With opiod addiction skyrocketing in the United States and especially in our rural communities, the latest data indicates that drug overdose deaths in the US increased by approximately 21 percent between 2015 and 2016. This was an increase from a record high of more than 52,000 to a new record of nearly 64,000. Unfortunately, approximately two-thirds of those overdoses were linked to opioids.
With American consuming more opiods than any other country, the questions we must ask is "Why?" Perhaps it is because life has lost meaning for many of the American population due to economic and social changes. Maybe this meaninglessness is further contributing to total despair? Help and further treatment is on the horizon. A new opioid addiction treatment that is injected monthly instead of taken daily as a tablet was approved recently by the Food and Drug Administration. This new product is known as Sublocade.
It is speculated that this new version of the drug may help patients reduce relapses, disrupt the treatment market, and possibly dispel misconceptions about the drug’s potential for abuse. It has been reiterated across various professional organizations that this treatment could become the first-line medication for opioid addiction replacing naloxone. Further, It could open up opportunities for getting more patients on buprenorphine.
The new product, known as Sublocade
Winter is here and even though we live in Texas, we still experience frigid temperatures which can be hazardous to anyone's health. Hypothermia, or abnormally low body temperature, is a dangerous condition that can occur when a person is exposed to extremely cold temperatures.
What is Hypothermia?
Hypothermia is caused by continuous and lengthy exposure to very cold temperatures. When exposed to cold temperatures, the human body begins to lose heat faster than it’s produced. This exposure will eventually use up your body’s stored energy, which leads to lower body temperature.
Body temperature that is too low affects the brain, making the victim unable to think clearly or move well. This makes hypothermia especially dangerous, because a person may not know that it’s happening and won’t be able to do anything about it.
While hypothermia is most likely at very cold temperatures, it can occur even at cool temperatures (above 40°F) if a person becomes chilled from rain, sweat, or submersion in cold water. Some warning signs of hypothermia include shivering, exhaustion, confusion, fumbling hands, memory loss, slurred speech, and drowsiness. Taking a first aid and emergency resuscitation (CPR) course is a good way to prepare for cold-weather health problems. Taking preventive action is your best defense against having to deal with extreme cold-weather conditions. By preparing your home and car in advance for winter emergencies, and by observing safety precautions during times of extremely cold weather, you can reduce the risk of weather-related health problems. Happy Holidays and take care and be safe this Holiday Season.
Help-A-Heart will begin offering the American Heart Association Advanced Care Life Support (ACLS) initial and renewal class beginning in January, 2018. Pre-registration will be required.
The ACLS class will be an instructor-led classroom advanced course that emphasizes the importance of team communication, various methods of advanced systems of care and immediate post-cardiac-arrest care. The ACLS class will also cover airway management and related pharmacology. The skills will be taught in small group sessions and group learning and testing stations will be utilized to present case based scenarios.
The ACLS initial course will be a 2 day course and upon completion the student will receive a certification card valid for 2 years. The ACLS provider manual is required and may be purchased for an additional fee.
The ACLS renewal course will be a 6 hour course and the student will be required to have a current ACLS Card from the American Heart Association. Upon completion the student will receive a certification card valid for 2 years. Both the initial and renewal class will require a written and a practical skills test. For those that choose the Heartcode ACLS online course option; the practical skills test only will be required.
The ACLS classes will be kept small with no more than 6 students. Check out our January 2018 schedule for class dates and don't forget to register early for your ACLS initial or renewal class. All return students will receive a 10% discount.
A recent study by the American Heart Association and the National Institutes of Health indicated that gender may determine whether or not someone receives CPR for bystanders.
This is the first study to examine gender differences in receiving heart help from the public versus professional responders.
The study, involved nearly 20,000 cases around the country and reported that only 39 percent of women suffering cardiac arrest in public received CPR as opposed to 45 percent of men. Although it may not be a large discrepancy; there is still a difference.
Men were also 23 percent more likely to survive from a cardiac arrest in public. Empirical research has suggested no none cause as to why rescuers were less likely to assist women and did not find a gender difference in CPR rates for people suffering from cardiac arrest at home.
Check out the article.
The American Heart Association (AHA) just recently released updated their 2017 CPR guidelines specifically for kids and 911 dispatchers.The AHA is now recommending 911 assisted compression-only CPR instructions when cardiac arrest is suspected. The use of telephone CPR not only provides assistance to the bystander not trained in CPR/AED/First Aid but also reminds the CPR-trained rescuer of the importance of provide high-quality CPR in a stressful situation. Unfortunately, only one-half of the 911 dispatchers in the US provide telephone CPR, which has been identified as a critical intervention in the chain of survival for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.
The updated AHA guidelines reinforce the need for compressions and rescue breaths during CPR for people younger than 18. More than 7,000 children die from an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest annually. In most cases, it is the result of a lack of oxygen, and rescue breaths can keep oxygenated blood flowing through the system.
Most people who experience cardiac arrest at home, work or in a public location die because they don’t receive immediate CPR from someone on the scene. As a bystander, it is important to not be afraid. Part of this increased confidence can come from increased knowledge and awareness which can be optimized through training and recurrent training on AHA CPR/AED/First Aid guidelines.
The following is the link to the AHA updated guidelines for first responders and laymen rescuers. A must read for everyone.
We all know that medical emergencies can arise in various unexpected locations. The Business Insider recently presented a list of the best first aid kits for the workplace, the home, the car, those on a budget, and for the more experienced first responder.
When choosing a first aid kit, it is important to consider those that might depend on it, where it will be stored and/or carried, and in what situations the likely users might endure an injury or illness.
