Myocarditis is an inflammatory process that involves the myocardium, the
middle most portion layer and the thickest layer of the heart which is mostly made up of compact cardiac muscle, occurs when there is thrombus formation and heart dilatation, infiltration of circulating blood cells surrounding coronary vessels and between the muscle fibers.
Myocarditis if left untreated can lead to significant degeneration of the muscle fibers leading to a compromise in the contractility and pumping action of the heart . Mortality widely varies depending on the severity of the presenting signs and symptoms experienced by the individual Most patients generally develop mild to moderate symptoms and usually recover completely. However, untreated and recurrent infections affecting the myocardial layer of the heart can result in cardiomyopathy and heart failure.
Pathophysiology of myocarditis
Myocarditis typically results from viral, fungal, parasitic or protozoan infection. It may also result from an acute systemic infection such as rheumatic heart fever, patients receiving immunosuppressive therapy, chemotherapy, radiation therapy. Moreover, myocarditis may also result from an immune action an idiosyncratic interaction of pharmacological agents used in the treatment of other diseases or radiation (more specifically radiation sites over the left chest and upper back). It may begin in one small area of the myocardium and later spread to the entire layer. The degree of myocardial effect determines the level of the hemodynamic effect as well as the resulting signs and symptoms.
Clinical manifestations of myocarditis
The presenting signs and symptoms of myocarditis is highly dependent on the type of infection, or causative agent that causes the existing infection of the myocardium. Moreover, other factors that will depend on the clinical manifestations of myocarditis include the degree of myocardial damage, the present health status and condition of the individual such as his/her age, immune status which affects the individual’s ability to recover. Patients may be asymptomatic and the infection may resolve on its own. However, they may develop mild to moderate symptoms including fatigue, difficulty in breathing, palpitations, occasional discomfort in the chest and upper abdomen. The most common symptoms are generally flu-like which in rare cases may result in sudden cardiac death or severe congestive heart failure.
Medical management of myocarditis
Patients are given specific treatment for the underlying cause if it is known (antibiotics for specific bacterial infection causing microorganisms) and are placed on bed rest to decrease cardiac workload. Bed rest also helps decrease myocardial damage as well as the complications it may bring . In young patients with myocarditis, activities, especially strenuous activities such as sports should be limited for at least 6 months or at least until the heart size and functioning have returned to normal. If heart failure or irregular heart rhythm develops management is essentially the same as to all causes of heart failure and dysrhythmias. Moreover, the use of NSAIDS such as aspirin and ibuprofen should not be used during the acute phase of myocarditis because these medications can further aggravate myocardial damage.
Cardiac tamponade is a serious medical condition
and requires immediate medical attention. If one is suspected of cardiac tamponade, call for emergency medical services immediately. It is defined as the accumulation of blood or fluid in the space between the myocardium (heart muscle) and the pericardium (outer covering sac of the heart). When this occurs, the heart ventricles are incapable of expanding fully, there becomes an excess pressure on the heart that occurs from fluid accumulation and disables the heart from functioning completely. Consequently, the heart cannot pump enough blood, thus the body does not receive sufficient amounts of blood, which can lead to further consequences, such as shock, organ failure and cardiac arrest. It is estimated that 2 out of 10,000 persons experience cardiac tamponade.
Causes of Cardiac Tamponade
Cardiac tamponade frequently occurs from penetration of the pericardium. The accumulation of blood and fluids compresses the heart, thus less oxygen-rich blood is pumped out to the body. The following are the common causes of fluid accumulation:
- Heart attack
- Heart surgery
- Pericarditis, either due to bacterial or viral infections
- Wounds to the heart, such as stab wounds and gunshot wounds
- Blunt trauma to the chest
- Dissecting (ruptured) aortic aneurysm
- Invasion of pericardium from other cancers such as lung, breast, etc.
