Thursday, 19 April 2012

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.

 

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

 

 

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

 

Published in First Aid
Tuesday, 6 March 2012

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.

Published in First Aid
Friday, 13 April 2012

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.

 

Published in First Aid
Thursday, 19 April 2012

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.

 

Published in First Aid
Tuesday, 6 March 2012

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.

Published in First Aid
Tuesday, 6 March 2012

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.

 

Published in First Aid
Tuesday, 6 March 2012

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.

 

Published in First Aid

Health & Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981:

Employers Responsibility

The Health & Safety Law stipulated that an employer has a responsibility to ensure that first aid provision in the workplace is sufficient according to their risk assessment carried out.

 

This includes:

  • Completing a First Aid Risk Assessment to decide on where and how many First Aiders are needed.
  • Employers provide the training and refreshers training for those First Aiders.
  • Employers provide sufficient first aid kits and equipment.

 

Guidance and advice on the above can be sort form the following:

 

Risk Assessments

All employers must complete a first aid risk assessment which should include the following:

 

  • The nature of the work and workplace hazards and risks.
  • The size of the organisation.
  • The nature of the workforce.
  • The organisation history of accidents and lone workers.
  • The needs of travelling, remote and lone workers.
  • The work patterns shift patterns (rotas).
  • The distribution of the workforce.
  • The remoteness of the workplace from emergency medical services.
  • The employees working on shared or multi-occupied sites.
  • The annual leave along with other absences.
  • The first aid provision for non-employees.

 

Risk Assessment Tool:

 

First Aiders

There are a number of factors that need to be taken into consideration when advertising for staff to take on the role of company First Aider. Ideally the person who volunteers is best.

 

What skills should they have?

  • Attitude
  • Good communication skills
  • Commitment
  • Motivation
  • Reliable
  • God decision make
  • Able to learn new skills and develop knowledge
  • Able to absorb stress

 

First Aiders Information:

 

Courses

The Health & Safety Executive have introduced two new courses for the company first aiders.

  • HSE First Aid at Work (3 day course).
  • HSE EFAW Emergency First Aid at Work (one day course).

 

Annual refresher training

In October 2009 the HSE recommend that First Aiders attend annual refresher training. This is due to the strong evidence of ‘first aid skill fade’.

 

Reporting of Accidents

Accidents at work must be recorded in the accident book no matter what nature or severity. The incident may need to be reported directly to the Health & Safety Executive under RIDDOR 1995 regulations. It is the responsibility of the employer to report the following occurrences directly to the Health & Safety Executive:

  • Accidents resulting in 3 or more days off work (within 10 days).
  • Deaths (to be reported immediately).
  • Dangerous occurrences (to be reported immediately).
  • Diseases (report ASAP).
  • Major injuries (to be reported immediately).

 

Further Information:

 

Accident Book

Any accident at work, irrespective how small, MUST be recorded in the accident book. This book may be completed by any person on behalf of the patient. The information recorded can be useful in identifying accident trends and an area of concern that may need to be addressed and be reassessed i.e. risk assessment, not forgetting any insurance investigation.

 

  • Remember the Accident Book is a legal document.
  • Written evidence at the time is stronger evidence that you can recall from memory.
  • All sections should be completed and use black pen if possible (not pencil).
  • Remember the Data Protection Act; all personal details MUST be kept confidential and stored securely.
  • Nominate a person to be responsible for the safe keeping of these records. (I.E kept in a lockable cabinet).

 

Information required:

  • Name, address and occupation of the person involved in the accident.
  • Name, address, occupation and signature of the person completing the information.
  • Date, time and location of incident.
  • A description of how the accident occurred , giving the cause if possible.
  • Details of any injury sustained by the patient.

 

 http://books.hse.gov.uk/hse/public/saleproduct.jsf?catalogueCode=9780717626038

 

 
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.

 

Published in First Aid
Tuesday, 6 March 2012

First Aid Kits

First Aid Kits:

Health & Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981.

 

Description:

First Aid equipment should be suitable contained in a protective green box with a white cross. This makes it clearly identifiable and visible to all members of staff and first aiders.

