCLS #BCLSCourseEdmonton #ACLS #AdvancedCardiovascularLifeSupport #EMR #EmergencyMedicalResponder #ITLS #DrivingToTheHospital

Basic Life Support Provider CPR-C “HCP”

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.
 
The general public version of CPR-C helps anyone wishing to learn the benefit of life saving skills on all age groups and helps to prepare to help in life threatening emergencies while you wait for Emergency Professionals to arrive.
 
Some different characteristics of Basic Life Support Provider CPR or Health Care Provider level CPR are the Program is broken down into different sections that show: Compression’s, Breaths, Bag Valve Mask Techniques, teamwork and the difference between Adult, Child and Infant in dealing with Airway obstructions while addressing the Medical Professional’s skills and knowledge.
 
As a comprehensive Video Based Program that sets the standards on all CPR skills for Health Care Providers. Basic Life Support Provider previously known as BLS for HCP CPR & AED and before that BCLS for HCP’s CPR & AED challenges medical professional students on their knowledge and skills on Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation. As of November 2017 new standards and skills have been available for all Health Care Professionals to with the most up to date techniques and training information.
 
This year the life saving medication assistance of Naloxone has been added, also known as Narcan (an anti opiate medication used to help those in danger of overdose). The benefit of high quality team work in performing CPR and in the use of AEDs “automatic external defibrillators.” The 2015 version of Basic Life Support Provider focuses on honing the art of Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation on all age groups.
 
In Alberta, Canada the governing body Alberta Health Services along with Covenant Health and Canada Health have set the standard and requested that all Medical Professionals have the Exact Same Training. This means they prefer all students and employees to have the same high quality standard of training and skills to achieve the highest quality of resuscitation during a life threatening event. “If ALL health care Professionals have the exact same training the chance of resuscitation go up”
 
Alberta Health Services, Covenant Health, and Canada Health Recommend, Prefer and Request that all Medical Personnel have their Health Care Provider Level CPR known as Basic Life Support Provider training through the Alberta Heart & Stroke Foundation to keep continuity.
 
Alberta Health Services is setting a standard for all Health Care Professionals, doctors, nurses, paramedics, massage therapists, dentists, pharmacists, nurses aids, nurses attendants, and all personnel working in medical facilities to have Basic Life Support Provider CPR or BLS CPR, previously known as Basic Life Support BLS for Health Care Provider HCP CPR. This will ensure that no matter your job title you have the skills to help during an emergency.
 
This excellent program is set on a Video Format and takes roughly 4 hours to complete. This new BLS Basic LIfe Support Provider program through The Heart & Stroke Foundation has attempted to set the standard that every school and every student gets the exact same high quality training.
 
Basic Life Support Provider or BLS previously known as Basic Life Support for Health Care Providers HCP CPR has been shown to provide exactly what Alberta Health Services and many other Health Service Canada centers require and now demand their staff have as training.
 
Our Basic Life Support 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 October 1st 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!
 
In any emergency just remember to Protect Yourself!!! Call 911!!! Don’t Waste Time!!!
 
“Learn First Aid in Edmonton Today, Save a Life Tomorrow with Saving Grace Medical Academy’s BLS & Safety Courses.”
 
#FirstAid #FirstAidCourseEdmonton #BLS #BCLS #BLSforHCP #BLSCourseEdmonton #ACLS #AdvancedCardiovascularLifeSupport #EMR #EmergencyMedicalResponder #ITLS

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.
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

#FirstAidCourseEdmonton #FirstAidAndBasicLifeSupport #BasicLifeSupport #BLS #BLSforHCP #BCLS #BCLSCourseEdmonton #ACLS #AdvancedCardiovascularLifeSupport #EMR #EmergencyMedicalResponder #ITLS #DrivingToTheHospital

The Emergency Medical Services

Most common it is believed that the Emergency Medical System starts with paramedics and nurses, the truth in fact is that the Emergency System begins with “You. There are many reason’s why you may hold back from helping someone in an emergency, fear of infection, fear of Liability, fear of repercussions or even fear of helping in the wrong way.

Just remember that in Alberta you are “NOT” obligated to perform any act of First Aid even if you are certified. However we do hope that you would help or at the very least Call 911.

  • The Sooner you start CPR for a casualty that is not breathing the sooner their brain can get life saving blood and oxygen.
  • Even if your nervous calling 911 is still helping. Emergency workers will only come and help if you call 911.
  • 911 is free – Don’t worry about cost, a person’s life is “Priceless

For any emergency we teach our students the 3 rules of First Aid to help them understand what is truly important during “any” emergency.

  1. Rule #1 – Protect YOURSELFYour safety is most important
  2. Rule #2 – Call 911If it doesn’t look right, it probably isn’t!
  3. Rule #3 – Don’t Waste Time & Treat What You See

911 with help you if you forget how to do basic treatments, splints, slings, bandages and other things are easily done with simple guidance. Don’t worry, there are no wrong questions when talking to 911 “They are there to help you, Help others!”

Remember

This material is for Information / Educational purposes only and is taken from the 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 #BasicLifeSupport #BLS #BLSforHCP #BCLS #BCLSCourseEdmonton #ACLS #AdvancedCardiovascularLifeSupport #EMR #EmergencyMedicalResponder #ITLS

Natural Gas Exposure

What is Natural Gas?

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

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

Where is Natural Gas found?

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

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

How to Recognize a Gas leak?

  • Smells like rotten eggs “When from Commercial Lines
  • Natural Gas is Colorless

Exposure “Low Level”

  • Headaches and dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Irregular Breathing

Exposure “High Level”

  • Death by suffocation
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Nausea
  • Severe Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Memory Problems
  • Lack of Coordination

What to do?

