Health

To identify, initiate and support the healthcare, health education and physical fitnessactivities in order to promote health awareness in the community. Also provide advice andassist patients for medical treatment both locally and abroad when required.

Chemicals that are swallowed may harm the digestive tracts or cause more wide spread damage if they enter the blood stream and are transported to other parts of the body.

Hazardous chemicals include common household substances. For example, bleach, dishwater detergents, kerosene are all corrosive when swallowed. Drugs whether prescribed or bought over the counter are also potentially harmful if taken in overdose. The effects of poisoning depend on the chemical ingested.

Recognition features

Depends on the poison, but there may be;
Vomiting, sometimes blood stained.Impaired consciousness.Pain or burning sensation.Empty containers in the vicinity.History of ingestion/exposure.

AIM

Maintain breathing, airway and circulation.To remove any contaminated clothing. Try and identify the poison.To arrange urgent transport to hospital.  

ACTION

If casualty is conscious, ask her what she has swallowed and try to reassure her. Look for clues around the casualty for possible poison. Example empty drug containers around children.If lips are burnt by corrosive chemicals, give her frequent sips of cold milk or water while waiting for medical help to arrive. Dial for ambulance or rush to hospital which ever is quicker. Give all information to the doctor.  

WARNING

Never attempt to induce vomiting, the chemical if corrosive will once again burn the food pipe on its way out, or worse the patient could aspirate the chemical in to his lungs.If the casualty becomes unconscious; be prepared to give rescue breaths and chest compressions.If there is chemical on the casualty’s mouth – ALWAYS use a face shield or cloth for rescue breathing. 

(Extracted from: FIRST AID MANUAL)

Choking - Tutorial Number 4

Choking is the obstruction of an airway blocking air from reaching the lungs. Sometimes an object such as a piece of food can get stuck at the back of the throat and causing the person to choke. The obstruction needs to be cleared as quickly as possible to restore a clear airway to allow the person to breathe.

What is it?

A severe obstruction is when a person is unable to speak, cry, cough or breathe. A mild obstruction is when a person finds it difficult to breath, but is able to speak, cry, cough or breathe. Encouraging them to cough will enable them to clear the obstruction.

First aid aims:

  • Relieve the obstruction
  • Arrange for medical help if necessary

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Seizures - Tutorial Number 6

A seizure - also called a convulsion or fit - consists of involuntary contractions of many muscles in the body.

The condition is due to a disturbance in the electrical activity of the brain. Seizures usually result in loss or impairment of consciousness.

The most common cause is epilepsy. Other causes include:

  • Head injury
  • Some brain damaging diseases
  • Shortage of oxygen or glucose in the brain
  • The intake of certain poisons including alcohol.

Epileptic seizures are due to recurrent, major disturbances of brain activity. These seizures can be sudden and dramatic. Just before a seizure, a casualty may have a brief warning period (aura) with, for example, a strange feeling or a special smell or taste.

No matter what the cause of the seizure, care must always include maintaining an open, clear airway and monitoring the casualty's vital signs - level of response, pulse and breathing. You will also need to protect the casualty from further harm during a seizure and arrange appropriate aftercare once they have recovered.

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Asthma Attack - Tutorial Number 5

In an asthma attack the muscles of the air passages in the lungs go into spasm and the linings of the airways swell. As a result, the airways become narrowed and breathing becomes difficult.

Sometimes there is a specific trigger for an asthma attack such as:

  • An allergy.
  • A cold.
  • Cigarette smoke.
  • Extremes of temperature.
  • Exercise.

People with asthma usually deal well with their own attacks by using a blue reliever inhaler (salbutamol), however you may be required to assist someone having an asthma attack or having an attack for the first time.

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The recovery position is as its name, is a specific position in which a recovering casualty is placed in allowing a safe recovery. It is an extremely important position to master for anyone who wants to be a good First Aider.

Why use the recovery position?

  • It keeps the casualty in a stable position with their airway
  • It prevents the casualty's tongue from blocking their airway
  • It promotes drainage of fluids, such as blood or vomit, from their mouth
  • It keeps the casualty in a safe position if they have to be left alone
  • If the casualty was left on their back their tongue could relax, fall back and block their airway

Recovery Position for a Child or an Adult

(Note: A child is anyone over the age of one year old for the purpose of these instructions)

 An unconscious casualty who is breathing but has no other life- threatening conditions should be placed in the recovery position.

RecoveryPosition1 Bend one arm and keep legs straight.
RecoveryPosition2

Place back of victims hand on to left cheek and hold there.

Bend right leg till the foot is flat on the ground.

Keep holding the victim’s hand to cheek to support the head.

Pull the bent leg and roll the victim towards you.

Hand supports head.

Bent knee prevents rolling.

Bent arm gives stability.

Lift chin forward in open airway position and adjust hand under the cheek as necessary.

Check casualty cannot roll forwards or backwards.

Monitor breathing and pulse continuously.

If injuries allow, turn the casualty to the other side after 30 minutes.

Note: If you suspect spinal injury, use the jaw thrust technique. Place your hands on either side of their face. With your fingertips gently lift the jaw to open the airway. Take care not to tilt the casualty’s neck.

Recovery Position for a Baby

Note: A baby is considered to be less than one year old for the purposes of these instructions.

For a baby less than a year old, a Modified Recovery Position must be adopted.
Cradle the infant in your arms, with his head tilted downwards to prevent him from choking on his tongue or inhaling vomit.
Monitor and record vital signs - level of response, pulse and breathing until medical help arrives.

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