Risk Factors for Cardiac Tamponade
The following factors are known to increase chances of experiencing cardiac tamponade in individuals:
- Recent open heart surgery or other invasive heart procedures
- Use of chest tubes after heart surgeries
- Heart tumours
- Radiation therapy to the chest
- Systemic lupus erythematosus
- Kidney failure
Symptoms of Cardiac Tamponade
Symptoms vary in individuals. It may range from mild to severe.In majority of the cases, more than one symptom is present at a time:
- Sharp, stabbing chest pain that may spread to the neck, shoulder, back or abdomen that is aggravated by coughing deep breathing
- Discomfort that may or may not be alleviated upon leaning forward or sitting in an upright position
- Difficulty and quick breathing
- Fainting, light-headedness, dizziness
- Low blood pressure
- Swelling of the abdomen or other areas
- Pale,gray or blue skin
- Weak or absent pulse
First Aid Management for Cardiac Tamponade
Cardiac tamponade is considered a medical emergency that would need hospital stay.The following is generally recommended in cases of cardiac tamponade:
- Call for an ambulance immediately.
- If there is bleeding, apply direct pressure to the wound to cease he bleeding. Use an absorbent cloth or dressing. Keep the pressure in place and apply new dressing over the old ones instead to removing the soaked dressings to avoid wound disturbance.
- Check for the victim’s circulation, airway, breathing, disability/ deformity and exposure.
- Check for the victim’s pulse by the groove on the neck. If no pulse is detected, initiate CPR.
- If the victim is unconscious, ensure that there is no obstruction in the airway. Turn the victim’s head to the side.
- To check for breathing, position own cheek a few inches from the victim’s nose and mouth. Feel for air and watch for rise and fall of chest. Begin rescue breathing if necessary.
- Be prepared to treat the victim for shock.
Disclaimer: This article does not provide medical advice and should not be substituted for formal training. The information given should not be used for self-diagnosis. Seek medical attention when necessary. It is important to recognise medical emergencies at all times to avoid complications from developing. To learn more about to how to give CPR in medical emergencies, enrol in CPR Courses with Red Cross Training.
Cardiac Tamponade.(2012). National Institutes of Health.Retrieved October 5, 2013, from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000194.htm
Barwell, Janet and Leonard, Marijane.(2012).Cardiac Tamponade.Healthline. Retrieved October 5, 2013, from http://www.healthline.com/health/cardiac-tamponade?toptoctest=expand
The pulse rate, sometimes also called heart rate, pertains to how many times a person’s heart beats in a minute or other units of time. Specifically, it pertains to how many contractions occur in the lower chambers of the heart, the ventricles. There is a slight different between the pulse heart rate. Whereas the pulse pertains to the particular artery to which one is checking with fingers, the heart rate pertains to the how many times the heart contracts in a particular amount. The figure for heart rate and pulse rate are frequently the same, except in particular medical conditions. The heart rate will vary in activity as doing physical activities may increase heart rate, whereas activities such as sleep may decrease heart rate.
Why Should a Person Check Their Pulse Rate?
There are many reasons to check pulse rates. The following are the most common reasons for checking pulse rates:
- To check heart rate and how well the heart is working – it will help determine if the heart is pumping sufficient blood, especially in emergency situations
- To check health and fitness level
- Aid in determining the cause of various symptoms including palpitations, fainting, chest pain, dyspnea, and dizziness, among others
- During a medical visit
- After an injury to check the effects of a medication
What is the Proper Way of Determining Pulse Rate?
There are several regions to determine the pulse. The pulse is usually detected in an area where the artery passes close to the skin, such as the neck or the wrist, but it can also be performed in other locations.
- Find a quiet and comfortable place where one can sit down. It is better that if no distractions are present in the environment.
- Prepare the watch with a second hand or digital stop watch
- Hold out one hand with the palm facing upwards and the elbow slightly bent.
- Position the index and middle fingers of the second hand inside the wrist, precisely below the base of the thumb. Do not use the thumb as it has its own artery.
- Slightly press the two fingers on the skin until pulse is felt.
- If pulse is not felt, press slightly harder or search for the artery using the fingers and press again.
- This can be done for one minute, counting the beats per minute (bpm) for better accuracy. One may also opt to count over a 20-second period and multiplying the total by 3 or count over a 30-second period and multiplying the total by 2.
- Another option is to check the pulse on the carotid artery located in the neck, although this might not generally be recommended in individuals older than 65 as too much pressure may result to light headedness. In medical emergencies, checking for presence of pulse is usually done by the carotid artery.
What is a Normal Resting Pulse Rate?
