First Aid

First Aid (36)

Sepsis

Sepsis symptoms in children under five

Go straight to A&E or call 999 if your child has any of these Symptoms:

  • Looks mottled, bluish or pale
  • Is very lethargic or difficult to wake
  • Feels abnormally cold to touch
  • Is breathing very fast
  • Has a rash that does not fade when you press it
  • Has a fit or convulsion

Get medical advice urgently from NHS 111

If your child has any of the symptoms listed below, is getting worse or is sicker than you'd expect (even if their temperature falls), trust your instincts and seek medical advice urgently from NHS 111.

Temperature

  • Temperature over 38C in babies under 3 months
  • Temperature over 39C in babies aged three to 6 months
  • Any high temperature in a child who cannot be encouraged to show interest in anything
  • Low temperature (below 36C – check 3 times in a 10-minute period)

Breathing

  • Finding it much harder to breathe than normal – looks like hard work
  • Making "grunting" noises with every breath
  • Can't say more than a few words at once (for older children who normally talk)
  • Breathing that obviously "pauses"

Toilet/nappies

  • Not had a wee or wet nappy for 12 hours

Eating and drinking

  • New baby under 1 month old with no interest in feeding
  • Not drinking for more than 8 hours (when awake)
  • Bile-stained (green), bloody or black vomit/sick

Activity and body

  • Soft spot on a baby's head is bulging
  • Eyes look "sunken"
  • Child cannot be encouraged to show interest in anything
  • Baby is floppy
  • Weak, "whining" or continuous crying in a younger child
  • Older child who's confused
  • Not responding or very irritable
  • Stiff neck, especially when trying to look up and down

If your child has any of these symptoms, is getting worse or is sicker than you'd expect (even if their temperature falls), trust your instincts and seek medical advice urgently from NHS 111.

Sepsis symptoms in older children and adults

Early symptoms

Early symptoms of sepsis may include:

  • A high temperature (fever) or low body temperature
  • Chills and shivering
  • A fast heartbeat
  • Fast breathing

Many of the symptoms of sepsis are also associated with meningitis. The first symptoms of meningitis are often fever, vomiting, headache and feeling unwell.

Septic shock

In some cases, symptoms of more severe sepsis or septic shock (when your blood pressure drops to a dangerously low level) develop soon after.

These can include:

  • Feeling dizzy or faint
  • A change in mental state – such as confusion or disorientation
  • diarrhoea
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Slurred speech
  • Severe muscle pain
  • Severe breathlessness
  • Less urine production than normal – for example, not urinating for a day
  • Cold, clammy and pale or mottled skin
  • Loss of consciousness

When to get medical help

Seek medical advice urgently from NHS 111 if you've recently had an infection or injury and you have possible early signs of sepsis.

If sepsis is suspected, you'll usually be referred to hospital for further diagnosis and treatment.

Severe sepsis and septic shock are medical emergencies. If you think you or someone in your care has one of these conditions, go straight to A&E or call 999.

Reference:
NHS https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/sepsis/

Drowning

Drowning:

Description:

 

Drowning is death by asphyxia due to suffocation caused by water entering the lungs and preventing the absorption of oxygen, leading to cerebral hypoxia.

 

People drowning fall into 3 categories:

 

  • Passive Drowning- people who suddenly sink due to a change in their circumstances such a loss of consciousness or sudden onset of a medical condition such as cardiac, alcohol, stroke, epilepsy, hypothermia.
  • Active Drowning-people such as non-swimmers and the exhausted
  • Secondary Drowning-Inhaled fluid (usually only a small quantity) can act as an irritant in the lungs. This process of events could be delayed for up to several hours , so a person who may have been rescued , resuscitated and recovered might relapse with severe breathing difficulties.

 

Evidence has identified that a person who drowns does not necessarily inhale large amounts of water into the lungs. In fact 90% of deaths from drowning are the result of relatively small amount of water. Inebriates or those under the influence of drugs have died in puddles.

