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Friday, 21 November 2014
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Black mold poisoning causes the similar risks and entails the same treatment method just like with exposure to other household molds. When an individual breathes in spores from Stachybotrys chartarum fungi, it can cause more harm than the other strains.

Always remember that all molds poses risks but those who have allergies and allergy-induced asthma face a higher risk for complications. The high concentration of fungal colonies such as those thriving in water-damaged flooring or building materials can cause severe allergy symptoms that range from discomfort to life-threatening asthma attacks. It is best that you are prepared by enrolling in one of the first aid classes today so that you know the appropriate steps to take.

Antihistamines

Once the symptoms of the allergy manifest, an over-the-counter antihistamine can provide immediate relief. Individuals might not see an allergy due to the growth habits of black mold. Always bear in mind that these miniature fungal organisms only become perceptible once they accumulate together to take the form of a mycelium.

Almost all of the over-the-counter antihistamine medications are specifically designed for fast-acting, short-term relief of runny nose, sneezing and itchy nose. The individual can choose from formulas with a sedating effect such as cetirizine or diphenhydramine without requiring a prescription. Just remember that these should be taken after the individual was exposed to mold or when the symptoms start to manifest.

Black mold

Almost all of the over-the-counter antihistamine medications are specifically designed for fast-acting, short-term relief of runny nose, sneezing and itchy nose.

Decongestants

Take note that antihistamines do not treat stuffed nose congestion that will make breathing difficult and disrupt the sleeping of the individual. The decongestant nasal sprays can help relieve these symptoms for a short time but should not be used for more than a week.

Oral decongestants often have a sedating antihistamine in the formula which makes them impractical to be used for extended periods. Always remember that prescription drugs have better options than using these mixed medications especially for those who have symptoms of black mold allergy.

Prescription allergy medications

Individuals who require a long-term therapy for the ongoing black mold allergy symptoms should consult a doctor regarding prescription medications based on their overall health. Nasal corticosteroids are more effective than prescription antihistamine medications. Those who have asthma that worsens after exposure to mold require an inhaled oral corticosteroid to help manage the chronic symptoms.

Air quality control

The moment the initial respiratory and itchiness have been dealt with, the individual should treat their environment to minimize the mold spore allergens. This typically involves cleaning all hard surfaces using bleach solutions or eliminating infested upholstery, carpeting, wallpaper or other potential mold habitats.

Proper ventilation or humidity control devices should be installed to maintain the indoor humidity as well as prevent the growth of black mold. If the presence of mold is difficult to eliminate, it is best to call for professional services to completely eradicate potential sources in the house.

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Friday, 07 November 2014
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Tuberculosis has been a medical issue for many years but at the present, the number of cases has drastically reduced. On the other hand, tuberculosis still remains as a main public health threat all over the globe. Always bear in mind that tuberculosis can either be latent or active.

When it comes to latent tuberculosis, the bacteria stays inactive and does not cause any symptoms. This form of tuberculosis is not contagious. As for active tuberculosis, the causative bacteria which are Mycobacterium tuberculosis are multiplying actively which causes the symptomatic and communicable disease.

Fever, chills and night sweats

Active tuberculosis

Individuals who have active tuberculosis will not feel well. Chronic fatigue is a feeling of extreme tiredness that could not be relieved by sleep is a usual symptom.

Fever is one of the usual symptoms of active tuberculosis. The fever is usually low grade and intermittent. It can be accompanied by chills. The soaking night sweats which occur when the individual sleeps involve wet linens and bed clothes. This is the classic symptom of active tuberculosis. Nevertheless, this indication might not be present in all cases and can be triggered by other conditions other than tuberculosis. You can readily manage fever by enrolling in a course on first aid today.

Malaise and fatigue

Individuals who have active tuberculosis will not feel well. Chronic fatigue is a feeling of extreme tiredness that could not be relieved by sleep is a usual symptom. Take note that physical weakness and reduced tolerance for physical activity often accompany the symptom.

Loss of appetite and weight loss

Individuals who are suffering from tuberculosis experience loss of appetite and unintentional weight loss. In severe cases, the muscle mass of the individual will steadily reduce due to the extreme weight loss.

