Pediatric Urgent Care: What’s Different? By Colleen Kraft, M.D.

We know that the relationship between pediatricians and families is special and unique. The pediatric medical home is the center for your child’s medical care from infancy to college. You child knows your pediatricians, the nurses, the office, even the books in the waiting room—all comforting when your child is ill.

But what happens when your pediatrician’s office is closed? Many offices have a pediatrician taking phone calls, but what if your child needs to be seen during an evening or weekend? That’s where pediatric urgent care is important. Pediatric urgent care is a friendly alternative to the emergency department for many illnesses and injuries that your child may face. But how do you

find the right urgent care for your children? Here are some tips:

  1. Find an urgent care with pediatric expertise. Are there pediatricians or pediatric nurses on staff? This is important—there are subtle differences between a child who is mildly ill and a child who may be seriously ill. Staff who can measure and recognize pediatric vital signs and know how to examine children are essential for a successful pediatric urgent care experience.

  2. Urgent care facilities serving children should be capable of providing timely assessment and stabilization to initiate transfer of pediatric patients who need a higher level of care. Ask if your local urgent care has the equipment and if staff have the training if your child has a need for expertise beyond the capability of their facility.

  3. Find an urgent care that will work with your pediatrician. Your child’s medical home is where all care is coordinated. If your pediatrician can communicate with a local urgent care about your child, and if records will be shared with your pediatrician, you’ve got a winner!

  4. Make sure the philosophy of the urgent care doctors is similar to your pediatrician’s. Your pediatrician will recommend the right care—symptomatic treatment and no antibiotics for viral illnesses, a good history and physical exam instead of a chest X-ray for common cough, not using over-the-counter cold medicines are examples of this.

  5. Look for child-friendly staff and environments. Are there books in the waiting room? Is the waiting room a safe place for your child to wait?

  6. Recognize the standard services that are appropriate to urgent care. These might include acute respiratory and febrile illnesses, minor laceration and burns, sprains and other injuries. Ask if your local urgent care has a standardized approach to these conditions, and if they follow guidelines set by the American Academy of Pediatrics or the Society for Pediatric Urgent Care.


Together, your pediatrician and pediatric urgent care can be a valuable team for your child and your family!

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.

 

 

Healthy Eating by Jessica Medina



Did you know that 60% of American men and women are considered obese? This is a result of a lack of exercise and poor eating habits. Although exercise is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle, healthy eating is critical since your diet can greatly impact your life in a positive or negative way.

Healthy eating starts at home with the meals that we prep. Many people don’t care about what they’re putting in their mouth until they have a health issue like a condition such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or even cases as extreme as coronary artery disease. Most of these problems can be avoided by a healthier diet.

How can you eat healthier and what is considered healthy eating?  Natural, whole foods with minimal processing and added sugar are examples of healthy food choices. A diet filled with colorful fruits and vegetables has a plethora of health benefits- from lowering blood pressure, to helping your eyesight, or helping to fight different types of cancer.

Healthy eating also means knowing the difference between good fats and bad fats. You don’t want to load your body with bad, saturated fats. These types of fats are very common in foods that we love to eat such as fried foods and baked goods. Olive oil is an example of a good fat and one that is beneficial to your body.

Vegetables are proven to help provide your body with essential nutrients necessary for optimal functioning. People who have a diet high in vegetables are less likely to develop diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cancer, or heart disease. Veggies are also high in fiber, which is great to maintain regular bowel movements and relieve constipation. Fruits, beans, nuts, quinoa, and sweet potatoes are also healthy, delicious, high fiber food choices.

If you start making healthy food choices, you are taking steps to save not only your health, but also your bank account.  A healthy diet can cut on the cost of medical bills and insurance, and you’ll reduce your visits to the doctors.  Consume foods that are high in good fats, high in fiber, and high in health benefits.  Drink more water throughout the day because often we confuse thirst for hunger.

 

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.

 

 

The Mind – Body Connection of Strength Training by Erin Bell

What is strength training? Strength training is a form of exercise that uses resistance to make bones and muscles stronger.  We all want strong bones, right?  What does it take to get them? Some say building strong bones requires only two ingredients: calcium and vitamin D, but there are some other key elements as well. By stressing your bones, strength training can increase bone density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Lifting heavy weights or even using your own body’s weight as resistance during physical activity has been shown to halt and even reverse sarcopenia – the reduction of skeletal muscle that occurs as we get older.