According to WebMD, the normal range of resting heart rate, which is pulse rate after resting for ten minutes, will vary according to age, activity level and time of the day. The chart below can help a person determine if their heart rate is within the normal range. In cases pulse rate exceeds or is below normal range, it should not always be cause for concern. Seek medical attention it is accompanied by other accompanying symptoms.
|Age or Fitness Level||Beats per minute (bpm)|
|Babies to age 1||100-160|
|Children ages 1 to 10||70-120|
|Children ages 11 to 17||60-100|
Determining the pulse in medical emergencies, especially when there
is loss of consciousness, is very important as part of checking the CABs of First Aid. In cases where no pulse is detected, initiating CPR is necessary, as it may just save a life. To learn how to give proper CPR in cases when no pulse rate is detected, sign up for CPR Courses with Red Cross Training available all over the country.
How to Check Your Pulse. (2013). Medical News Today. Retrieved on October 5, 2013, from http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/258118.php
Pulse Measurement. (2010). WebMD. Retrieved on October 5, 2013, from http://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/pulse-measurement
Coral cuts are skin abrasions or
lacerations,usually on the extremities, resulting from direct contact with corals.These typically accidental contacts are prone to infection due to the nature of sea water, which contains many pathogens, regardless of the size of the wound. Moreover, some corals can be toxic and may contain
nematocysts which can produce a stinging pain that may lead to more substantial damage.
Corals are the hard exoskeleton secreted by different types of coral organisms, also called polyps. They usually appear very colorful but can be very sharp. Coral reefs are usually home diverse species of marine animals but are generally located in tropical and subtropical waters.
Symptoms of Coral Cuts
Symptoms of coral cuts are similar to those of any other cuts. The main
difference is that wounds acquired in the ocean are more prone to infection. Some of the common symptoms of coral cuts are the following:
- Abrasion or laceration
- Burning sensation
- Swelling and redness around the cut, which may spread across the skin
- May progress into a sore or ulcer with infectious drainage
When to Seek Medical Care Regarding Coral Cuts
Coral cuts are not unusual and can be treated at home, however, there are
times it may be necessary to seek medical attention. If any of the following symptoms begin to show, seek medical attention immediately.
- Severe or large and deep cuts
- Signs of infection, which may include some or all of the following
- Pus discharge, which may be foul-smelling and can range in colors
- Skin surrounding the wound is red, warm and swollen
- Increasing pain
- Red streaking of the skin from the wound
- Blisters, especially if the person is an alcoholic
- Expanding infection (cellulitis)
First Aid Treatment for Coral Cut
Apply first aid for coral cuts as soon as possible to avoid unnecessary
complications. The following steps are hints in case this situation arises. However, these should not be taken as medical advice or be substituted for first aid training. To learn more about how to treat marine-related injuries, enroll in First Aid Training to learn how to properly treat wounds.
- Get out of the water immediately.
- Control bleeding by applying direct pressure on the wound using a dry, clean cloth or sterile gauze.
- Once the bleeding has stopped, thoroughly scrub the wound with water and soap. Rinse extensively with fresh water
- If there is a stinging pain, flush the wound with vinegar or isopropyl alcohol to minimize pain.
- Rinse the wound with a mixture of ½ hydrogen peroxide and ½ water to get rid ofcoral dust then rinse with fresh water.
- Repeat this same process every day. Apply topical antibiotic ointment three to four times a day.
- Take oral antibiotics to avoid infection.
- If there is no open wound and just itching, over-the-counter steroid ointment to ease itching symptoms.
Take acetaminophen or ibuprofen to relieve of pain from coral cuts.
Cone snail stings are from the marine snails called cone shells or cone snails.
These cone-shaped shell marine animals have a fleshy foot, a head
and tentacles. Cone snails are of the genus Conus.Although all species of Conus are venomous and capable of stinging humans, the most dangerous of their species are those that prey on small bottom-dwelling fish, in other words, those located deep in the ocean.
These marine gastropod mollusks have approximately 500 species, located in the Indian and Pacific oceans, Caribbean and Red seas and along several shoreline, but mostly in tropical climates. Although usually not aggressive,
they sting their victims when they feel threatened. As a result, most cases of cone snail stings are due to improper handling, thus most stings occur on the fingers or hands.Cone snails generally use their dart-like tooth (radicula) or dagger to inject their venoms on their prey.