 

If water enters the airways of a conscious victim they will try to cough it up or swallow it but some also enters the airways involuntarily. This causes laryngospasm preventing any water from entering the lungs. Unfortunately this can also inhibit air entering the lungs too and the victim can become unconscious. The laryngospasm then relaxes and water can enter the lungs causing WET DROWNING. In about 10% the seal caused by laryngospasm remains but then cardiac arrest occurs and this is called DRY DROWNING.

 

All patients should be taken to hospital.

 

Signs & Symptoms:

 

  • Patient is unconscious (U) on the AVPU score
  • Not breathing normally
  • No signs of life

 

Treatment:

 

  • Do not put yourself at risk. Remember 'Reach or Throw – Don't GO'.
  • Where possible keep the patient horizontal during rescue.
  • Check Airway and breathing. if in doubt start CPR.
  • Dial 999 even if the person recovers.

 

CAUTION:

  • Never enter the water unless you are trained to do so.
  • Try to reach them with a rope of branch or throw them an object that can float or buoyancy aid.
  • Remember 'Reach or Throw – do not GO'.

 

 

First Response. Training for life. Training to save a life.

Unconsciousness

Unconsciousness:

Description:

Someone who is unconscious is not asleep. Unconsciousness is caused by illness, injury or emotional shock.

 

Signs and Symptoms:

There are many levels of unconsciousness. Some are more serious than others. Levels include episodes that are:

  • Brief – Examples are fainting or blacking out.
  • Longer – The patient is incoherent when roused.
  • Prolonged – A person in a coma, for example, can be motionless and not at all aware of his or her surroundings for a long time.

 

It may vary in depth from deep unconsciousness when no response can be obtained, through to lesser degrees of unconsciousness when the patient can be roused by speech or painful stimuli.[Source: Baillieres Nurses Dictionary: 23rd Edition page 405].

 

We measure the patient's level of consciousness by using the acronym 'AVPU':

 

  • A = Alert: The patient is fully alert and is able to answer questions clearly.
  • V = Voice: Confused, Inappropriate Words, Utter Sounds, No Verbal Response.
  • P = Pain: Responds to painful stimuli or no response.
  • U = Unconscious: No response from patient.

 

Causes:

There are 10 primary causes that can have an effect on a patient. They can easily be remembered by using the mnemonic 'FISH SHAPED':

 

  • F = Fainting
  • I  = Imbalance of heat
  • S = Shock
  • H = Head Injury

 

  • S = Stroke
  • H = Heart Attack
  • A = Asphyxia
  • P = Poisoning
  • E = Epilepsy
  • D = Diabetes

 

Management of The Unconscious Patient

An unconscious patient is unable to give an account of what has happened to them. Try and gain as much history from those at the scene and from any injuries sustained as to what may of happened.

 

CAUTION:

  • Never leave an unconscious patient unattended other than to get help or dial 999.
  • Maintain a good airway at ALL times.
  • Constant monitoring patient has a good airway.

 

Carry out a Primary & Secondary Survey.

 

 

We hope you find this article useful. This is one in an alphabetical series of articles addressing various symptoms and their first aid treatments. If you would like more information on related resuscitation and first aid training, please get in touch.

 

You might also be interested in our blog. One of our more popular articles is about recognising a siezure.

 

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Stroke

Stroke:

Description:

 

A stroke is a serious medical condition that occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off.

 

There are 2 main causes:

 

  1. ISCHAEMIC: Where the blood supply is stopped due to a blood clot (accounts for approx 80% of cases).
  2. HAEMORRHAGIC: Where a weakened blood vessel supplying the brain bursts and causes brain damage.

 

Like all organs the brain needs the oxygen and nutrients, provided by blood, to function properly. If the supply is restricted or stopped brain cells begin to die leading potentially to brain damage and even death.

 

This is a Medical Emergency and if you spot the early signs and symptoms using the pneumonic FAST (see below). An early response can save much of the brain from irreversible damage.