Strength training is a form of exercise which can lift your mood and enhance your well-being. Physical activity mobilizes hormones and helps the body to recalibrate emotions especially when they are unsteady or exacerbated. Building muscle and strengthening bones creates improved body composition, and in time, improves posture. When a person stands with shoulders back, head and neck straight and upwards, shoulder blades pinched down into back- they are sending a message to their brain that they are on top of things and can handle anything. Moving your body sharpens thinking skills and creates an alert mind that is resilient.

Raising heart rate through strength training once or twice a day is a healthy habit to introduce to an individual's daily routine. Strength training causes increased flow-mediated dilation which contributes to cardiovascular health. The reason why it is important to have a healthy heart is because a person can live a fulfilling and active life when they do not have heart conditions. The heart works very hard every day, non-stop, for our entire lives, so it is a nice thing to do to take care of it.

What are some ways a person can strength train? In the morning it is easy to do some exercises at home such as push-ups, squats and sit-ups. All of these exercises use the body's natural weight to make bones stronger through exercise. It is good to keep the body's muscles engaged for at least a minute at a time, then switch to a new exercise such as flutter kicks or scissor kicks. Strength training can help a person gain lean body mass, gain a clear mind and maybe even some confidence because they will feel strong enough to complete daily tasks on their own. When a person decides to improve their body through routines that makes the body stronger, the person also improves their mind.

In conclusion, strength training is healthy for the muscles and bones of the body and it is healthy for the person a whole. Strength training can be done at home or even in the office, there is always some time to get a few small movements in to improve your circulation. The blood flow to your brain is healthy for you mind and thoughts and may contribute to productivity.

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.

 

 

Infectious Mononucleosis by Milissa Payne

Mononucleosis, commonly referred to as “the kissing disease,” is an infectious disease typically caused by the Epstein-Barr virus. It can also be caused by other viruses. The most common signs and symptoms of mononucleosis are fatigue, sore throat, and swollen lymph nodes in the neck. Mononucleosis is a contagious infection, spreading through the saliva of the infected persons, hence it’s nickname. The disease sometimes goes untreated, as it can be commonly mistaken for strep throat, the flu or fatigue. Symptoms may not show until four to six weeks after infection.

While it is highly contagious and can infect anyone, teenagers and young adults are more susceptible to Mono. College students are especially at risk due to close living situations dormitories. The infection can come with mild problems with serious complications arising in only severe cases. While the effects normally remain mild, Mono can leave a person feeling extremely tired and ill for several months.

A capillary blood test called the Monospot test is the most common way to detect the infection. In quite a few cases, the diagnosis can be made by the observation of clinical symptoms alone. There is no treatment or vaccine for Mono aside from bedrest, fluids, and traditional homecare. It is recommended that persons infected should not share food or drinks or come into close contact with others until symptoms resolve. Those who have Mono do not necessarily need to be quarantined, and many people are actually immune to the infection. Due to the possibility of an enlarged spleen, those diagnosed with Mono are recommended to limit physical activity to prevent rupturing.

Good nutrition, a clean-living environment, and proper hygiene standards are all effective ways to prevent the spread of Mononucleosis. Given its contagious nature and the fact that it is viral so antibiotics cannot be used to combat it, Mono will never be eradicated; however, through behavioral efforts including hygiene, the spread and effects of Mono can be reduced.

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.

Which Types of Injuries Require Physical Therapy?

 

The Scope of Physical Therapy


Physical therapy covers just about everything when it comes to recovery. Although, it may seem to be associated exclusively to sports and orthopedic injuries, there is a larger scope that this type of therapy reaches. For example, physical therapy can help patients dealing with brain disorders and diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. In another dimension, physical therapy can also aid in rehabilitating those who are struggling with a deadly cardiovascular condition. From a simple problem such as a sprained ankle to the complex issues stated above, physical therapy can be the answer to any rehabilitation process within the body.

Below are the types of injuries that require physical therapy:

 

Sport Injuries


Most people have heard of an athlete who tore their ACL, broke a bone, pulled a hamstring, sprained an ankle, etc. These prevalent injuries are sure to require some form of physical therapy for a full recovery. According to the NCAA, “The overall injury rate in NCAA football is 8.1 injuries per 1,000 athlete exposures (games and practices combined).” This is in just football alone!