Cone snail venoms are primarily composed of peptides with a variety
of toxins, some of which can be extremely toxic to humans, sometimes even fatal. There is no antivenin for cone snail stings, thus giving first aid immediately can help significantly in cases of cone snail stings. The following information are not be used as medical advice or substitute for first aid training. To learn how to treat bites and stings of a wide variety of animals, enroll in First Aid Courses and CPR training.
Symptoms of Cone Snail Stings
Depending on the species and the toxins injected in their victims, some symptoms may manifest immediately or after a few days
- In mild cases
- Severe, localized pain or burning, stinging sensation
- Numbness and tingling sensation in the affected limb
- Cyanosis of the limb
- In serious cases:
- Muscle paralysis (total limb numbness which may spread to the perioral or area around the mouth)
- Vision changes (blurred or double)
- Loss of body coordination
- Difficulty breathing and speaking
- Respiratory failure, which can lead to death.
First Aid for Cone Snail Stings
It is advised to seek medical help as soon as possible. However, if this is not readily available, first aid must be administered to alleviate pain.
- If the victim is currently scuba diving, immediately, but safely, get the person out of the water.
- Apply the pressure immobilization technique:
- Wrap the limb starting from the distal ends of the limb toward the body using an elastic bandage. Make sure that there is still blood flowing to the extremities.
- Immobilize the affected limb with a splint to avoid any sorts of movement.
- For the first four to six hours, remove the elastic bandage for 90 seconds at a time every 10 minutes.
- The affected limb may also be immersed in hot water, although temperatures should not exceed 60°C or 140°F to avoid burning the skin.
- If the person is not breathing, initiate CPR.
How to Prevent Cone Snail Stings
Cone snails should be handled with extra precaution, however, if possible, avoid all contact with cone snails. To do this:
- Avoid picking up cone shells, even in shorelines. If it is necessary, wear proper gloves before grasping the large end of the shell.
- If any part of the snail begins to appear, drop the shell immediately.
- Do not carry the shell inside a wet suit or clothing pocket to avoid cone snail stings.
Endotracheal intubation involves passing an endotracheal tube through the mouth or nose into the trachea. Intubation provides a patent airway when the patient is having respiratory distress that cannot be treated with simple methods. Endotracheal intubation is the method of choice in emergency care which is basically a means of providing an airway for individuals who cannot maintain an adequate and effective airway on their own (comatose patients, patients with upper airway obstruction), for patients requiring the assistance of mechanical ventilation in order to survive.
An endotracheal tube normally is passed with the assistance of a Laryngoscope by specifically trained medical, nursing or respiratory therapy personnel. Once the tube is inserted, a cuff is inflated to prevent air from leaking around the outer part of the tube and to further minimize the possibility of subsequent respiration as well as to prevent movement of the tube.
Complications of Endotracheal Intubation
The health care provider should be aware of the possible complications that could occur from pressure exerted by the cuff on the tracheal wall. Cuff pressures should be regularly checked with the use of a calibrated aneroid manometer every 6-8 hours in order to maintain a cuff pressure between 15mmHg to 20 mmHg. High cuff pressures can result in tracheal bleeding, ischemia and necrosis while a low cuff pressure increases the risk for aspiration pneumonia. Routine deflation of the cuff is not recommended due to the increased risk for aspiration and hypoxia. The cuff is normally deflated before the endotracheal tube is removed.
Care of patients with endotracheal intubation
When caring for patients with endotracheal intubation, warm humidified oxygen should always be introduced through the tube, whether the patient is breathing spontaneously or is receiving ventilator support. It is important to consider that endotracheal intubation may not be used for more than three successive weeks, by which time a tracheostomy must be considered to decrease irritation of and trauma to the tracheal lining and in order to reduce the incidence or vocal cord paralysis and to decrease the workload of inspiratory and expiratory breathing. It is imperative to consider that both endotracheal tubes and tracheostomy tubes has several disadvantages.