 

Signs & Symptoms:

If you suspect a stroke carry out the 'FAST' test:

  • F = Facial Weakness – can the person smile? Has one side of their face drooped?
  • A = Arm Weakness – can the person raise or hold both arms up?
  • S = Speech Problems – can the person speak clearly and understand what you say?
  • T = Test all three signs! – dial 999 if they do not pass any part of the assessment.

 

Treatment:

  • Maintain Airway and Breathing.
  • Dial 999 without delay, NOT your GP (though often advisable to ring GP after dialling 999 as may be very local and therefore to get there quicker than ambulance and instigate treatment).
  • Lay the patient down, with head and shoulders slight raised.
  • Reassure the patient – do not assume that they do not understand what you say.
  • If patient becomes unconscious place in recovery position.
  • The speed at which we respond to this medical emergency will have a dramatic impact on the patients recovery.

 

IMPORTANT:

There is a condition called TRANSIENT ISCHAEMIC ATTACK (TIA) where the blood supply to the brain is temporarily interrupted causing a MINI STROKE. This should be treated seriously as it is often a warning sign that a stroke is coming.

 

 

 

We hope you find this article useful. This is one in an alphabetical series of articles addressing various symptoms and their first aid treatments. If you would like more information on related resuscitation and first aid training, please get in touch.
 
You might also be interested in our blog. One of our associated articles is 'A guide to seizures and related first aid'.
 

You can also sign-up to our newsletter on our homepage.

Strains & Sprains

Strains & Sprains:

Description:

The symptoms of Sprains & Strains:

  • Pain
  • Swelling and inflammation
  • Loss of movement

 

Strain:

A strain occurs when the muscle fibres stretch or tear. They occur usually for one of two reasons:

  • When the muscle has been stretched beyond its limits.
  • When the muscle has been forced to contract (shorten) too quickly.
  • The most common types of strains are:
  • Hamstring - the muscles that runs down the back of the leg and are attached to the knee and the hip.
  • Gastrocnemius and soleus – medical names for the muscles in the calf.
  • Quadriceps – muscle located at the front of the thigh.
  • Lumbar –muscles found in the lower back .

 

Sprain:

A sprain occurs when one or more ligaments have been stretched, twisted or torn. (Ligaments are strong bands of tissue around joints that connect one bone to another and help top keep them together and stabilise them). The most common types of sprains to occur are:

  • The knee –when turning quickly during sports or other physical activities.
  • The ankle – if walking or running on an uneven surface.
  • The wrist – possibly when falling onto the hand.
  • The thumb –during intense and repetitive activity such as racquet games.

 

Signs & Symptoms:

  • Pain
  • Tenderness
  • Swelling
  • Difficulty in moving the injure limb

 

Treatment:

Treatment principle to follow R.I.C.E.

  • Rice: Rest the injury.
  • Ice: Apply an Ice pack ASAP. (Do not apply directly to the skin).
  • Compression: Apply a supporting bandage to the injured limb.
  • Elevation: Elevate the limb will reduce swelling.

 

The outlook for sprains is usually good and most people will be able to resume normal activity within 6-8 weeks

 

For muscle strains it depends on the location and the severity. For example a minor hamstring should resolve within about 3 weeks whereas a severe quadriceps strain may take several months.

 

CAUTION:

  • Do not constrict blood flow to the injures limb by applying the compression bandage to tightly.
  • If you have any doubt as to whether it's a strain or sprain you will need to eliminate a fracture by having an x-ray.
  • Ice should be placed/wrapped in a piece of cloth, place on or around the limb for 10 minutes , every 2hours, 24 max.

 

 

We hope you find this article useful. This is one in an alphabetical series of articles addressing various symptoms and their first aid treatments. If you would like more information on related resuscitation and first aid training, please get in touch.

 

You might also be interested in our blog. One of our more popular articles is about when to dial 999.

 

You can also sign-up to our newsletter on our homepage.

 

 

First Response. Training for life. Training to save a life.

 

Spinal Injuries

Spinal Injuries:

Description:

Spinal injuries can involve many parts of the back and or neck (the weakest part). Trauma can include injury to bones (vertebrae), muscles, ligaments, or the spinal cord, which is the most serious are to damage.