Hoarseness and swallowing problems

Active tuberculosis will involve the trachea which is the tube that transports air from the nose and mouth to the lungs. The hoarseness and swallowing difficulty are the usual symptoms that the trachea is involved.

Productive cough

It is important to note that actively tuberculosis can cause a persistent and productive cough. A productive cough that lasts for more than 2-3 weeks can be considered as an indication for active tuberculosis. During the early stages of the disease, the cough is usually dry. Over time, it becomes productive with yellowish-green colored phlegm.

As the infection progresses, the amount of phlegm produced will increase. The phlegm usually contains streaks of blood. Even though uncommon, active tuberculosis can lead to brisk lung bleeding in which substantial amount of blood are being coughed up along with breathing distress.

Shortness of breath

When it comes to active tuberculosis, both lungs are usually involved in the infection. Take note that the inflammation triggered by the infection as well as destruction will reduce the normal functional capacity of the lungs, thus leading to shortness of breath.

Pleuritic chest pan

Always bear in mind that tuberculosis often causes chest pain. Even though the lungs do not have the capability to feel pain, they are enclosed by thin sacs known as pleura that have pain innervation. Active tuberculosis can lead to the inflammation of the pleura which causes pain as the lungs move in the pleural sacs. When the individual coughs or breathes deeply, it causes the pain which is called as pleuritic chest pain.

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Friday, 07 November 2014
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It is important to note that anesthetics are considered as medications that are specifically structured for pain management. General anesthesia is usually produced by combining anesthetics including inhaled gases and intravenous drugs. In most cases, general anesthesia brings on deep sleep and commonly used during surgical procedures.

The vital signs of the individual are carefully monitored while under this type of anesthesia. In some cases, regional anesthesia is used to anesthetize large regions of the body such as the legs and arms. This type of anesthesia does not instigate deep sleep but can cause tiredness. Even though the different types of anesthesia are considered safe at the present, it is important to note that they might involve certain risks and can cause effects on the heart. By enrolling in a first aid course, you can learn the different types of anesthesia and their effects.

Anesthesia-effects

The heart attack triggered by anesthesia usually occurs among those who have a current heart condition or has a history of heart attacks.

Arrhythmia

General anesthesia can trigger the heartbeat to become erratic. An irregular heartbeat is called as arrhythmia which is a condition that occurs since the blood flow is inadequate to comply with the requirements of the body. This will cause the heart to beat irregularly as it attempts to adjust to compensate. Nevertheless, the interaction between anesthesia and other medications can affect the regularity of the heart rate. With this in mind, any medications or conditions that can interact with anesthesia should be carefully discussed with the doctor.

Myocardial infarction

It is important to note that anesthesia can lead to myocardial infarction. The effect is not quite common. The heart attack triggered by anesthesia usually occurs among those who have a current heart condition or has a history of heart attacks. The individual should disclose his/her medical history or heart conditions before surgery to help the doctor take the necessary precautions to reduce the risk for myocardial infarction. The best way to help out an individual suspected of suffering from a heart attack is to take the appropriate first aid measures to prevent the condition from worsening.

Tachycardia and low blood pressure

Anesthesia can cause the blood pressure to decrease drastically especially when an allergic reaction occurs. The drop in the blood pressure causes the heart to beat at a faster rate which is called as tachycardia as a way to compensate for the reduced pressure. Take note that the increased heart rate and low blood pressure can lead to serious consequences if not stabilized.

Improved cardiac functioning and pain management

When regional anesthesia is used, particularly spinal anesthesia, it can help improve the heart function. Based on latest studies, it was discovered that spinal anesthesia can reduce hypertension and increase the contractions of the heart muscles. This effect is observed when the spinal anesthesia is used along with general anesthesia. The continuous usage of spinal anesthesia after surgery can help minimize the pain experiencing in the heart region.

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Thursday, 06 November 2014
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When an individual experiences a panic attack, the individual will notice that the heart is pounding rapidly. It is important to note that the normal heart rate is between 60-100 beats per minute depending on the activity level, overall health and age of the individual. During a panic attack, the heart rate can drastically increase. The sensation can be alarming but most of the time it will resolve on its own within half an hour.