Although sports injuries often occur during the game or in practice, many injuries can occur in the everyday jog, sprint, or workout. Fox New reported the “Top 10 Sports Injuries” prevalent in the world. Here are the top five:

 

  1. Runner’s Knee: Experts say that this injury occurs when an individual runs for long periods of time, improperly. The impact between “tight” joints, muscles and ligaments in the leg to a hard surface can especially harm the knees and ankles overtime. Johns Hopkins Medicine illustrated the symptoms of this injury as “pain in and around the kneecap that happens when you are active...” and “rubbing, grinding, or clicking sound of the kneecap that you hear when you bend and straighten your knee…”

  2. “Shoulder Injury”: Performing regular intense motions during a particular sport can increase the risk of a shoulder injury. These motions could include throwing a football or baseball, for example. Dr. David Geier, sports medicine specialist, posted that “shoulder injuries represented 27.8% of all disabled days in professional baseball players. Pitchers experienced a 34% higher incidence injury rate compared with fielders in Major League Baseball.” Symptoms of a shoulder injury can include “stiffness” and pain when putting it in motion to perform a normal task.

  3. Sprained Ankle: It doesn’t take much to sprain an ankle. This can occur in professional sports, but it can also happen within the everyday activities. For example, walking down the stairs in an awkward way, or tripping over something can cause a sprained ankle. Sometimes a sprain is minor enough that it will heal over a period of a week or so, while more serious instances of a sprain require ice and therapy to strengthen it once again. Symptoms of a sprain can range from “tenderness” to severe bruising and “restricted range of motion.”

  4. “Tennis or Golf Elbow”: Statistics imply that “1% to 3% of the population” are affected in some way by this injury. Surprisingly, tennis and golf are not exclusive in causing this injury. The Cleveland Clinic reported that working in the garden or outside, and “vacuuming” and “sweeping” inside the house can cause tennis elbow. Symptoms include a development of pain when moving other parts of the arm when carrying out regular exercises and tasks.

  5. Pulled Muscle: This injury is highly common in sports, but like a sprained ankle and other injuries, it can occur in the everyday tasks. When muscles are stiff and tight during movement, especially intense movement, it is easier for them to tear. Symptoms of this injury include pain, “soreness”, cramping, and “limited range of movement.”


 

Cognitive Injuries


transparent sculpture of the human skull

STATISTICS SHOW THAT "1.5 MILLION AMERICANS SUFFER FROM TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURIES."


Whether it is because of a sport or a malfunction within the body, physical therapy can be the path to recovery and a bright future. Injury in the brain is a perfect example of another dimension of reach in this form of therapy.

How can physical therapy help injuries in the brain?


Movement in the body is highly influenced by signals from the brain. A parent teaching a child to eat with a fork and a spoon is a perfect example of helping to train the brain in a certain function. When a patient is hit with a stroke or a disease that negatively influences brain behavior, physical therapists help retrain the brain through physical movement.

What brain injuries require physical therapy?


Parkinson's disease, cerebral palsy, strokes, and concussions can all be aided by physical therapy. Some of these injuries are also affected by other systems in the body such as the circulatory system. Physical therapists can also help facilitate movement in a way addresses the issues in both systems, while preventing future injury.

 

Immune Injuries


Physical therapy can reach an attacked immune system.


According to the AARDA (American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association), “Approximately 50 million Americans, 20 percent of the population or one in five people, suffer from autoimmune diseases.” As explained in the previous section, many times body systems play dual roles in affecting an individual’s health. Therefore, orthopedic and neurological injury can be an illustration of an autoimmune injury. For example, the autoimmune disease Lupus causes pain and tenderness in the joints. While an individual could assume that the weakness of their joints was caused by certain movements completed in an intense activity, it could be a symptom of another cause.

What would physical therapists do to help these injuries?


In the case of an autoimmune injury, physical therapists would create a diet plan and incorporate pool exercises that would give the least strain on the joints. Diet and exercise is crucial in recovering from most injuries, especially from immune injuries.

Training particular movements in water have also been applied to orthopedic and cardiovascular injuries. Experts have found a positive impact of “aqua therapy” on patients dealing with an autoimmune disease or other injury:

For many years, warm water pool therapy has been a staple of rehabilitation medicine because of its numerous health benefits...The use of...hydrotherapy historically has been a popular treatment for many conditions and has been used in many cultures and civilizations... today the modern forms of hydrotherapy include...aqua therapy for rehabilitative purposes. The latter application gained momentum from its predecessor, hydro-gymnastics, which became important for the treatment of post-polio patients.


