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Vital Medical Knowledge People Don’t Know That Could Save A Life

COVID-19 By now, we are all familiar with COVID-19, the highly infectious illness that has disrupted many lives and taken many others. But do you know… Robyn Traber - December 22, 2022
Precautions can help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Source: CDC

COVID-19

By now, we are all familiar with COVID-19, the highly infectious illness that has disrupted many lives and taken many others. But do you know what signs indicate someone with this illness needs emergency medical care? Many cases may be mild, but there is still the risk of serious illness or even death. Emergency symptoms include difficulty breathing, chest pain or pressure, confusion, can’t stay awake, or pale, gray, or blue skin, lips, or nail beds. The best treatment is, of course, prevention via masking, vaccinations, social distancing, isolating if ill, and avoiding those who are ill.

Appendicitis can be painful and even deadly. Source: Signature Care Emergency

Appendicitis

Appendicitis is the inflammation of the appendix, a small pouch off of the colon. It’s treated by removing the appendix entirely. Although it can happen to anyone, it’s most common in people who are 10 to 30 years old. The main symptom is pain in the lower right abdomen that becomes more severe. This pain may also begin near the navel and then move. Nausea, fever, flatulence, bloating, and constipation or diarrhea are also symptoms of appendicitis. Untreated appendicitis can lead to appendix rupturing, which can be fatal.

An oral temperature over 103 degrees F is a fever. Source: Kinsa

Fever

Fever, an increase in body temperature, is a normal part of the body’s immune response. An oral temperature of 100°F (37.8°C) or higher qualifies as a fever. Although most fevers are mild and only uncomfortable for a few days, they can also rise to dangerous levels. Infants with fevers may have a serious infection and should be taken to the hospital. Children are usually fine if they are alert, no other worrisome symptoms are present, and the fever doesn’t last more than three days. For adults, a fever greater than 103°F (39.4°C) is caused to see a doctor. Emergency medical care is needed if the fever is accompanied by other concerning symptoms such as severe headache, rash, light sensitivity, confusion, stiff neck, difficulty breathing, chest or abdominal pain, or persistent vomiting.

The RICE method is the best way to treat sprains. Source: City Care Pharmacy Group

Sprains

While not usually life-threatening, treating sprains appropriately can help prevent further injury and aid recovery. A sprain is when the ligaments connecting bones are stretched or torn. Mild sprains can be self-treated with the RICE method. Rest the injured area, ice it for 15 to 20 minutes every 2 to 3 hours for the first few days, compress it with an elastic bandage, and elevate it above the heart. If the pain is severe, the joint can’t bear weight, or injury to the bone is suspected, then it’s time to see a doctor.

Recognize when a loved one is struggling. Source: Beyond Blue

Suicide

Sadly, a leading cause of death is suicide. Suicide and suicidal thoughts can affect people of all ages and demographics, although the risk is heightened among some groups. It can be hard to know what to do if you suspect someone is having suicidal thoughts, especially if you’re not sure. But remember, it’s better to ask and be wrong than to experience the tragedy of losing someone to suicide. Checking in and supporting someone, helping them find resources, and reducing the stigma around suicide are all important in suicide prevention.

Knowing and watching out for the signs is key to recognizing and helping loved ones who are struggling. Signs include isolation, increased anxiety, mood swings, hopelessness, sleeping too much or too little, talking about being a burden, feeling trapped, being in unbearable pain, or wanting to die, and making plans or trying to access lethal means. Encourage loved ones (and yourself) to call or text a crisis hotline such as 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline if they’re struggling.

Cancers detected early are easier to treat. Source: Nancy N. & J.C. Lewis Cancer & Research Pavilion

Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is when the cells in the breast grow uncontrollably. The cancer can spread to the rest of the body and lead to death. Cancers that are caught early can be treated early, often leading to better outcomes. Thus, it’s important to be aware of the early symptoms of breast cancer. These include pain in the breast, lumps in the breast or armpit, redness, nipple discharge, flaky skin, swelling, and other breast changes. While these symptoms can indicate breast cancer, they can also be caused by other symptoms. Any abnormal changes in the breast should be brought up with a doctor as soon as possible. They can run tests to determine the cause.

Prevention is the best treatment. Source: Western Cape Government

Poisoning

Poisoning results from exposure to poisonous substances such as chemicals, venoms, or even gases. Dosage is important when it comes to poisoning, as different amounts can have different effects, from no symptoms to death. Children are especially at risk for poisoning. Redness around the mouth, vomiting, difficulty breathing, confusion, and drowsiness are all symptoms of poisoning to watch for. Serious cases require calling emergency services, while for milder ones you can contact the Poison Control Center (in the U.S.). While waiting for emergency services, remove the poison if possible, gather information such as the poison’s container and the person’s age, weight, and height, and remember to never try to induce vomiting.

Shock is a serious condition that can lead to organ damage or even death. Source: Meancro

Shock

Shock is a serious condition that happens due to a sudden drop in blood flow. When a person is in shock, their organs are not receiving adequate oxygen. If the shock is not addressed, then those organs may become permanently damaged or the person may even die. Shock happens in response to other conditions, many of which are featured in this article. These include major injuries and infections, heat stroke, poisoning, and other traumas. If someone has had a major trauma, be on the lookout for these signs of stroke: weakness, dizziness, rapid pulse, paleness or ashenness, blue- or gray-tinged lips, and nausea or vomiting. Once these signs are noticed, seek emergency medical care, lay the person down with their legs elevated, limit movement, and address their injuries.

Where Do We Find this Stuff? Here Are Our Sources:

Red Cross – Hands-Only CPR for Adults

Red Cross – Child & Baby CPR

CDC – Heat Stress – Heat-Related Illness

NHS – Heat exhaustion and heatstroke

Mayo Clinic – Dehydration

CDC – Seizure First Aid

CDC – Types of Seizures

American Diabetes Association – Hypoglycemia (Low Blood Glucose)

American Diabetes Association – Hyperglycemia (High Blood Glucose)

Heart – Warning Signs of a Heart Attack

Heart – Heart Attack Symptoms in Women

Mayo Clinic – Hypothermia

Mayo Clinic – Asthma

Red Cross – Learn first aid for someone who is having an asthma attack

American Stroke Association – Stroke Symptoms

Mayo Clinic – Severe bleeding: First aid

Harvard Health Publishing – Emergencies and First Aid – Direct Pressure to Stop Bleeding

Mayo Clinic – Burns: First aid

Mayo Clinic – Fractures (broken bones)

NHS – Anaphylaxis

Mayo Clinic – Anaphylaxis: First aid

Mayo Clinic – Choking: First aid

CDC – Venomous Snake Bites: Symptoms & First Aid

Mayo Clinic – Brain aneurysm

Heart – What is an Aneurysm?

Mayo Clinic – Concussion

CDC – What is Skin Cancer?

CDC – What Are the Symptoms of Skin Cancer?

CDC – Drowning Facts

CDC – Drowning Prevention

WebMD – Drowning Treatment

CDC – Symptoms of COVID-19

CDC – What to Do If You Were Exposed to COVID-19

CDC – How to Protect Yourself and Others

CDC – Basics of COVID-19

Mayo Clinic – Appendicitis

Mayo Clinic – Fever

Mayo Clinic – Sprains

CDC – Facts About Suicide

CDC – Risk and Protective Factors

CDC – #BeThere to Help Prevent Suicide

Mayo Clinic – Poisoning: First aid

Mayo Clinic – Shock: First aid

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