A panic attack is a momentary sensation of intense panic and fear. This can be triggered by stressful events or lasting worrying or can occur without any reason. Always bear in mind that a panic attack can cause severe symptoms that will make the individual think that he/she is experiencing a heart attack and most of the time; many are consumed by fear that will surely lead to another panic attack in the future.

Panic attack

Always bear in mind that a panic attack can cause severe symptoms that will make the individual think that he/she is experiencing a heart attack and most of the time; many are consumed by fear that will surely lead to another panic attack in the future.

If the individual feels that the heart is pounding during a panic attack, it can cause alarm and trigger more panic. The other symptoms that can heighten the worry during a panic attack include sweating, shortness of breath, trembling, stomach upset and feeling of passing out. Oftentimes this feeling can wake up the individual which is called as a nocturnal panic attack. In most cases, the heart will slow down after 10 minutes which will help the individual calm down and fall back to sleep.

Prevention and treatment

In most cases, a panic attack can occur without warning and difficult or even impossible to prevent from occurring. Oftentimes, a panic attack can be triggered by certain medications or anxiety disorders. It is best to consult a doctor regarding relaxation techniques that can help prevent a panic attack before it starts or when the initial symptoms occur. Medications and mental health counseling can help if the individual experiences panic attacks on a regular basis.

Important considerations to bear in mind

Individuals younger than 50 years old who suffer from panic attacks or a panic disorder are more likely to suffer from a heart attack. Even though the risk is small, the individual should discuss the possible dangers with a doctor if a pounding heart and other symptoms linked with panic attacks are experienced. One reason for the slight increase in the possibility of a heart attack might be due to the fact that some experience heart palpitations triggered by health issues and not experiencing panic attacks at all.

Due to the high risk for a heart attack during a panic attack, it is best that you are prepared to handle one if a family member experiences the condition. All you have to do is to enroll in a first aid course so that you will learn the proper measures to carry out.

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Thursday, 09 October 2014
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Gout is considered as a sore condition that can prevent an individual from sleeping peacefully at night. It is a complex form of arthritis that causes the joints to become tender and inflamed. The individual will feel as if the big toe is being set on fire. If you want to learn ways to manage the symptoms, click here.

Gout develops due to the buildup of uric acid in the joints. Take note that the uric acid produces crystals that can cause severe pain. Even though anyone can suffer from this condition, it tends to develop more among men and post-menopausal women. With this in mind, it is important for the individual to receive early treatment to help ease the symptoms linked with the debilitating condition.

Gout

Always bear in mind that the pain can be very harsh and feel as if the affected joint is under fire or being pricked by needles.

Severe joint pain

Even though gout tends to occur most often in the biggest joint of the big toe, it can also develop on any part of the body such as the hands, feet as well as the wrists and ankles. Always bear in mind that the pain can be very harsh and feel as if the affected joint is under fire or being pricked by needles. This is due to the fact that the crystals that formed in the joint are rubbing against the neighboring skin and bone. If the individual loves to drink alcoholic beverages, they must be avoided during the flare-up to help minimize the intensity of the pain.

Redness and swelling

The affected joint will turn red in color and eventually swell. Since the uric acid crystals can destroy the bone or skin, the body will attempt to avoid this by cushioning through the swelling of the affected area.

The management of swelling involves taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) which aim to reduce the inflammation. Additionally, corticosteroids are also prescribed.

Persistent pain

The moment the severe pain has reduced in intensity; there is still a certain degree of discomfort in the affected joint that has the tendency to last for a long time. Take note that this period can range for a few days or several weeks. The succeeding occurrences of flare-ups typically include periods of lasting pain that is severe as well as periods of long-standing remaining pain. The individual should try to lose weight to minimize the length of the gout attack but this will not completely put a stop to the attacks.

Warmth within the joint

The affected joint is warm since the flow of blood to the affected area has increased. The body will attempt to eliminate the problem by calling in white blood cells to fight off the intruder. Take note that the affected joint will feel warm during a gout attack. The warmth and accompanying pain will vanish on its own after a few days.

Pain that does not seem to go away

Once the severe pain reduces minimally, there is still lingering discomfort in the affected joint that will stay for extended periods. This period can last for a few days or several weeks. Future occurrence of flare-ups can include periods of longer lasting but severe pain as well as longer periods of lingering pain.

