First Aid & Health

Disclaimer: This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, emergency treatment or formal first-aid training. Don’t use this information to diagnose or develop a treatment plan for a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified health care provider. If you’re in a life-threatening or emergency medical situation, seek medical assistance immediately.

Drowning…what actually happens

The process of drowning begins when the victim’s airway is submerged below the surface of the water. While above the water, a child will typically struggle for only 20 seconds before they become submerged. In contrast, an adult will struggle for approximately 60 seconds before they become submerged. The drowning process begins when the patient’s airway is below the water. Initially, there’s breath holding, and a small amount of water (typically less than 30 mL or 2 tablespoons) may enter the lungs if the patient gasps. During the struggle and the early part of unconsciousness, there’s reflex swallowing as the body attempts to clear the oropharynx of water. Even if water enters the lungs during this period, it’s typically only a small amount (2–4 mL/kg).  Unconsciousness typically occurs within four to six minutes of submersion.

What to do when you see lights and hear sirens…DO NOT PANIC AND PLEASE GIVE WAY!

If an emergency vehicle is approaching and is sounding an alarm or showing flashing lights, you must move out of the path of the emergency vehicle as soon as you can do so safely.

Here’s some tips:

  • Again, do not panic.
  • Slow down, but do not brake rapidly.
  • Use your indicators.
  • Be aware of other motorists.
  • Do not move suddenly or move into the path of the emergency vehicle.
  • Move as far to the left of the road as you can and come to a stop.
  • If you cannot move left safely, stay where you are and let the emergency vehicle drive around you.

Stroke…as simple as STR

You spend 3 hours in traffic everyday…this is how long a patient with an acute stroke has to get to an appropriate facility that could save them from a lifetime of disability.

Someone you know or you will probably have a stroke in your lifetime, early diagnosis and immediate referral could make all the difference.

Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. Unfortunately, the lack of awareness spells disaster.
The stroke victim may suffer severe brain damage when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a stroke.

A bystander can recognize a stroke by asking three simple questions :

S * Ask the individual to SMILE ..

T * = TALK. Ask the person to SPEAK A SIMPLE SENTENCE (Coherently) (eg ‘It is sunny out today’).
R * Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS .

If he or she has trouble with ANY ONE of these tasks, CALL AN AMBULANCE and get the patient to a STROKE APPROPRIATE FACILITY.

NOTE : Another ‘sign’ of a stroke is

  1. Ask the person to ‘stick’ out their tongue.
  2. If the tongue is ‘crooked’, if it goes to one side or the other that is also an indication of a stroke.

Remember these ‘3’ steps, STR . Read, Learn and Teach someone!

Broken Hand DIY Tip…

A shoulder sling can be created with the free edge of a t-shirt and 2 safety pins. The free edge of the t-shirt is folded up until the injured arm is supported in the shirt crease. The free edge is secured in place with a minimum of two safety pins. This creates an effective and user friendly solution. All aspects of the design can be completed by the injured individual with the uninjured hand.

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Nasal foreign bodies in kids…just give them a kiss

A non-invasive option for nasal foreign bodies is the ‘mother’s kiss’ technique, which requires the assistance of a trusted adult caregiver.

“While occluding the unaffected nostril with a finger, the adult then blows until they feel the resistance caused by closure of the child’s glottis, at which point the adult gives a sharp exhalation to deliver a short puff of air into the child’s mouth. This puff of air passes through the nasopharynx, out through the unoccluded nostril and, if successful, results in the expulsion of the foreign body.”

 

Emergency Medicine Kenya Foundation

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