VHM-2014-2015-lores - page 29

When dealing
with broken
bones, you
can improvise
a makeshift
splint (as
with a belt
and stick) to
the injured
who might
have had a
stroke with
the Cincinnati
stroke scale.
With burns, cold water is always a good
idea. If a burn has broken the skin, try
to find antibiotic ointment, since burns
can become infected. Seeking medi-
cal help is advisable for any burn that
completely circles an area — all the way
around an arm, for instance — or any
burn bigger than the palm of your hand.
Concussions are a bit different, because
the symptoms aren't always outwardly
obvious. Braunholtz says any time
someone hits his or her head in a fall or
other accident, there's always a risk of
concussion. Symptoms may not appear
right away, but can include headache,
nausea, blurred vision, decreased
concentration or memory loss.
If you develop any of these conditions
after hitting your head, Braunholtz's advice
is to seek medical attention. "Concussions
should not be taken lightly," she explains.
"These symptoms indicate that your brain
was rattled. It needs time to recover."
If you're skiing or biking, that means
avoiding the risk of further falls for at least
one to two weeks after being symptom-free.
The consequences of a second injury can
be dire: "A second injury too soon after a
first injury can lead to second impact
syndrome. Symptoms might include
chronic headaches, cognition problems,
and, in some instances, even permanent
disability or death."
A stroke — the sudden loss of
blood to the brain — can be a bit like
a concussion, in that the symptoms
aren't immediately apparent. But with
strokes, the quicker someone gets
help, the better.
There are any number of stroke symp-
toms, including garbled speech and
numbness on one side of the body.
Braunholtz says the "Cincinnati prehos-
pital stroke scale is a quick and easy way
to screen someone for signs of stroke."
becomes uncon-
scious, death is not
necessarily imminent.
Place them in the
recovery position
to help boost their
chances of survival:
Place the patient
on their side or three
quarters prone so that
the mouth is down
(allowing for secre-
tions to drain out) and
chin is up (keeping
the airway open).
Limbs should be
positioned to keep
the patient in place.
For example, the leg
and arm not touching
the ground is moved
forward to act as a
"kickstand" to keep
the patient from lay-
ing completely face
down on the ground.
Ask the person to smile and
show his or her teeth.
Have the person close his eyes
and hold his hands palms up and
outstretched in front of him.
Ask the person to say, "You can't
teach an old dog new tricks."
The smile should be symmetric, the
arms shouldn't drift down and the pa-
tient shouldn't have difficulty with this
phrase. If all three signs are abnor-
mal the chance of the person having
a stroke is greater than 85 percent.
Again, call 911 immediately, make the
person comfortable and get the person to
a hospital as quickly as possible. If a person
qualifies for the clot busting medicine “tPA”
then the sooner they get it the better.
heart attack
Which leads us to the toughest of all
emergencies — sudden cardiac arrest. If
someone collapses in front of you, check
for consciousness and call 911. If there is
any chance that they are breathing, place
them in the recovery position. This will
protect their airway while they are un-
conscious. Thousands of fatalities occur
every year in cases where the cause of
the unconsciousness was not fatal but
airway obstruction led to suffocation. See
box for info on the recovery position.
Many public and private buildings have
"automated external defibrillators," or de-
vices that will shock a person's heart back to
action. If one of those isn't available, there's
the age-old standby — cardiopulmonary
resuscitation, or CPR. Classes are avail-
able for free through Starting Hearts (www.
startinghearts.com). A basic class takes
three to four hours and could save a life.
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