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Wednesday, 01 October 2014
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Tennis elbow or lateral epicondylitis is characterized as inflammation and pain involving the tendons that connect the forearm muscles on the exterior part of the elbow. The condition develops once the forearm muscles are overused during certain activities such as weightlifting or racket sports. Certain professions such as plumbers, painters and carpenters face a higher risk for developing tennis elbow. Most cases can be easily managed without requiring surgical intervention.

Measures in managing tennis elbow

Tennis elbow

As part of the first aid care, you can apply ice for 15-20 minutes at 3-4 times in a day as soon as possible after the injury was sustained.

  • Instruct the individual to take a break from any activity that is responsible for causing the tennis elbow for several weeks.
  • You can provide the individual with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory steroids (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen or aspirin in order minimize the swelling and pain.
  • As part of the first aid care, you can apply ice for 15-20 minutes at 3-4 times in a day as soon as possible after the injury was sustained. You can enroll in a first aid course today so that you will learn how to properly carry out these measures when needed.
  • The affected elbow should be wrapped with a tensor bandage or apply a compression brace since both can help reduce the swelling.
  • Encourage the individual to perform gentle stretching of the affected forearm once the swelling and pain has reduced. When stretching the forearm with tennis elbow, make sure that it will be stretched out in front and gently pull down on the hands using the other one until a slight stretch is felt. This must be held for 5-10 seconds and then relax. This should be repeated six times.
  • Strengthening of the arm must be encouraged. After 2-3 weeks or once the pain is gone, the individual should perform strengthening exercises. The individual should sit down while holding a light dumbbell on the affected arm. The forearm must be placed on the knee so that the wrist is just over the knee. Allow the hand to drop to the ground and then slowly raise the hand for 2 seconds and steadily lower the hand. This must be repeated 10 times at 3-5 times a day.

Important considerations to bear in mind

  • It is important to avoid stretching the forearm more than its comfortable range. Once the individual experiences pain during strengthening exercises, the individual should perform them without additional weight first.
  • In case the symptoms do not improve after 6-12 months with home treatment, it is best to consult a doctor. Surgery might be needed in order to restore the broken muscle tissues or reconnect it to the bone.
  • The damaged arm should be kept elevated above the level of the heart as often as possible.
  • If the individual could not completely avoid activity that is responsible for aggravating the tennis elbow such as at work, the doctor can recommend the application of a brace or forearm strap in order to reduce the stress on the affected area.

One way to prevent tennis elbow from occurring is to encourage the individual to properly warm-up the arms before starting any activity and utilize proper techniques. Additionally, using a protective brace can also help out a lot.

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Friday, 26 September 2014
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Itchy skin can be accompanied by tingling and irritation and generally a result of dry skin, allergies and genetic conditions. Even the environmental factors including the weather particularly severe humidity or cold can worsen the itchy skin. You can utilize simple remedies to alleviate the issue in order to avoid the added expense of using commercial products. In most cases, itchy skin is not serious but if a persistent rash manifests along with the itchy skin, it is best to consult a doctor so that proper assessment can be carried out.

Oatmeal

Oatmeal has been used throughout the years as a remedy for various skin conditions that range from acne to chickenpox. This is due to the soothing compounds of beta-glucan, avenanthramides and silicon which work in order to effectively minimize the skin inflammation and itchiness.

The avenanthramides are very beneficial in relieving the itchy skin since it blocks histamine from triggering the nerve cells. You can use oatmeal with a cold compress, in a lukewarm bath or as a paste in order to calm the irritation caused by the itchy skin.

Itchy skin

The addition of baking soda on the itchy skin or soaking in a bath with baking soda can provide a substantial level of relief.

Baking soda

The addition of baking soda on the itchy skin or soaking in a bath with baking soda can provide a substantial level of relief. The ingredient is considered as an anti-inflammatory and anti-itch treatment for those who are suffering from common skin conditions.

Baking soda is an alkaline compound which means that the pH is higher than 7. Essentially, irritating substances that affect the skin have low pH levels. Baking soda helps neutralize the itchy skin while at the same time drawing out any impurities such as venom from a mosquito bite.