Discomforts and risks of endotracheal intubation
Both of the tubes can cause varying degrees of discomfort. The cough reflex is depressed due to the closure of the glottis is hindered. Moreover, secretions tend to become much thicker due to the warming and humidifying effect of the upper respiratory tract that has been bypassed. The swallowing reflex,
composed of the glottic, pharyngeal and laryngeal reflexes are depressed because of prolonged disuse and mechanical trauma produced by the endotracheal and tracheostomy tube, significantly increasing the risk of aspiration. In addition, ulceration and stricture of the larynx or trachea may gradually develop. However, the greatest concern for the patient is the inability to speak and to communicate needs. Finally, the most meticulous untoward reaction patients with endotracheal tubes inserted in their respiratory tract is the unintentional or premature removal of the tube which is considered a life threatening complication of endotracheal intubation. The best way to prevent such accidental or even intentional removal of the endotracheal intubation is providing frequent comfort measures that would improve the overall tolerance of the patient under endotracheal intubation.
We cannot deny the fact that fire has made a great impact in the lives of men – it has helped us keep warm on cold days, cook food, boil water for safe drinking and even burn down unnecessary materials. But fire can also bring us harm especially when it is used in the wrong way. Fire accidents are not uncommon and it has been known to take away homes and lives as well. Having our skin contact with fire can also cause burns and may have a gruesome effects.
It is not only fire though that causes burn. Excessive exposure to sunlight can cause sun burns (which can be avoided by the use of body lotions equipped with SPF or sun protection factor). There are several chemicals, liquid or powdered, that may cause severe burns as well. On top of that, contact with hot surfaces may cause painful burns.
Burns are graded according to the layers of the skin that it affects. A first degree burn is noted to be painful, red and the Epidermis (which is the first layer of the skin) is involved. Second degree burns on the other hand is red, with blisters and is very painful. This burn involves the first layer (epidermis) and the second layer of the skin (dermis). Third degree burns extends through the whole layer of the skin and is now painless. The wound is leathery and white. Fourth degree burns, the most detrimental of them all involves the underlying fats, muscles and bones and is black in colour. Similarly, the fourth degree burns are painless.
Burns can also be classified according to their sources. Thermal burns are those acquired by contact with fire or hot/boiling liquid. Scalding (a type of thermal burns) is burning of the skin by way of contact with hot water, oil, or steam. Scalding is common in children under 5. Chemical burns on the other hand are acquired from direct contact to corrosive chemicals such as strong acids or bases. Some of these chemicals come in powdered form and may cause burn as well given contact with the skin.
Next, Electrical Burns are injuries related to different levels of electrical voltages. Most commonly, electric outlets are the sources of these burns, but a hit from a thunder can also cause severe and life threatening injuries as well. Finally, Radiation can also cause burns via exposure to too much ultraviolet lights (like tanning and even the natural source, sun).
First Aid for Burns
Generally, a few steps may be applicable for burns. They can be by classification: minor burns (1st and 2nd degree) or major burns (3rd and 4th degree). Caution should also be taken for some special type of burns like chemical powders and electrical burns.
- Cool the burn by placing it under cold running water (low pressure) for about 10 – 15 minutes. This will help avoid future swelling and give temporary relief from pain
- Make sure to cover the burn with a sterile gauze or cloth to avoid infection.
- A medication for pain can be helpful if pain exist. A single dose (at least 8 hours interval) of Ibuprofen or Mefenamic acid will do the job
- DO NOT use ice as a compress, or do not immerse burned area on an ice cold water. This may damage the sensation of the area of the wound and may cause further damage.
- DO NOT apply toothpaste over the wound. A fallacy is that toothpaste can relieve pain. On the other hand, it can cause further burn.
- If blisters are seen, do not burst them. You will expose the patient to more bacteria.
- If burn does not heal soon or if there are other signs of infection (like fever or nasty discharges from the burnt wound), consult your doctor.
- If burn involves clothing over the body, do not remove the cloth. This might cause peeling of the patient’s skin
- Do not immerse the burn on cold water or any water for that matter for the patient’s temperature may drop and this may cause further problems.
- Cover the wound with sterile dressing
- As much as possible, elevate the burned area
- Check for patient’s breathing and pulse. If these are absent, perform CPR and have someone call for help (emergency) immediately.
- If flames are present, smother it using a thick blanket or water. Do not use any other liquid because they may create bigger flames. If the patient is panicking and running, ask him to stop, drop to the ground and roll over. This shall put off the flame. Remember, running can’t help as oxygen fosters combustion.