 

A spinal cord injury (SCI) is damage or trauma to the spinal cord that results in a loss or impaired function causing reduced mobility or feeling. The cords is about 18 inches long and extends from the base of the brain to about the waist.

 

The nerves situated in the spinal cord are called upper motor neurons and their function is to carry messages backwards and forwards to and from the brain. The nerves that branch out from the spinal cord to other parts of the body are called lower motor neurons and they communicate with specific areas of the body, some to initiate movement and others to provide sensation such as pain and temperature. The spinal cord does not have to be severed in order for loss of function to occur. In most people with SCI the cord is intact but the cellular damage to it results in loss of function.

 

The Vertebra is a ring of bones surrounding the spinal cord and constitute the spinal column more commonly known as the back bones. It is possible for someone to ‘break their neck’ yet not sustain a spinal cord injury.

 

The vertebrae are named according to their location:

 

There are eight Cervical C1 to C8. Cervical SCI usually causes loss of function in the arms and legs-quadriplegia. There are 12 Thoracic (chest) vertebrae. Injuries in this region usually effect chest and legs –paraplegia. Lumbar vertebrae L1 to L5 and the Sacral Vertebrae S1 to S5. Injuries here usually results in some loss of function in hips and legs.

 

When to suspect a spinal Injury

 

The most important indicator is what we call the ‘mechanism of injury’. How and what has happened to the patient involve in trauma. We are looking for any abnormal forces which may have been exerted on the back or neck. Such examples can be seen below:

  • Blow to the head, neck or back.
  • Falling from a height.
  • Awkward fall whilst doing gymnastics or trampolining.
  • Diving into a shallow pool and hitting the bottom.
  • Thrown from a horse.
  • Heavy object falling across the back.
  • Multiple injuries.
  • Thrown from a motor bike.
  • High speed RTC (Road Traffic Collision).

 

These are but a few examples.

 

Signs & Symptoms:

  • Pain or tenderness in the neck or back at or near the site of injury.
  • Loss of control over limbs, movement restricted.
  • Loss of feeling, sensation in limbs.
  • Pins and needles or burning in the limbs.
  • Loss of bladder and/or bowel control.

 

Treatment:

 

Conscious Patient

  • Reassurance, tell patient not to move to prevent any further injury.
  • Maintain the position of the patient as you found them.
  • Using your hands, hold their head still keeping it in line with the upper body.
  • If on your own, support the head both sides, then dial 999.
  • Otherwise, get someone else to dial 999.

 

Unconscious Patient

  • Maintain an open airway.
  • Using your hands, hold their head still keeping it in line with the upper body.
  • If in any doubt that the patient may vomit, or you have to leave to dial 999, place them in the recovery position.
  • Keep the patient warm and still, constantly monitoring Airway & Breathing until the arrival of the paramedics

 

Managing the airway with spinal injuries

  • Jaw thrust.
  • Log roll.
  • Recovery position.

 

 

We hope you find this article useful. This is one in an alphabetical series of articles addressing various symptoms and their first aid treatments. If you would like more information on related resuscitation and first aid training, please get in touch.

 

You might also be interested in our blog. In this post, Linda Hart talks about seizures and related first aid.

 

 

You can also sign-up to our newsletter on our homepage.

 

 

First Response. Training for life. Training to save a life.

 

Shock

Shock:

Description:

The most important distinction to make between the different forms of shock is that one is PSYCHOLOGICAL (mental. And the other is PHYSIOLOGICAL (circulatory.

 

PSYCHOLOGICAL SHOCK:

Can occur after a physical or emotional traumatic experience. It effects your state of mind and although this can give you symptoms such as palpitations and feeling faint it doesn't usually lead to serious physical collapse. However its effects can persist for years.