Physical therapists can do a lot when it comes to helping patients with this type of injury. Although some autoimmune diseases cannot be merely solved, proper diet and training can help a patient cope with their situation in a way where they can live their lives more fully.

 

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.

 

How Working Out Can Cure Unwanted Stress

 

Everyone experiences stress.

Whether work related, family life, school, or something else, we are often told that stress is a normal part of life. And it is, to a certain extent, although too much stress is never a good thing.

Seven out of ten Americans adults report experiencing high levels of stress every day, and more people are reporting negative physical responses to stress than ever before.

Recently, the American Institute of Stress recently released a list of over 50 ways that stress can manifest itself, affecting different parts of the body and mind in various ways.

Sometimes stress acts as the motivation that you need to finish a task for work or school, and it can give you the extra push that you need to succeed. When experienced in the right amounts, stress can even improve memory and has other health implications.

 

BUT WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THAT CONSTANT LEVEL OF STRESS SUDDENLY GOES FROM MANAGEABLE TO MAKING YOU INCAPABLE OF FUNCTIONING? 

 

You begin to feel as if you’ll never feel relaxed ever again, and you may not even remember what it feels like to have a functional life with normal worries. So how can you relieve the unwanted pressure and better manage your stress?

Most people will give you a list of practices that include a compilation of the following suggestions: improve sleep and diet, meditate, participate in breathing exercises, listen to soothing music, try some natural remedies, and others. However, while each of these methods might help in stress relief, there is a more effective strategy that we offer.

 

Here's our one-word suggestion: Exercise.


It seems as if there is no end to the benefits that come from working out. On top of improving health and assisting with weight loss, regular exercise can increase energy, and improve memory, relaxation, and sleep!

Here’s how:

When you are stressed, the body increases the amount of stress hormones released. One of these hormones, called cortisol, is what triggers the brain and body to go into ‘survival mode.’

Survival Mode


There are a lot of changes that occur very quickly when the brain goes into this mode. First, the body adjusts blood sugar, metabolism, immune response and even more in order to best prepare you for  ‘fight or flight.’

Then, everything in the body begins to run faster, which can be damaging to your body unless you are in an actual life-threatening situation.

Cortisol


Here’s one of the major ways that working out can relieve stress. Cortisol is also released when you exercise and put physical stress on the body. Your body only produces a limited supply of cortisol at any given time, so the more cortisol is released when you’re working out, the less it can release when you’re under pressure at work, school, or home.

The more frequently you exercise, the more the body grows accustomed to managing hormone levels and dealing with stress.

Endorphins


Another major aspect of working out as stress management tactic has everything to do with endorphins. Endorphins are the body’s natural painkillers or ‘feel good’ hormones that are released when you work out, creating the sensation that is commonly referred to as a “runner’s high,” or feeling of elation that you experience after you finish a workout, run, or physical activity.

Working out also engages the mind, forcing you to concentrate deeply on the task at hand instead of getting distracted by worries or stressors.

Concentrating on your movement also allows you to feel more calm, gain increased clarity, and have an improved mood.

Proper form when exercising requires you to  focus on your breathing and time yourself with a sense of rhythm, which is another aspect of working out that will assist you to better manage your stress.

So whether it’s yoga, weight lifting, running or playing sports, engaging in frequent physical activity greatly improves your ability to handle stress.

 

 

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.

 

How to Modify Your Workouts to Reduce the Chance of Injury

 

If you are at all familiar with working out, then you are also familiar with what comes after...days of being sore and tense, especially if you’re new to working out or don’t know exactly what you’re doing.

Fitness injuries can be some of the most frustrating experiences; they limit not only what you are able to accomplish in the gym but, if you’re not careful, can also leave a lasting effect on day-to-day activities.

According to WebMD, the most common workout injuries include the following:

  • Pulled muscle

  • Strained muscle

  • Sprained ankle

  • Shoulder injury

  • Knee injury

  • Shin splint

  • Tendinitis

  • Wrist sprain

  • Wrist dislocation


 

However, these and other injuries can be avoided if you learn the proper ways to workout. You want your workout to help you get stronger and be healthy, not hurt you and bring you down. But what can you do to better prepare your mind and body for the most effective workout, without having to risk getting injured in the process? We have just the trick.