- For electrical burns, make sure that contact to the patient is ONLY done after source of electricity has been taken away from the area of concern. Remember, we don’t want another patient to look after. Do the necessary steps for treatment of burns.
- For chemical burns, do not run them in water. Most chemicals react wildly to water and may further aggravate burn. If the chemical is a liquid, apply a clean slightly damp cloth. For powdered chemicals, brush the chemical off from the patient. Remember to avoid all contact with the chemicals themselves.
So there you have it! You are now ready to treat burns when you see one.
Cystic fibrosis (CF) is the most common fatal
autosomal recessive disease among the Caucasian population. CF is considered as a life-threatening condition that causes severe damage to the lungs and digestive system.
An individual who is predisposed to having this disorder must generally inherit a defective copy of the CF gene (one from each parent) to acquire Cystic fibrosis. This multisystem genetic disease is normally diagnosed during infancy or in early childhood but can only be given a working diagnosis and prognosis later in life. Respiratory symptoms are frequently the major manifestation of CF when it is diagnosed later in life.
Pathophysiology of Cystic fibrosis
Cystic fibrosis is caused by mutations in the CF transmembrane conductance regulator protein, which is actually a chloride based channel which are found in all exocrine tissues. CF is considered to be a very vicious autosomal disorder which causes viscous secretions in the lungs, pancreas, liver, intestine and reproductive tract as well as increased salt content in the sweat gland secretions.
As an inherited disease condition, cystic fibrosis generally affects the cells that produce mucus secretions, digestive juices and sweat. These substances are secreted via cells that provide for a thin and slippery consistency indispensable to the normal functioning of cells, tissues and organ systems. But n CF, the defective gene results in the secretions to become far thicker and viscous. Instead of acting as a lubricant between tissues, the sticky secretions tend to plug up the passageways and ducts especially in the lungs and pancreas.
Clinical Manifestations of Cystic fibrosis
The pulmonary manifestations of Cystic fibrosis include a productive cough, wheezing, hyperinflation of the lung fields, upon chest x-ray and pulmonary function test results showing consistent with obstructive diseases of the airways. Chronic respiratory inflammation and infection are primarily due to the impaired mucus clearance which becomes a thriving environment for bacterial growth. Colonization of the airways with pathogenic bacteria usually occurs early in life. Staphylococus aureus and H. influenzae are common disease causing microorganism during early childhood . As the disease progresses, Pseudomonas aurginosa is ultimately isolated from the sputum of most individuals suffering from CF.
Medical Management of Cystic fibrosis
Pulmonary problems remain the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in Cystic fibrosis which account for death in more than 95% of patients according to a recent study. A variety of management techniques are necessary in the effective treatment and management of CF. Because, chronic bacterial infection of the airway occurs predominantly in CF, control of infection is paramount to the effective control and treatment of this autosomal disease process. Antibiotic medications are routinely prescribed for acute pulmonary exacerbations of the disease. Depending on the severity of the exacerbation, oral or intravenous antibiotic therapy may be used to control infection.
Antibiotic agents are normally selected based on the results of sputum culture and sensitivity. Individuals with Cystic fibrosis who are infected with bacteria that are already resistant to multiple antibiotics, further require multiple courses of antibiotic agents over long periods due to the ineffectiveness of the drug’s ability to eliminate the microorganism following recurrence and long term drug resistance. Finally, nursing management is focused towards maintaining an effective and patent airway clearance and various pulmonary techniques are employed to enhance airway clearance of patients suffering from Cystic fibrosis.
Viral rhinitis or simply referred to as the common cold is the most
frequent viral infection affecting the general population. The term common cold is often used when referring to an upper respiratory infection that is self limited and caused primarily by a virus. The term “cold” refers to an afebrile, infectious, acute inflammation of the mucous membranes of the nasal cavity characterized by nasal congestion, rhinorrhea, incessant sneezing, sore throat and general body malaise.
More broadly, viral rhinitis or the common cold refers to an acute upper respiratory infection is caused by a specific causative microorganism which is viral in nature . The causative agent is influenza (the flu). Colds are highly contagious because the virus is shed for about two days before the signs and symptoms appear and during the first part of the symptomatic stage of the disease. The incidence of viral rhinitis follows a specific pattern during the year, specifically three time periods (start of September, late January and towards the end of April) account for the epidemics in North America alone.
