Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Warning Signs

Due to some recent health events with my coworkers and family I've decided that the general public is very much unaware of simple warning signs of major health problems. So for you (free!), this is your friendly physical therapist providing simple warning signs of health conditions requiring immediate medical attention. If you are with anyone who experiences any of these symptoms... call 911 right away!

STROKE:
-a decrease in brain function due to a problem with the blood supply (either a major blood leak or a clot)
-If someone shows difficulty walking, confusion, and/or loss of balance, have them do these things:
  • Smile: one side of the face will droop
  • Raise (their arms): one will not raise as high
  • Repeat (a simple sentence): such as "the sky is blue", they will have slurred words or difficulty overall.

HEART ATTACK:
-an interruption of blood supply to the heart, causing part of the heart to die
-signs can be sudden or come on slowly and include:
  • Chest pain: a heaviness (like an elephant sitting on your chest) or a squeezing pain
  • Shortness of breath: hard to catch your breath
  • Sweating: with normal (non-strenuous activity)
  • Pain in the neck, arms, jaw, stomach, or back.
SHOCK:
-a decrease in blood flow to certain body tissues (which means oxygen and nutrients aren't going where they are most needed!)
-many different kinds, but in general the signs include:
  • fast heart beat or pulse
  • sudden drop in blood pressure (feeling faint or looking pale)
  • cool and clammy skin
  • anxiety
  • fast and shallow breathing
-If someone has these signs, have them lie down in a cool place, elevate their legs, and try to keep them calm
-Do NOT give them water
-If there is open bleeding, place pressure on the wound site to stop the blood flow

SEUIZURE:
-excessive neural activity in the brain
-If someone begins to have convulsions (rapid, uncontrolled movements) with a loss of consciousness, do NOT restrain them. Simply remove harmful things from the environment to prevent them from hurting themselves.
-when able place the person in the recovery position- lying on their left side
-911 only needs to be called if this is not a familiar person, the first known seizure, or if the episode lasts longer than 5 minutes.

CARDIAC ARREST:
-a sudden loss of heart function
-The person will lose consciousness (be unresponsive) and stop breathing or have abnormal breathing
-Call 911, then begin CPR if able:
  • tilt the head back
  • look for breaths and feel for a pulse
  • If both absent, give 2 breaths
  • then give 30 chest compressions (use the palm of the hand over the middle of the chest) followed by 2 breaths, repeat

I know this is not my normal kind of posting, but it helps to be in the know. NEVER BE AFRAID TO TAKE SOMEONE TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM, its better to be safe! Just want to keep all my loves ones around longer and I'm sure you do to!



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