Those who have dry skin will surely benefit since it helps detoxify the skin without eliminating the required moisture. It is best to create a baking soda paste and apply directly on the itchy skin. If you want to learn more about the benefits of baking soda, click here.

Tea tree oil

The topical application of tea tree oil can help provide relief to the itchy skin. Based on studies conducted on tea tree oil that was applied on the skin, it helps reduce the histamine-induced inflammation.

Tea tree oil helps reduce the itchy skin caused by insect bites and other skin conditions such as sunburn. Take note that tea tree oil needs carrier oil such as olive or vegetable oil since high concentrations can irritate the skin. If you are going to use tea tree oil, all you have to do is to combine tea tree oil with carrier oil at the ratio of 1 part tea tree oil and 5 parts carrier oil. Even though tea tree oil has promising results, evidence on its influence on itchy skin is still not enough. If you are planning to use tea tree oil, it is best to consult a doctor first.

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Thursday, 21 August 2014
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Cauliflower ear is a condition that occurs once the cartilage of the exterior ear is damaged severely or dies, causing the skin to inflame and form irregular bumps. It is important to note that cauliflower ear is usually caused by constant distress to the ear, particularly in contact sports such as wrestling and boxing. This condition can be treated in a short time frame if managed during the early stages. If left untreated, the cauliflower appearance can become permanent or cause other complications in the ear. If you want to learn more about the treatment options for cauliflower ear, click here.

Swelling

Swelling is one of the initial symptoms to manifest as blood clots form under the skin. Those who have cauliflower ear usually experience pain and redness around the affected skin. In cases that are not treated, it can lead to a more serious infection. The continuous buildup of blood clots and pus will prevent the normal flow of blood and nutrients to the cartilage. As a result, the cartilage will pull away from the skin, leading to the puffy cauliflower form.

Cauliflower ear

Swelling is one of the initial symptoms to manifest as blood clots form under the skin.

Bleeding

Severe or constant distress to the exterior ear can result to harm to the adjacent blood vessels, ensuing the internal seepage of blood. The blood has the tendency to leak into the tissues of the outer ear or eventually form clots that limit the cartilage of the ear essential nutrients. Take note that external bleeding is also likely to occur if an abrasion or cut was left behind by initial trauma.

Buildup of fluid

The buildup of pus between the skin and the cartilage can occur if the ear becomes infected. Once cauliflower ear is complemented with a wound, the puffiness will only make the wound wider, thus leading to the leakage of pus from the ear. In most cases, the treatment for cauliflower ear includes the drainage of fluid and foreign bodies.

Hard skin

Previous treatment for cauliflower ear can increase the risk for developing a permanent deformity. In case the blood clots as well as the accumulation of fluid are not eliminated, the clogged up cartilage will sooner or later die due to the lack of nutrients. The dead cartilage will start to thicken and hardens into fibrous lumps, thus losing its natural shape. The moment cauliflower ear becomes permanent; it would require surgical intervention for its removal.

Obstructed hearing

Severe swelling of the perichondrium can block the ear canal and disrupt the normal hearing of the individual, particularly if cauliflower ear becomes permanent. The temporary or permanent loss of hearing right after the development of cauliflower ear can also indicate that a serious infection has spread into the inner ear.

Always remember that timely treatment of the condition is vital in order to prevent permanent deformity of the affected ear.

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Thursday, 14 August 2014
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It is a known fact that the normal process of wound healing usually takes about 3 weeks, but there are some wounds that can take up to months or even years to fully heal. The common factors such as infection, condition of the wound, edema and trauma can affect the healing process. Even the systemic factors play a role which includes the overall health of the individual, age and the nutritional status.

Contamination and development of infection

Take note that once a wound becomes infected, it is one of the common reasons why the healing process is delayed. Once a wound ends up contaminated or infection sets in, the immune system will use up energy to fight off the bacteria, thus there is little energy left for the healing process. The bacteria even produce toxins that can disrupt the healing and trigger the death of the cells. Take note that bite wounds are more likely to be contaminated. Proper care must be taken when caring for wounds. If you want to learn how to care for wounds, click here.

Condition of the wound

Wounds

The overall condition of the wound will affect the healing process. If there is pressure or repeated trauma on the wound, it will delay the healing.