Here are the best ways to modify your workouts to reduce your chance of getting injured:

 

Warm Up Before Working Out


Make sure the muscles are prepared for the exercises you’ll be doing. Spend some time warming up to improve circulation and prepare the muscles for the ranges of motion you’ll be performing during specific workouts. Warm muscles perform effectively, and will greatly reduce the chances of getting injured during a workout.

There are several different ways to warm up, including but not limited to: biking, running, jumping rope or using a row machine.

Also be sure to add some stretching and some post-workout cool-down exercises to further decrease the risk of injury.

 

Stay Hydrated


Not having enough water is one of the most dangerous choices to make when exercising. Staying hydrated allows the joints and muscles to work better.

Also, when you’re exercising, your body naturally heats up, and water works to help keep the body cool. Staying hydrated allows the body to stay away from overheating or over-exhaustion, which have major side effects.

 

Learn Proper Form


Be sure that you know the proper form of any exercise you plan to perform. Doing a work out incorrectly is one of the main reasons why so many people get injured while exercising.

Not only will using the correct form help you avoid injury and stay as healthy and active as possible, but it also increases the good properties of each exercise such as proper breathing habits, learning to reduce wasted energy, etc.

 

Limit Your Weight


Another absolutely crucial aspect of working out is staying within your limits. If you can only healthily lift 20 lbs when working out a certain muscle group, be okay with that. If you push too far too fast, it will cause an injury.

As you gradually work out and train, the body is able to reach higher weights in time. Just don’t get so impatient that you try to hit those higher weights now, because you will likely injure yourself.

Many prominent athletes and trainers have fallen victim to major injury because they attempted to lift a weight level that they weren’t ready for. Don’t let that happen to you, too!

 

Adjust Your Workout


If you do the same exercises day after day, you might be at risk of overusing certain muscles and putting unnecessary pressure on them. Overuse injuries are a thing, and you definitely don’t want one.

So instead of repeating the same workout every time you go to the gym, try something new! Try a new machine, work out a new muscle group, or learn a new approach to your normal workout. You’ll avoid overuse injuries and experience a new level of fitness!

 

Know When to Stop


Lastly, you need to be aware of your own limits and what your body can and cannot handle. Know when to stop yourself, even if you’re not completely done with a workout. You want to stay fit and healthy...pushing past the breaking point will not help you accomplish either of those things.

 

 

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.

 

7 Ways Stretching Increases Physical and Mental Health

 

You’ve seen it your entire life. Whether headed to the doctor, or to the gym, the constant suggestion to stretch more...

  • stretch before your workout,

  • stretch after your workout,

  • stretch in the morning,

  • stretch before bed.


 

But what’s the point?

 

It turns out, stretching is way more useful than you may have thought, and the benefits are much more than just avoiding injury during a workout. Whether you are super athletic or always bent over a computer at work, stretching every day (or at least a few times a week) will benefit you greatly.

 

1) Reduced Stress & Calmed Mind


A stressed body causes the muscles to get tense and tight, which can cause soreness, throbbing headaches, and other painful symptoms. Stretching the right muscles can relieve this tension...reducing some stress, and calming the mind. A calm mind provides opportunities to be creative and optimistic.

 

2) Improved Blood Flow


When you stretch you gently tug and pull on muscles and ligaments throughout the body which increases the blood flow to these areas. An increased blood flow can help you think more clearly, recover from workouts more quickly, and remove unwanted toxins throughout the body.

 

3) Increased Energy


One of the greatest benefits of having increased blood flow is how refreshed it makes you feel. This refreshing feeling naturally increases energy levels, which help you to accomplish more each day.

"By lengthening the tight muscles we can realign our body to function as efficiently as possible, allowing us to go about our daily life feeling more energised."


-Renee Scott, former professional ballerina and founder of Barre Attack told HuffPost Australia.



4) Enhanced Alignment


A misaligned body can experience several physical and mental challenges.However, when aligned, the body can function most efficiently; people experience less aches and pains, the lungs are able to expand properly and supply the blood with necessary oxygen, and there isn’t any unnecessary strain or weight on joints.

Proper alignment also helps improve posture, which can have fiercely negative ramifications on the body and mind. Poor posture affects self-image, depression, soreness, and more. By stretching and aligning the body, posture can be improved and strengthened, making it easier to have better posture in the future.