 

PHYSIOLOGICAL SHOCK:

This can be life threatening , common causes are:

  • Hypovolaemic shock (Low blood volume)
  • Cardiogenic shock (Heart fails to pump)
  • Anaphylactic shock (Severe reaction)
  • Septic shock (an overwhelming bacterial infections causes blood pressure to drop) fatal in more the 50% of cases

 

Signs & Symptoms:

  • Pale, cold, clammy skin
  • Rapid weak pulse
  • Fast, shallow breathing
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Sweating
  • Blue lips
  • Feeling faint

 

Treatment:

  • Treat the cause of the shock.
  • Lay the patient down flat and raise their legs.
  • Dial 999 for an ambulance (Dial 999.
  • Keep patient warm.
  • Do not allow the patient to eat, drink or smoke.
  • Loosen tight clothing.

 

As the brains oxygen supple decreases:

  • The patient will become restless and aggressive.
  • Yawning and gasping for air.
  • Unconscious.

 

CAUTION:

  • If patient becomes unconscious , place into recovery position.

 

We hope you find this article useful. This is one in an alphabetical series of articles addressing various symptoms and their first aid treatments. If you would like more information on related resuscitation and first aid training, please get in touch.

 

You might also be interested in our blog. One of our more popular articles is about recognising a siezure.

 

You can also sign-up to our newsletter on our homepage.

 

 

First Response. Training for life. Training to save a life.

 

Primary & Secondary Survey

Primary & Secondary Survey:

PRIMARY SURVEY

The Primary Survey, or initial assessment, is designed to help the emergency responder detect immediate threats to life. Immediate life threats typically involve the patient's ABCs, and each is correct as it is found.

 

Life threatening problems MUST be identified first. This is to be completed in an order of priority to ensure the most important steps are undertaken in a logical order ensuring nothing is missed. This systematic approach uses the acronym DRABC.

 

D: Danger:

  • Ensure safety for yourself and any others. Do not put yourself at risk.
  • Remove danger or move the patient.
  • Information: Find out what has happened from witnesses if possible.

 

R: Response:

  • Assess the patient’s level of consciousness using the AVPU score (see levels of response AVPU).

Note: The presence of dementia in the elderly patient can make it hard to accurately assess the mental status and the responder should utilise family/carers to obtain baseline information.

 

A: Airway:

  • Look into their mouth, if any liquid is found place the patient on their side and drain the liquid (postural drainage).
  • Place patient back onto their back and open the airway using a head tilt/chin lift techniques.

 

B: Breathing:

  • Place your ear over the patient mouth and look, listen and feel for 10 seconds.
  • Ask yourself is the patient breathing normally, and not taking occasional gasps of air.
  • If patient is breathing normally carry out a secondary survey.
  • If in any doubt patient is breathing normally dial 999.
  • Asses the patients circulation (pulse and bleeding) if needed start chest compressions or defibrilation (see below).

 

C: Compressions

  • Start chest compressions depth 5-6cm, rate of 100-120 per minute with combined 2 inflations (mouth-to-mouth).
  • Continue at a 30 compression then 2 inflations (mouth-to-mouth is till gold standard treatment)
  • If unwilling to or unable to perform mouth-to-mouth continue with chest compressions only, until paramedics arrive.
  • Remember that the elderly often have an irregular pulse which is rarely life threatening, however the speed of the pulse i.e. too fast or too slow, can be life threatening.

 

Defibrillator:

  • Attach an AED (Automatic External Defibrillator) as soon as it arrives, if available at your workplace. Follow voice prompts.

 

IMPORTANT:

  • Patient should be on a hard surface to allow you to perform quality chest compressions, beds are not ideal. Be careful not to injure yourself removing then from a bed.

 

REMEMBER:

Any resuscitation is better than no resuscitation at all.

 

SECONDARY SURVEY

A focused history and physical exam should be performed after the initial assessment. It is assumed that the life threatening problems have been found and corrected. If that process involved CPR you may not get to this stage.

 

The focused history and physical exam includes examination that focuses on specific injury or medical complaints, or it may be a rapid examination of the entire body as follows, which should take no more than 3 minutes.

 

The secondary survey is a systematic approach to identify any bleeding or fractures. This system starts at the head and works down to legs.