  1. Evacuate the area by moving “Cross-Wind” of where you suspect the gas leak
  2. Call 911Big leak” or in “North America – ATCO Gas – 1-800-511-3447
  3. First Aid is “not” normally required, If you smell Natural Gas “Rotten Eggs” Evacuate the area immediately, If irritation/redness develops or other symptoms, move away from exposure area into fresh air and flush eyes with clean water. If you suspect a Natural Gas leak
  4. Do Not” activate any source of ignition such as electrical switches, vehicles, telephones, cellular phone, two way radios or door bells. Eliminate ignition sources such as open flame or spark “natural gas is highly flammable”.

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

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

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 #BasicLifeSupport #BLS #BLSforHCP #BCLS #BCLSCourseEdmonton #ACLS #AdvancedCardiovascularLifeSupport #EMR #EmergencyMedicalResponder #ITLS #NaturalGas #NaturalGasLeak #NaturalGasExposure

Cysts – What are they?

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

What are Cysts?

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

  • Cysts can be found “anywhere on or in the body, and anyone can have them.
  • The term “Cystrefers to a fluid-filled structure of cells, whereas a tumor consist of a mass of abnormal cells with abnormal growth potential. Cysts are not associated with tumors typically as they have a very thin rim surrounding the fluid and may be popped, whereas a tumor would have a thickened rim that surrounds it that expands with time.
  • Types of Cysts – arachnoid, colloid, dermoid, epidermis, pineal, cervical, breast, ganglion, etc…

What causes a Cyst?

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

Is a Cyst Harmful?

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

Does a Cyst need to be removed?

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

  • Very often, cysts do not produce any symptoms and do not enlarge over time. If a cyst is not causing symptoms and is not thought to be associated with a tumor, you might never develop a problem with the cyst. An operation to remove the cyst might carry a greater risk than living with the cyst. Your doctor can help you weight the risks of “watching and waiting” with the risks of undergoing surgery.
  • How can a doctor tell if the cyst is not cancerous? A CT “Cat Scan” or particularly, an MRI scan of a cyst generally shows no solid or nodular components that could suggest an associated “malignant tumor”. Sometimes, when a cyst appears benign but the doctor cannot be 100% certain, repeated radiological studies over time will be recommended. A malignant tumor would be expected to grow over time, whereas a benign cyst might not.
  • Is radiation therapy ever used to treat a Cyst? In general, radiation is used to kill dividing cells “cancerous growth. The fluid inside a cyst does not contain dividing cells, and the cells forming the walls of most cysts “including arachnoid, colloid, dermoid, epidermis, and pineal cysts” are not dividing. If the cyst is suspected of being malignant or tumor related a pointed dose of radiation may be injected “into” the cyst to destroy the cells within, however this is rare and your physician would know more.

Will I develop more Cysts?

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

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

Do I have a disease if I have a Cyst?

  • Answer – “No

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

This material is for information purposes only and is taken from the 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 #BasicLifeSupport #BLS #BLSforHCP #BCLS #BCLSCourseEdmonton #ACLS #AdvancedCardiovascularLifeSupport #EMR #EmergencyMedicalResponder #ITLS #Cyst #WhatAreCysts #AreCystsCancer

Hydrocephalus

What is Hydrocephalus?

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

  • Hydrocephalus “Water on the Brain”, in Greek literally means “watery head”, “Hydro” meaning water, and “Cephalus” referring to the head.
  • Hydrocephalus can happen at ANY age
  • Hydrocephalus is life threatening and has a 75% chance of causing long lasting brain damage and motor disability, and a 30% mental disability rate.
  • More than 50% of hydrocephalus is congenital “present at birth

What are Ventricles?

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

What is CSF “Cerebrospinal Fluid”?

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

  • It acts as a “Shock absorber” for the brain and spinal cord to protect the brains connective tissue from harmful impact damage and excess movement.
  • It acts as a river to flow nutrients to the brain and remove waste
  • It flows between the cranium and spine to regulate changes in pressure within the brain.

Common Causes

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

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

Symptoms “How to recognise it

“If you suspect Hyrdocephalus DO NOT HESITATE, the Childs life is in Danger!

In Infant age 0-1: Abnormal Enlargement of Babe’s head, soft spot “fontanel” is tense and bulging: scalp can appear thin “Stretched due to the swelling” prominent scalp veins, NO FEVER in congenital hydrocephalus, vomiting, drowsiness, irritability, downward deviation of baby’s eyes “Sun-setting eyes”, seizure, poor appetite.

In Child age 1-8: Headache “Rubbing at head or ears“, Nausea, vomiting, “NO FEVER in congenital hydrocephalus” lethargy, limp movements, unable to stay awake, poor coordination, change in personality, loss of motor functions, seizure and poor appetite, From Birth-Abnormal Enlargement of Babe’s head.

In Adult age 8+: Headache, difficulty remaining awake or waking up, loss of coordination or balance, bladder control problems, impaired “double vision”, cognitive impairment

Elderly – Loss of coordination or balance, shuffling gait, memory loss, headache, bladder control loss, forgetfulness, migraine like symptoms. Nausea, vomiting, drowsiness.

What can you do?

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

Diagnosing Hydrocephalus

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

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

Treatments?

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

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

Communication VS Non-Communicating Deffinition

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

Long Term Outcome

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

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

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

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

This material is for information purposes only and is taken from the Hydrocephalus Association and Hydrocephalus Foundation. 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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