 

5) Better Sleep


One of the most common stretching practices is to gently stretch before going to sleep. Stretching can be a very calming activity that helps relax both the mind and body and prepares the body for a calm sleeping experience.

 

6) Increased Flexibility


Flexibility is perhaps the most obvious benefit to stretching. Being more flexible improves the body’s range of motion, which makes the body less stiff and able to accomplish more while exercising or even turning your head to check a blind spot while driving.

 

7) Injury Prevention


Stretching loosens and relaxes muscles, preparing them to be used during exercise and athletics. With prepared, warmed up muscles, you can move smoothly and more efficiently, with lower risk of injury. Stretching does not, however, completely eliminate the risk of injury during exercise or athletic activity.

Falling asleep at work? Stand up and stretch out! Feeling sore? Stretching will help. About to go on a run? Don’t forget to stretch. Find times throughout your day to stretch and relax your muscles, reduce your stress, calm your mind, align your body, and improve your quality of life.

 

 

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.

 
woman giving a man CPR on a rural road.

What You Need to Know About First Aid In 2019

 

In an emergency, there is no time to wait to be saved.


This is 2019. With natural disasters, shootings, and other acts of violence, there is much more to learn about first aid than the typical bloody nose or lightly cut finger.

There is also a growing demand for understanding mental health first aid. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention:

In 2017, 47,173 Americans died by suicide and there were an estimated 1,400,000 suicide attempts.

Understanding first aid properly, to prepare for not only the major disasters but the dangerous incidents that occur in the home, has never been more essential to our lives.

 

How To Help Yourself & Others In An Emergency


Emergencies come in all shapes and sizes. While you may be with one or more individuals in an emergency, there are other circumstances when you are alone. It is not only important to know how to practice first aid on others, but be able to apply first aid on yourself.

Below are the top first-aid practices with strategies to help others in an emergency as well as yourself.

 




 

First Aid Best Practices


woman giving a man CPR on a rural road.


1) CPR: Practice makes perfect


According to CPR Certification HQ:

 

  • More than 350,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur in the United States per year, out of which 70% happen inside homes.



  • Effective CPR provided by a bystander in the first few minutes of cardiac arrest can increase the chances of survival by 2x or 3x.



  • Less than 20 percent [of] Americans are equipped to perform CPR during a medical emergency situation. (AHA Study)


 

As stated above, understanding CPR is in high demand in many emergencies. While the Red Cross offers cpr certification classes all over the United States, here are the guidelines to help you get started.

 

CPR Guidelines according to Mayo Clinic:



  1. Check surroundings: make sure that the location is safe.

  2. Check to see if the individual is conscious; if he/she is NOT conscious, try to awaken the individual. This can be done by shaking them or speaking to them loudly.

  3. If possible, call 911.

  4. Lay individual down flat if the individual is not already in that position.

  5. Place both hands on the center of the individual’s chest in a fist-like manner with the palm of the bottom hand directly on the center of the chest. With both elbows straight and the upper body above the body, press chest 100x per minute with the width of the compression at 2”. Don’t continue to step 6 without previous CPR training. Continue this step until movement is noticed, or until medical assistance arrives

  6. After 30 chest compressions, tilt the individual’s head to ‘open the airway.’

  7. Pinch nose and give mouth-to-mouth breathing. After two breaths, perform 30 more chest compressions until movement is seen.


 

*Here is more information on how to perform these steps in more detail as well as how to perform CPR on a child.

 

This procedure can ONLY be done by others and not on oneself. It is always wise to travel with others to make sure that the CPR procedure can be done if needed in an emergency.

 

 

2) Stop Heavy Bleeding: It’s all about elevation and pressure


With small cuts, cleaning the wound and applying some Neosporin and a band-aid should do the job. However, what happens when the cut is so deep that there is no quick blood clotting and no band-aid large enough to fix the problem? Elevation and direct pressure is required.

 

After calling 911, Harvard Health Publishing advises:
Elevate the wound above the heart and apply firm pressure with a clean compress (such as a clean, heavy gauze pad, washcloth, T-shirt, or sock) directly on the wound. Call out for someone to get help, or call 911 yourself. Do not remove a pad that is soaked through with blood; you will disturb any blood clots that have started to form to help stop the bleeding. If blood soaks through, place another pad on top of the soaked one and continue applying direct pressure.