The chosen best overall first aid kit was the First Aid Only All-Purpose First Aid Kit comes with all the basic medical supplies you need for quick diagnostics and the treatments of many maladies.
The best kit chosen for the workplace was the Be Smart Get Prepared 250 Piece First Aid Kit which is OSHA and ANSI compliant and covers the first aid needs of up to 50 people, making it perfect for the office.
The best first aid kit chosen for the car is the TripWorthy Compact Travel First Aid Kit in your car, truck, or boat, you'll be ready to face minor medical emergencies even when you're miles from home.
The Lightning X First Responder First Aid Kit was chosen as the best first aid kit for the more experienced first responder.
The Coleman All Purpose Mini First Aid Kit was chosen as the best first aid for those on a budget. Perfect for students, camping enthusiasts, and even those weekend fitness warriors.
Check out this article for more detailed information on the prices of these various first kits.
Due to the overwhelming demand; Help-A-Heart CPR will begin offering Advanced Care Life Support (ACLS) classes beginning in November 2017.
ACLS entails airway management, accessing veins, interpretation of ECG, applications of emergency pharmacology and early defibrillation with automated external defibrillators.
Healthcare providers such as paramedics, doctors, nurses, and respiratory therapists must take a certification class to learn ACLS procedures prior to administering them. The algorithms are complex and should only be carried out by trained medical providers. Managing the airway, analyzing various cardiac rhythms, and understanding what medications should be given are included in the classes.
The Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) class also provides the theoretical background to resuscitation as well as explaining the essential resuscitation skills required to manage an adult cardiac arrest– from the time it occurs until post-cardiac care.
Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support also discusses ethical and legal issues, record keeping, dealing with bereavement, audit, equipment and training– providing an essential quick reference tool for nurses and health care professionals.
The addition of the ACLS course comes with the new requirement of ensuring all American Heart Association’s adult cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) courses are updated in 2019 with the use of new technology. The use of an instrumented directive feedback device in all courses that teach adult CPR skills will be required effective Jan. 31, 2019 to assist participants with becoming proficient when a cardiac emergency occurs.
We are excited about offering this certification to our students.
Being diagnosed with heart disease or experiencing a heart attack can drastically alter one's life. And, it can be challenging emotionally to make necessary lifestyle changes to live a life that is heart-healthy.
As a Doctoral Candidate in Psychology and also providing AHA Instruction to both providers and Instructors, I am always interested in reading correlations between mental and physical health as well as the causes and prevention.
The American Psychological Association (APA) has some wonderful suggestions including the altering of eating habits, managing stress and following the treatment plan prescribed by one's healthcare provider. However, we all know that trying to manage stress can be overwhelming. The APA has suggested that Psychologists can assist individuals people with heart disease find ways to make these lifestyle changes and address reactions such as anxiety and depression.
Interestingly, according to the American Heart Association 33 percent of heart attack patients develop some degree of depression. Symptoms of depression like fatigue and feelings of worthlessness can cause people to ignore their treatment and engage in unhealthy behaviors such as overeating or refusing to take medications. Studies show treating depression makes it easier for people with heart disease to follow long-term treatment plans and make appropriate changes to their lifestyle.
If you or a family member might be experiencing subtle changes in motivation or enthusiasm for life and have also recently experienced cardiovascular stress; this might be a good time to also seek mental health treatment in order to re-align your life.
Technology has come a long way. Voice enabled activation specifically seems to be at the forefront of almost every aspect of business and industry. Fortunately, it is now also benefiting emergency healthcare.
A great example of this innovation is Alexa, Amazon’s voice-activated digital assistant for the home. This device is now able to articulate medical information about first aid from one of the best-known names in medicine, Minnesota’s Mayo Clinic.
The information is accessible by speaking to the Amazon device.
Then, users who access the free Mayo Clinic First Aid program and ask Alexa for information about CPR are told, multiple times, to call 911. The device also advises in its robotic-female voice to begin cardiopulmonary resuscitation for one minute and then call 911 if the person is unresponsive from suffocation. If the user asks for it, the device will go on to discuss specific techniques for doing CPR on an adult, child or baby.
The program also has other information when prompted such as “tell me about spider bites” and “how to treat a cut. However, Mayo Clinic does make the disclaimer that their First Aid program is for “information purposes only” and should not be used in an emergency medical situation or in place of professional medical advice. Rather, the Mayo program offers instructions for self care for “dozens of everyday mishaps and other situations.”
I was recently reading an article about a new high-tech first aid kit that is on the market. The kit is called the Comprehensive Rescue System (CRS) and it comes in a sturdy, gray, 17 pound case with emergency medical supplies. The first aid kit was established by Mobilize Rescue Systems and is not your everyday first aid kit. The CRS First Aid kit of course comes with gauze's, bandages, and ointments but this kit also carries tourniquets, chest seals, and QuikClot. The type of equipment that you'd like to have but of course hope that you never have to use. In addition, the CRS First Aid kit also has en embedded iPad in the case which provides the use with an interactive app that further provides more than 1,600 pages of triage and emergency response decision trees. Awesome, right?
Further, information is not presented in hard to understand medical terminology but easy to understand simple, on screen prompts. Sometimes in emergency training, even if the first responder has updated training and skills, its easy to forget what the next step might in an emergency. This type of device allows the user to refer to the online prompts to decide what may be the most effective alternative means of emergency care. Wouldn't it be nice if every workplace and home had this type of first-aid kit? Maybe in the near future.
To find out more information on this high-tech first aid kit check out the article at the following:
Tracy A. Jones is an American Heart Association Master Program Trainer, Instructor, & AHA Faculty Member located in San Antonio, Texas.