Sunday, December 17, 2017
   
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Attacks & Unconsciousness

Heart Attack

This may be caused by a blood clot blocking a coronary artery. This may cause the muscle to be damaged, or die, or cause interference with the electrical activity of the heart, causing it to stop beating. When the heart stops beating, this is known as CARDIAC ARREST. Damage to the heart muscle is a HEART ATTACK.

Warning signs of Heart Attack

  1. The symptoms of heart attack vary, but the most common is a prolonged oppressive pain or unusual discomfort in the centre of the chest, behind the breastbone.
  2. The pain may radiate to the shoulder, arm, neck, or jaw. Sometimes the symptoms may subside and then return.
  3. There may also be sweating, weakness, nausea and shortness of breath.
  4. ALL CASES OF CHEST PAIN SHOULD BE INVESTIGATED!!!

Treatment

If the above symptoms occur, an ambulance should be called at once. Telephone 112 (mobile) or your local emergency number and ask for an Ambulance. If unavailable, the victim should immediately be taken to the nearest hospital. Every minute is vital in cases of suspected heart attack. A victim should not be allowed to drive himself to hospital.

  1. If the casualty is conscious reassure, gently support with pillows, and place in a half-sitting position with knees bent.
  2. DO NOT ALLOW the casualty to move unnecessarily as this will put extra strain on the heart.
  3. Loosen any tight clothing around the neck, chest and waist.
  4. Treat for shock.
  5. Remove to hospital immediately, maintaining the treatment position if possible.


Call 112 or your local emergency number

and say cardiac emergency first.

Unconscious Victim

  1. If breathing and heartbeat stop, begin the A-B-C of resuscitation immediately.
  2. Remove to hospital immediately, continuing resuscitation on the way, if necessary.
  3. If the casualty becomes unconscious, but is breathing normally, place in the recovery position.
  4. Check pulse rate continuously.

Hyperventilation attack

short rapid breathing, (like the person's been running for a while) Hyperventilation can be brought on by a number of factors, they include:

  1. Anxiety (the most common cause)
  2. Severe stomach pains.
  3. Heart or lung disease.
  4. Extensive physical injuries.

Symptoms

The symptoms usually last 15 to 30 minutes, and can seem like hours to anyone having them. Though very frightening for the patient and indeed for the onlooker, hyperventilation is not usually dangerous. Breathing into a paper bag increases the amount of carbon dioxide in the blood and relieves the symptoms.

Self help

  1. Loosely cover your nose and mouth with a small paper bag.
  2. Breathe slowly into the bag and rebreathe the air in the bag about 10 times.
  3. Set the bag aside and breathe normally for a couple of minutes.
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 until the symptoms lessen or go away.
  5. Try to breathe slowly. Focus on taking one breath every 5 seconds.

Treatment

  1. Avoid becoming caught up in the panic (remain calm )
  2. Make direct eye contact, and speak clearly and slowly.
  3. Identify yourself if you're not known to the person.
  4. Give short clear instructions.
  5. Make calming gestures.
  6. Allow the casualty some space ( don't crowd them in )
  7. Minimize embarrassment and avoid an audience.
  8. Get them to sit down, if they aren't already.
  9. Sit with them at eye level
  10. Encourage them to breathe normally. ( talk them through the breathing cycle )
  11. Inhale, take in long slow deep breath. ( breathe with them )
  12. Hold breath for +1 seconds.
  13. Exhale slowly, ( pucker your lips like you're going to kiss )
  14. Tell them to relax in a clam voice, just before they reach the end of exhalation.
  15. Start a new breathing cycle while telling them how well they are doing.
  16. Continue encouraging them to breathe normally.

Panic Attacks

Panic attacks are brought on by social situations and activities perceived to be a threat to the person. The attack may be the person's first or they may have had an number of attacks before, attacks may recur repeatedly and rapidly, however; once these symptoms abate, moderate to severe anxiety may last for many hours.

Symptoms

  1. Shortness of breath with rapid breathing (or smothering sensations).
  2. Dizziness, unsteady feelings, or faintness.
  3. Palpitations or accelerated heart rate ( feeling ones own heartbeat ).
  4. Trembling or shaking.
  5. Sweating.
  6. Choking.
  7. Nausea or abdominal distress.
  8. Depersonalization or de-realization.
  9. Numbness or tingling sensations ( pins and needles in the arms / legs).
  10. Flushes (hot flashes) or chills.
  11. Chest pain or discomfort. ( Normally this is not a heart attack, but if chest pain persists have it checked out by a Doctor ).
  12. Fear of dying.
  13. Fear of going crazy or doing something uncontrolled.

Treatment

  1. Avoid becoming caught up in the panic (remain calm )
  2. Make direct eye contact, and speak clearly and slowly.
  3. Identify yourself if you're not known to the person.
  4. Give short clear instructions.
  5. Make calming gestures.
  6. Allow the casualty some space ( don't crowd them in )
  1. Minimize embarrassment and avoid an audience.
  2. Get them to sit down, if they aren't already.
  3. Sit with them at eye level
  4. Encourage them to breathe normally. ( talk them through the breathing cycle )
  5. Inhale, take in long slow deep breath. ( breathe with them )
  6. Hold breath for +1 seconds.
  7. Exhale slowly, ( pucker your lips like you're going to kiss )
  8. Tell them to relax in a clam voice, just before they reach the end of exhalation.
  9. Start a new breathing cycle while telling them how well they are doing.
  10. Continue encouraging them to breathe normally.

Try these breathing exercises on yourself first ! ( sitting or lying down )

When you feel you're on top of the situation, organize transport for the person if they want to go home or call an ambulance to take them to hospital. Don't abandon them.

Does the person suffer bouts of Agoraphobia ?

Anxiety about being in public places or situations from which escape may be difficult (or embarrassing) or they may feel help may not be available in the event of having an unexpected panic attack. Agoraphobic fears typically involve characteristic clusters of situations that include:

  1. Being outside the home alone;
  2. Being in a crowd or standing in a line;
  3. Being on a bridge;
  4. Traveling in a bus, train, or car.

Unconsciousness

The most common causes of unconsciousness are stroke, epilepsy, drug overdose, head injury, cardiac arrest, poisoning, diabetes and alcohol. There are various levels of unconsciousness. If the person responds to sound and touch, then the state is only light as in a faint. If the level of response is low, then the person is more deeply unconscious.

If there is no response at all, then there is a potentially dangerous state.

  1. Send for an Ambulance.
  2. Dial your local emergency services telephone number.

Treatment

  1. If breathing and heartbeat have stopped, begin the A-B-C of resuscitation immediately.
  2. If the casualty is breathing normally, place in the recovery position,

But if there is any possibility of spinal injury DO NOT MOVE unless breathing difficulty makes it vital.

  1. Examine the casualty for causes of unconsciousness. There may be signs of injury such as bleeding or swellings.
  2. Treat any serious wounds or fractures.
  3. Look carefully for other clues e.g. glucose tablets could indicate that the casualty suffers from diabetes.

Many people with epilepsy, hemophilia or diabetes wear an identity bracelet to this effect..

  1. Cover with blanket, keep warm and reassure.
  2. If removal to hospital is delayed, check the levels of responsiveness, pulse and breathing every ten minutes, and be ready to give the A-B-C of resuscitation as required,.
  3. DO NOT give anything to eat or drink.
  4. DO NOT leave unattended.
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