Make sure to keep the direct pressure and elevation to stop severe bleeding until further help from medical assistance.

 

This method can be applied on oneself if in an emergency. After calling 911, follow the procedure stated above in a safe location until further assistance arrives.

 

 

3) Treating Broken Bones: Stabilize


Broken bones can be a critical result of an emergency. It is important to know what to do if you or someone you are with is injured in this way.

How do you know if there is a broken bone involved?

Healthline gives the following symptoms:

 

  • intense pain in the injured area that gets worse when you move it



  • numbness in the injured area



  • bluish color, swelling, or visible deformity in the injured area



  • bone protruding through the skin



  • heavy bleeding at the injury site


 

What to do if there is a broken bone:

  1. Contain bleeding, if there is any: Follow the instructions above to stop heavy bleeding before proceeding.

  2. Stabilize location of broken bone: This can be done with a simple sling for the arm created by a bandana, t-shirt, or cloth. If the broken bone is in the leg, use two firm structures such wooden sticks or boards, and tie them around the leg with a cloth or part of a t-shirt.

  3. Place something cold on the area to reduce the swelling. Don’t place directly on the area. Make sure it is underneath a cloth of some sort.

  4. If the individual is going through shock, lay them down and elevate legs.


 

This procedure can be done to oneself and to another person. Remember to always stay calm in the situation.

 

 

4) Treating Degree Burns


We all have dealt with some form of a degree burn in our lives. While some are minor and therefore require minor treatment, other burns can be deadly. It is critical to know what to do to successfully treat the minor burns as well as the major.

First-Degree Burn:


Most of these burns are caused when going out in the sun for too long without sunscreen. Sunburns are first-degree burns. They can be prevented by placing more sunscreen and can be treated by rubbing aloe vera on the burned area.



Second-Degree Burn:


Touching the stove, or touching a curling iron can cause a second-degree burn. These are called second-degree burns because they penetrate not only the first layer, but the second layer of skin as well. Treating these burns require cleaning the area and using antibiotic ointment and patiently letting it heal.



Third-Degree Burn:


These burns can be caused in more serious situations where the skin is burned past the second layer of skin through the nerves. Best Life illustrated the symptoms of third-degree burns on the skin as, “charred, leathery, or a waxy, white color.” It is critical to get medical assistance immediately and elevate the location of the injury.


 

Treating burns can be done on oneself and to others. It is important, however, to always seek medical assistance when there are deadly signs of the burn.

 

 

5) Heart Attacks


Heart attacks are very unexpected emergencies. It is crucial to be calm whether you or a loved one is in this situation.

The symptoms of a heart attack according to the Red Cross:


 

  • persistent, vice-like chest pain, which may spread to their arms, neck, jaw, back or stomach



  • breathlessness



  • feeling unwell



  • sweating


 

What to do if someone is having a heart attack:



  1. Call 911

  2. Take an Aspirin

  3. Apply CPR, if necessary. Use steps illustrated above for the procedure

  4. Apply AED, if available


 

Heart Attacks are impossible to treat by yourself. If you are dealing with a heart attack and no one is around, call 911 as soon as possible.

 




 

First Aid & Mental Health




Mental health first aid has risen in awareness in the past decade due to the increase in mental illness, such as depression and anxiety disorders. Suicide rates have also risen as stated in the beginning.

Here is what Mental Health First Aid has to say about what they do:
Mental Health First Aid at Work is a workplace mental health training program that teaches participants how to notice and support an individual who may be experiencing a mental health or substance use concern or crisis and connect them with the appropriate employee resources. Mental Health First Aid at Work is a skills-based, experiential and evidence-based practice.

Certification courses for mental health are offered here.

In the meantime, Mental Health First Aid offers the ALGEE Action Plan to aid someone who is dealing with substance abuse or a mental health issue.

 

APPROACHThis first step is all about acknowledging the problem and asking questions.


LISTENMental Health First Aid stresses that this step is all about listening without judgment.


GIVERelieve and assist with comfort and information that can help them.


ENCOURAGE: Persuade and encourage them to get professional assistance.


ENCOURAGE: Teach them coping mechanisms that can help them until they receive professional assistance.


 

These steps cannot only help those helping others, but it can also aid an individual when they are dealing with a challenge on their own depending on the severity. It is always better to talk and work through these steps with someone else.

 

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.