Pathophysiology of the common cold
A common cold is believed to be caused by as many as two hundred different strands of viruses. Rhinoviruses implicated in the common cold include corona viruses, adenovirus, influenza virus and parainfluenza virus. Because of the diversity, development and constant mutation, developing an accurate vaccine are near impossible. Immunity after recovery is variable and is highly dependent on a lot of factors, including a person’s natural host resistance and the specific virus that caused the viral infection. Despite popular belief, cold temperatures and exposure to cold rainy weather do not increase the incidence or severity of the common cold. The onset of the symptoms as well as the severity of its effects is highly dependent on a person’s age, preexisting medical condition and current immunity status.
Clinical manifestations of the common cold
Signs and symptoms of viral rhinitis include; nasal congestion, rhinorrhea and nasal discharge, sneezing, tearing watery eyes, scratchy or sore throat, general malaise, low-grade fever, chills and often headache and muscle aches. In some people, the virus exacerbates herpes simplex, commonly called a cold sore. The symptoms of viral rhinitis may last 1 to 2 weeks. If there is a significant high grade fever or more severe systemic respiratory symptoms, it is no longer considered viral rhinitis but one of the other acute upper respiratory infections. Allergic conditions can affect the nose, which mimics the symptoms of a common cold.
Medical management of the common cold
Management consists of symptomatic therapy. Some
measures include providing adequate fluid intake, encouraging rest, preventing chilling, and using expectorants as needed. Warm salt-
water gargles soothe the soreness of the throat and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents (NSAIDS), such as aspirin or ibuprofen can significantly help in relieving aches, pains and fever in adults. Antihistamines are used to relieve sneezing episodes, rhinorrhea and nasal congestion. Topical (nasal) decongestant agents may help in alleviating nasal congestion, however if such agents are overused they often create a rebound congestion that can be worse than the original symptoms of a common cold.
Most patients normally treat viral rhinitis with the use of over-the-counter (OTC) medications that produce moderate clinical benefits. OTC medications generally can provide symptomatic relief along with other measures to improve well-being throughout the duration of the common cold.
Taking Safety in Your Own Hand
One can never predict when a medical emergency will occur. What if a loved one gets a cardiac arrest in your presence? What would you do? You may know that CPR should be given immediately, but would you know what and how to do it? It is not until people themselves encounter a critical situation that they realize the importance of taking CPR classes (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation classes).
CPR is a technique performed by certified individuals in case a person stops breathing due to emergencies such as choking, drowning or a mild heart attack. However, since trained and active health experts are not always present it is becoming necessary for each of us to learn the art of CPR and the best way for that is to enrol for CPR training.
It is important to enrol in basic CPR classes from a certified expert, since you never know when you could save the life of someone and become their hero. At these classes one learns that CPR gives importance to chest compressions, followed by rescue breaths where the trainer teaches you how to compress the patient’s chest and blow into the patient’s mouth. By doing this you keep the blood flowing and prevent the lungs from collapsing.
What CPR Classes Trains You In?
The importance of CPR is to ensure that the blood is being pumped throughout the entire body before medical help arrive or before admitting the patient in a hospital. CPR classes train you in giving at least 100 to 200 compressions on the chest per minute to ensure that the blood keeps flowing.
However, sadly many people are afraid to enrol for these classes as they assume it to be a waste of money and time. On successful completion of the course you get a CPR certification that gives you the license to perform CPR on an individual in case of an emergency.
If you are wondering if there are any hidden charges while enrolling for CPR classes, the answer is no! Before enrolling for the class, do a little background research about the trainer. To avoid getting cheated, make sure that the trainer is certified. Getting certified in CPR is like taking a pledge that you would make a sincere effort to save another’s life in case of an emergence.
What You Get By Learning CPR?
By attending these classes people also learn when not to perform CPR. Many times if an individual is seriously injured and if CPR is performed, it may cause more harm than good.
With the increasing cases of heart-attacks and accidents, organizations and schools are making it compulsory to provide a CPR workshop or classes. Knowing the technique of how to perform CPR at home or work can mean the difference between life and death for someone. Knowledge about CPR makes an individual confident and allows him to remain calm and composed during an emergency.
After being trained in CPR classes, don’t forget to educate and train others. You might just end up saving many lives!