The overall condition of the wound will affect the healing process. If there is pressure or repeated trauma on the wound, it will delay the healing. Even dehydration can cause the cells to dry up and crust over while overhydration due to exposure to urine or feces can lead to the maceration of the cells. The necrotic or dead tissue should be removed or the wound will not heal.

Diminished circulation and oxygenation

Take note that blood delivers oxygen and nutrients to the affected area while at the same time removing toxins, bacteria and debris. There are certain conditions that can reduce the flow of blood and oxygenation that cause poor healing of the wound. Diabetes, advanced age, high blood pressure and peripheral vascular disease can affect the circulation and disrupt the healing process. Even chronic lung disease and anemia can disrupt oxygenation while obesity slows down the healing of the wound due to the presence of fatty tissue that has few blood vessels.

Aging process

Elderly individuals tend to heal at a slower rate than young children and healthy adults. The risk for infection is high among the elderly due to the slow inflammatory response and diminished endocrine functioning and antibody production. Additionally, the elderly are more likely to suffer from chronic diseases such as heart disease or diabetes that impairs the oxygenation and circulation.

Medications

There are certain medications that can disrupt the inflammatory response such as corticosteroids. Those who are under chemotherapy involves stopping the cells from multiplying, thus disrupting the healing process of wounds. Even radiation therapy depresses the function of the bone marrow, thus increasing the risk for infection. Additionally, extensive use of antibiotics can also increase the risk for secondary infection.

Poor nutrition

Always remember that the body requires calories, proteins, zinc and vitamins C and A for proper wound healing along with a balanced diet. The diet of the individual must include at least 2-3 servings of proteins, a serving of foods rich in vitamin A and at least one serving of vitamin C rich foods. Do not forget that zinc that is present in cereals, seafood and red meat is also useful during the healing process.

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Wednesday, 09 July 2014
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Millions of individuals all over the world suffer from a certain type of seizure disorder. A seizure is triggered by an abnormal spread of electrical activity in the brain. The condition can cause a lapse in the consciousness and loss of muscle control which exposes the individual to danger in high risk scenarios. Always bear in mind that seizures can also cause brain injury and sudden death if it is uncontrolled. The ideal way to prevent injuries or death from seizures is to prevent one from occurring.

Falls

Seizures can trigger the muscles to abruptly lose strength. Once this occurs, the individual will drop objects being held and fall to the ground. In some cases, the individual can even lose consciousness. Those with seizures can sustain injuries once they fall. It is important to provide proper protection such as helmets in order to protect the head.

Drowning

Based on studies conducted, it was discovered that individuals with epilepsy face a higher risk of drowning than those who do not have epilepsy. Take note that a bathtub is a common place for an individual with seizure to die and this is followed by the swimming pool. Children have a lower risk of drowning than the adults since they are usually under the supervision of a parent or caregiver.

Lapse of consciousness

Seizure

Seizures can trigger the muscles to abruptly lose strength. Once this occurs, the individual will drop objects being held and fall to the ground.

Petit mal or absence seizure typically occurs most often among children and causes an abrupt lapse of consciousness. The child can appear to stare into space for a few seconds. Even though this appears mild, these seizures can be dangerous if they occur once a child is crossing the street, climbing or participating in dangerous activities.

Febrile seizures

A very high fever among children can lead to a febrile seizure. This starts with contractions of the face, arms, and trunk and leg muscles and then followed by intermittent moments of relaxation and rhythmic jerking of the body. The eyes can have a fixed stare or roll back. In some cases, the child can vomit or pass urine, stop breathing, appear non-responsive and severely drowsy. Even though it is possible for a severe attack of a febrile seizure to cause death, it is rare.

Seizures that occur during pregnancy

A grand mal or tonic-clonic seizure is a severe seizure that can involve the loss of consciousness, convulsion, rigidity and falls. Take note that this condition in pregnant women is dangerous to the developing fetus, particularly in the last trimester. A fall can injure the unborn child and the temporary interruption in the breathing of the mother during the seizure will deprive the fetus of oxygen to the brain.

Status epilepticus

This is a continuous state of seizure that can cause brain damage or death. A seizure is considered a medical emergency if it lasts longer than 5 minutes or if the individual has multiple seizures and could not be aroused. Emergency care must be given right away.

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