 

  • Bleeding : Carryout out a head to toe check for bleeding.
  • Head & Neck: Clues to look out for are: bruising, swelling, deformity or bleeding (See Spinal Injuries).
  • Shoulders & Chest – Place both hands on opposite shoulders, run them down comparing both sides of the body. (See Fractures & Dislocation).
  • Abdomen & Pelvis: Place palm of hand onto abdomen and push gently checking for painful responses from patient.
  • Legs & Arms: Using both your hands compare both arms & legs for fractures, dislocations, look also for medic alerts.
  • Pockets: Look for clues, which might indicate any existing medical condition.
  • Recovery Position: If patient is unconscious place them in the recovery position (see Recovery Position).

 

It also includes obtaining a patient history and vital signs and the acronym used for this is SAMPLE:

 

S = Signs & symptoms

A = Allergies

M = Medications

P = Pertinent past medical history

L = Last oral intake

E = Events leading to the illness or injury

 
We hope you find this article useful. This is one in an alphabetical series of articles addressing various symptoms and their first aid treatments. If you would like more information on related resuscitation and first aid training, please get in touch.
 
You might also be interested in our blog. One of our more popular articles is about quality or quantity when it comes to first aid training.
 

You can also sign-up to our newsletter on our homepage.

 

 

First Response. Training for life. Training to save a life.

Poisoning

 

Poisoning:

Description:

A poison also called a toxin is a substance which, if taken into the body insufficient quantity, may cause temporary or permanent damage.

 

Thee 4 main entry routes into the body are:

  • Inhaled:  When it is taken in to the lungs when we breath.
  • Ingested: Swallowed either accidently or on purpose.
  • Absorbed: Absorbed through the skin.
  • Injected: Injected into the tissues or a blood vessel.

 

Poisons are common in the home and the workplace .There are 2 major types:

 

1. Corrosive:                 

This group contains products that were never intended to be ingested or inhaled.

 

Examples are: Household products cleaning products such as bleach, dishwasher powered, acids, carbon monoxide, plane leaves, paint thinners and shampoo.

 

2. Non-Corrosive:

This group contains products that are to be ingested in small quantities, but which are harmful taken in large amounts.

 

Examples are: Pharmaceuticals, alcohol, drugs, medicinal herbs etc.

 

Possible Signs & Symptoms:

The effects of poisons are numerous as the poisons themselves .The mechanism of many poisons is still not understood but some poisons interfere with metabolism, whilst others destroy the liver and kidneys. Some depress the CNS (Central Nervous System) leading to coma and eventual respiratory and circulatory collapse. Severity of symptoms can range from headache to convulsions and death.

 

Look for:

  • Evidence of bottles , containers , plastic wrapping.
  • Tablets or drugs.
  • Syringes.

 

Other indicators of possible poisoning are:

  • Low level of consciousness (AVPU).
  • Headache.
  • Possible fitting.
  • Confusion or hallucination.
  • Nausea and/or Vomiting (if vomiting keep a sample for testing in the hospital to determine exact composition of poison.
  • Abdominal pains.
  • Burns around the lips and mouth.

 

Treatment:

Corrosive substance:

  • Personal safety – make sure it is safe.
  • Dilute the substance or wash it away.
  • Ingested substances-encourage patient to rinse out their mouth, then give frequent sips of milk or water.

 

Substances on the skin:

It’s important the first raiders are familiar with the corrosive substances used within the workplace and the correct treatment needed.

  • Make sure of your personal safety first.
  • Dry powder chemical can be carefully brushed of the skin, but make sure it is contained.
  • Irrigate the burn with lots of running water away, at least 20 minutes – remove contaminated clothing carefully whilst irrigating the burn.
  • If the patient’s eyes are affected, irrigate as above ensuring the water runs away from the unaffected eye.
  • Some workplace chemicals cannot be safely diluted with water but may require an ‘Antidote’. ALL first aiders should be familiar with the correct procedure and use of this antidote should an emergency occur.
  • If the patient becomes unconscious and is breathing normally, place in the recovery position and dial 999. Continually monitor patients airway and breathing until paramedics arrive.

