The use of the tourniquet in medical emergencies is most often necessary with uncontrollable bleeding. While it is possible to suffer uncontrollable bleeding from smaller wounds; victims who bleed out often do so because they have cut an artery. You will often know that you have cut an artery as you will view blood spurting and the blood will be bright red. Other signs of uncontrolled bleeding include a victim that may be unconscious, or a full or partial amputation. Unfortunately, a person with a severed artery can often die in 2-3 minutes.
So what do you do? The first thing that you want to to is ensure that the scene is safe. Next, call 911 and find the wound and apply direct pressure. The next step is to apply a dressing and continue to press. Lastly, the application of the tourniquet requires the first responder to WRAP the tourniquet, WIND the tourniquet, SECURE the tourniquet, and write the TIME the tourniquet was applied on the tourniquet itself.
You might not have a tourniquet available but if you do, tie it off between the blood flow and the exit wound. If the wound happens to be too large to control with a tourniquet then grab a clean cloth or hemostatic gauze and pack the wound and apply pressure.
Here at Help-A-Heart CPR, we now offer an Advanced Bleeding Control certification class. This class will provide the students with the tools and knowledge to determine when and how to manage both controllable and uncontrollable bleeding both with and without a tourniquet.
Heat stroke is a form of heat illness often resulting in a potentially life threatening event. Heat stroke occurs when a person's body core temperature increases to a level that is well above the "safe level" within the body's internal temperature range. Initial signs of heat stroke often include heat cramps and if precautions are not made to cool off and rehydrate at this point, the more severe stage of heat illness and heat exhaustion, can occur.
So what can we do as treatment if one is suffering from heat stroke? First. immediately seek emergency medical care. While awaiting emergency medical services, try to cool the person down while also doing one or all of the following:
Stay safe this summer and if you suspect that you or a loved one is suffering from heatstroke, immediately seek emergency care.
Drowning is defined as respiratory impairment following submersion or immersion in fluid. Drowning is the fourth leading cause of accidental death in the United States. There is an estimate 9,000 causalities and 80,000 near drowning accidents annually. Approximately, 40% of the drowning accidents are related to children below 4 years of age. Drowning is often associated with the following: inability to swim, diving injuries, swimming while intoxicated with alcohol, hypothermia, and fatigue.
It is important to grab a flotation device as rescuing a victim of drowning can be extremely dangerous as victims will grab anything to stay afloat and the rescuer can inadvertently drown in a rescue attempt. When removing the victim from the water, it is important to check the patency of airway and turn patient to lateral side allowing the water to clear out from the upper airway while removing any mud, dentures etc. Since drowning can result in hypoxemia, immediate attention must be given to calling 911 and administering mouth-to-mouth resuscitation if the victim does not have a pulse. It is also critical to wrap the individual in a warming blanket if the temperature is low and if the victim is still not revived continue CPR until help arrives.
So stay safe this summer and if having a pool party or going to the lake or river, make sure that someone is monitoring the kids and those that can't swim. If something happens, call 911 and if the victim doesn't have a pulse then begin CPR.
Smeltzer, S., Bare B., Brunner and Suddarth’s Textbook of Medical-Surgical Nursing 10th Edition, 2008, Lippincott-Raven Publishers.
ACLS stands for Advanced Cardiac Life Support. The ACLS certification course covers various procedures such as the initiation of IV access, reading and transcribing electrocardiograms and the administration of emergency drugs such as epinephrine, atropine, adenosine, and amiodarone.
During the ACLS class, students will discuss the following topics:
A great number of our students call or email inquiring whether the BLS class is the class that they need. So here is a short breakdown of what BLS means and who this class is intended for.
With the extensive number of professions, work environments, and various state licensing requirements, it can be a strenuous task determining what class you need to take. BLS stands for "Basic Life Support" and is the the basic CPR course for the majority of healthcare providers. This might include emergency room staff to in-home adult caregivers. Although these environment might be quite differed, the CPR process that we cover in the BLS class are applicable to all healthcare environments. In the BLS class we review the CPR skills of compressions, breathing, and the use of the AED. We cover both single rescuer as well as multi-rescuer scenarios. Changes to these procedures that are not covered in the lay rescuer CPR training include the administration of pulse checks, the use of bag valve masks, (BVM's), CPR with the use of an advanced airway, and addressing the various issues that occur in team dynamics such as closed looped communication, leadership, and roles and responsibilities.
The BLS class allows the student to develop their skills in an environment that promotes an effective review, reinforcement, and when required modification. So whether your renewing your BLS CPR certification or taking the BLS CPR for the very first time, our BLS Provider class will help you develop the confidence to administer CPR and use the AED effectively.
When is narcan and nalaxone going to be part of every first aid kit? US Surgeon General Jerome recently acknowledged that Narcan should be part of every first aid kit. But what exactly is Narcan? Narcan is the brand name of nalaxone, an opiate antidote. the active ingredient competes with opiods to bind with the same receptors in the brain that feast on the drugs. It usually reverses the effects of an opiod overdose in 2 to 3 minutes, buying the effected person time for emergency help to arrive.