 

BRITISH STANDARD 8599 - First Aid Kit Sizes and Contents (2010):

 

  • First Aid Manual
  • Sterile Medium Dressings (12cm x 12cm)
  • Sterile Large Dressing (18cm x 18cnm)
  • Triangular Bandage (single use 90cm x 90cm)
  • Sterile Eye Pad Dressing with Bandage
  • Washproof Assorted Plasters (Blue for food handlers)
  • Moist cleaning wipes
  • Microporous Tape
  • Nitrile Gloves
  • Finger Dressing with adhesive fixing (3.5cm)
  • Mouth-to-Mouth Resuscitation Device
  • Foil Blanket
  • Eye Wash
  • Burn Relief Dressing (10cm x 10cm)
  • Universal Shears
  • Conforming Bandage (7.5cm x 4cm)

 

Eye Wash:

Use mains water for eye irrigation if available, if not 1 litre of sterile water or ‘saline’ should be available in a seal container with a expiry date.

 

Travel First Aid Kits:

  • First Aid Manual
  • Washproof Assorted Plasters
  • Sterile Large Dressing (18cm x 18cnm)
  • Moist cleaning wipes
  • Microporous Tape
  • Nitrile Gloves
  • Triangular Bandage (single use 90cm x 90cm)
  • Small sterile eye wash (saline) 5ml
 
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 about first aid medical team training for amatuer sports clubs.

 

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

 

 

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

 

Published in First Aid
Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Meningitis

Meningitis:

Description:

Meningitis is inflammation of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord, known collectively as the MENINGES. The inflammation may be caused by infection by virus, bacteria or other micro organisms and less commonly by certain drugs.

 

  • VIRAL MENINGITIS is usually a mild disease but can make people feel very unwell. Although most people make a full recovery some can be left with debilitating effects such as deafness, epilepsy and cognitive defects.

 

  • BACTERIAL MENINGITIS is life threatening and needs urgent medical attention

 

  • NEONATAL MENINGITIS occurs in babies under 1 month old

 

Meningitis can be life threatening because of the inflammation's proximity to the brain and spinal cord so should be classified as a medical emergancy.

 

Signs & Symptoms:

  • High temperature or fever.
  • Violent vomiting.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Severe headache.
  • Neck stiffness.
  • Joint or muscle pains.
  • Drowsiness & Confused.
  • Disorientated.
  • Dislike of bright light (Photophobia).
  • Dislike of loud noises (Phonophbia).
  • Seizures.
  • Skin rash (small purple/re "pin prick" Rash does not fade when the side of a glass is pressed against it.

 

Sometimes, especially with small children only non specific symptoms may present such as irritability and drowsiness. If a rash is present it may indicate a particular cause eg meningococcal bacteria. This rash is characterized as a small purple "pin prick" which does not fade when the side of a glass is pressed against it.

 

A rash does not fade under pressure is a sign of meningococcal septicaemia which is a medical emergency. However if someone is ill and getting worse do not wait for the rash as it can appear later or not at all.

 

Babies:

  • Downiness, restless and high pitched crying.
  • Reluctance to feed.
  • Slight tenderness and swelling of the soft parts of the skull.

 

Treatment:

  • Call your GP, If any delay Dial 999.
  • If you think the child./baby may have meningitis , seek medical advice immediately Dial 999.

 

Diagnosis is usually made by performing a lumbar puncture which involves inserting a needle into the spinal canal to extract a sample of cerebrospinal fluid that envelopes the spine and brain. Depending on the type of meningitis treatment would involve antibiotics or anti viral or in some instances corticosteroids.

 

Caution:

  • DO NOT delay seeking medical help or advice.

 

 

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. We also love bringing you useful infomration from other organisitions. One of our favourites is this video on recognising a cardiac arrest from the Resuscitation Council.

 

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

 

 

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

Published in First Aid
Page 1 of 3

First Response Resuscitation & First Aid Training Ltd

9 Counterpool Road, Kingswood, Bristol BS15 8DQ

 

Tel: 0117 949 0944

 

  

Registered Office:

86 Shirehampton Road, Stoke Bishop, Bristol BS9 2DR

Company No. 06983048. Registered in England & Wales

 

Information Commissioner's Office (Data Protection Register): Registered Number Z1874 429

 

Terms & Conditions | Disclaimer

Cookies Policy | Privacy Policy | Coronavirus

 

© 2019 First Response. All rights reserved

Latest News

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...

Read More ...

ATMIST and NEWS2 now live on website

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

Read More ...

HPC reg logo CMYK    CPDcertified    CPDmember