 

Non-Corrosive substances:

  • Dial 999 and answer the questions from the ambulance operator.
  • If the patient becomes unconscious and is breathing normally, place in the recovery position.
  • Continually monitor patients airway and breathing until paramedics arrive.

 

Useful information for paramedics:

  • Evidence found in and around patient, containers or product information.
  • How much may have been take.
  • When it may have been take.

 

CAUTION:

  • NEVER make the patient vomit.
 
We hope you find this article useful. This is one in an alphabetical series of articles addressing various symptoms and their first aid treatments. If you would like more information on related resuscitation and first aid training, please get in touch.
 
You might also be interested in our blog. One of our more popular articles is about quality or quantity when it comes to first aid training.
 

You can also sign-up to our newsletter on our homepage.

 

 

First Response. Training for life. Training to save a life.

 

Nose Bleeds

 

Nose Bleed:

 

Description:

Bleeding from the nose or EPISTAXIS occurs when blood vessels within the nostrils are injured (ruptured). They are very common in children and are usually mild and easily treated. However sometimes in older people or people with other medical problems such as blood disorders, bleeding can be severe. If bleeding is severe or mild bleeding does not stop within 20-30 minutes then get medical help quickly.

 

Causes:

The common site for nosebleed is just inside the entrance of the nostril on the middle hard part of the nose (Nasal Septum). The blood vessels are quite fragile here and can rupture easily for no apparent reason. This area is most likely to bleed following:

 

  • Picking
  • Blowing the nose
  • Colds and blocked stuffy nose
  • Minor injury to the nose
  • Cocaine use

 

In the above the bleeding tends to last only a short time and is usually easy to control however, it can be made more difficult if the person has heart failure, a blood clotting disorder or is taking anticoagulants (blood thinning drugs) such as warfarin or aspirin. Another underlying cause might well be high blood pressure.

 

Bleeding can occur further back in the nose and could be due to an uncommon disorder of the nose or serious injury.

 

Signs & Symptoms:

  • History of a blow, sneezing or pickin.
  • After a blow to the face/nose blood may appear to be thin and watery. This may indicate a fracture.
  • Patients visual appearance (holding nose or leaning back wards).

 

 

Treatment:

  • If the patient is feeling faint, sit then down, advise them to tilt head forward, allowing blood to   drain from the nostrils.
  • Ask patient to breath through their mout.
  • With a finger and thumb show them how to pinch the lower fleshy end soft of the nose for at least 10 minutes. (it is useless to put pressure on the root of the nose or the nose bones).
  • If available a cold flannel or compress around the nose is helpful as the cold helps the blood vessels to constrict (close down) and stop bleeding.
  • Advise patient if possible not to speak, swallow, cough, spit.
  • Give patient a cloth or tissue to mop up any blood.
  • After 10 minutes ask patient to release the pressure. If bleeding has not stopped reapply pressure.
  • If bleeding has not stopped after 30 minutes, or the patient is taking ‘anti-coagulant ‘drugs i.e. warfarin, take them to hospital.
  • Frequent nose bleeds requires a visit o their GP for further investigation.

 

CAUTION:

  • Do not tilt the patient head backwards, blood to the back of the throat may induce vomiting.
  • If the nosebleed last longer than 30 minutes take or send patient to hospita.
 
 
We hope you find this article useful. This is one in an alphabetical series of articles addressing various symptoms and their first aid treatments. If you would like more information on related resuscitation and first aid training, please get in touch.
 
You might also be interested in our blog How should we control bleeding?.
 

You can also sign-up to our newsletter on our homepage.

 

 

First Response. Training for life. Training to save a life.

 

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Dental specialist Dr Camilla George joins the team.

Dr Camilla George BDS, MFDS RCS (Eng), MSc (Dist), LLM, BSc (Hons) First Response are delighted to...

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ATMIST and NEWS2 now live on website

Latest additions to Medical Training pages ATMIST and NEWS2 protools become the latest additions...

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