So what happens if the overdose victim doesn't receive assistance and narcan? Without narcan someone overdosing can have his or her breathing slow down or stop completely causing brand damage or death. With heroin and such, the effects of overdosing are not exactly immediate but typically develop over a 1 to 3 hour period.
Being prepared for a heroin or opiate overdose that could happen to a friend or family member or even just someone walking down the street might seem as unnecessary. However, this can happen to anyone at any time. It is always important to be prepared to address and handle this opiate crisis.
It is vital that organizations evaluate their disaster preparedness programs not just per OSHA requirements but also for the safety of their employees and organization. OSHA facilitates the responsibilities for medical services and first aid for ill employees according to the 29 CFR 1910.15. The standard is as follows: Employers must ensure that medical personnel are readily available for advice and consultation, a person or persons on site are trained i first aid, and first aid supplies are readily available. In addition, facilities for emergency drenching or flushing of eyes and body must be present within work areas where a worker's eyes or body may be exposed to harmful corrosive materials.
According to OSHA's 1904.7 (b( (5) (ii) first aid can be defined as a variety of actions including the use of wound coverings such as bandages, removing foreign bodies from the eye using irrigation or a cotton swab, and even administering tetanus immunizations. Minimum requirements for the first aid kit according to OSHA include the following: Adhesive bandage, Adhesive tape, Antibiotic application, Antiseptic, Breathing barrier, Burn dressing (gel soaked), Burn treatment, Cold pack, Eye covering (with means of attachment), Eye/skin wash, First aid guide, Hand sanitizer, Medical exam gloves, Roller bandage (2 inch), Roller bandage (4 inch), Scissors, Splint, Sterile pad, Tourniquet, Trauma pad, and Triangular bandage.
Remember however, that organizations must also assess the needs of their workplace according to the needs of their employees, state safety and health requirements, and organization protocol.
As our American Heart Association (AHA) First Aid training teaches, there are two types of bleeding: controllable and uncontrollable. A Stop the Bleeding training was an initiative implemented by the White House in 2015 to teach life-saving techniques used by the military and emergency personnel in providing instruction to the public. The Stop the Bleeding kits contain dressings and a tourniquet to be used on someone with uncontrollable bleeding. There are various steps involved in the Stop the Bleeding training but the basic steps include calling 911, determining where the bleeding is coming from and then applying direct pressure or a tourniquet. Unfortunately, anyone who experiences uncontrolled bleeding is at risk for dying if the problem is not addressed immediately with 35% of pre-hospital deaths originating from uncontrollable bleeding according to the Stop the Bleeding Coalition.
Again, the ABC's of uncontrollable bleeding are the following:
A – Alert – call 911
B – Bleeding – find the bleeding injury
C – Compress – apply pressure to stop the bleeding by: Covering the wound with a clean cloth and applying pressure by pushing directly on it with both hands, or using a tourniquet, or packing (filling) the wound with gauze or a clean cloth and then applying pressure with both hands.
Awareness is a focal point of initiating CPR in a timely manner.
Imagine that you are in a parking lot and someone collapses from cardiac arrest. With the help of the PulsePoint application, assistance may be closer than you realized.
The PulsePoint application allows individuals who are trained in CPR and willing to help in an emergency to register with the application. In the event that an emergency occurs and CPR is needed, the PulsePoint application will generate a distinctive tone to users and first responders in the immediate area. A map will also appear allowing the first responder to know the exact location. The map will also indicate the exact location of an automated external defibrillator that is close to the incident. Unfortunately, it is estimate that approximately 325,00 lives are lost each year due to sudden cardiac arrest and the survival rate for victims is less than 8 percent. In addition, permanent brain damage occurs after the brain is without oxygen for 8 minutes. After 10 minutes, the opportunity for a successful resuscitation usually drops significantly. Using resources made available such as PulsePoint may allow first responders and off-duty professionals such as firefighters, police officers, and nurses to also work collaboratively to update and report AED locations as needed.
Controlling one's blood pressure has long been known to help reduce cardiovascular disease as well as other health concerns. It is subsequently vital to know one's blood pressure.
The American Heart Association recently changed the optimal parameters for blood pressure lowering numbers from from 140/90 to 120/80. Various changes to one's lifestyle might include lowering salt intake, increasing exercise, losing weight, quitting smoking, and relieving stress.This modification in the ideal blood pressure range means 46 percent of U.S. adults are identified as having high blood pressure, compared with 32 percent under the previous definition. A blood pressure of less than 120/80 still will be considered normal, but levels at or above that, to 129, will be called “elevated.”
Of particular concern, under these new guidelines;
1. High blood pressure rates could nearly triple among men age 20 to 44 – up to 30 percent from 11 percent. Women in that age group will see their rates almost double, to 19 percent from 10 percent.
2. Roughly three-quarters of men between 55 and 74 could be diagnosed with high blood pressure.
3. Black and Hispanic men will experience a 17 percent increase in rates. Asian men will see a 16 percent increase.
Remember to check your blood pressure regularly, reduce stress, eat healthy, and get plenty of exercise!
Tracy A. Jones is an American Heart Association Master Program Trainer, Instructor, & AHA Faculty Member located in San Antonio, Texas.