Thursday, February 11, 2016

Wilderness or Grid Down Medical Skills 5: Know Symptoms

Medical training is serious and should be given by competent medical professionals. This article and the whole medical series is not medical advice. It is for informational purposes only. Find good medical training in your area before actually doing the procedures in this series.
This is a series designed to give you a basic medical knowledge of what I consider medical skills you should have if there is no help in sight. The skills are:
Broken bones
Bleeding
Establishing an airway
Deliver a baby
Know The Symptoms of a Heart Attack, Heat Exhaustion or a Stroke
Basic Wound Dressing Techniques
Suturing

Heart Attack Symptoms
Chest discomfort or pain
This discomfort or pain can feel like a tight ache, pressure, fullness or squeezing in your chest lasting more than a few minutes. This discomfort may come and go.
Upper body pain
Pain or discomfort may spread beyond your chest to your shoulders, arms, back, neck, teeth or jaw. You may have upper body pain with no chest discomfort.
Stomach pain
Pain may extend downward into your abdominal area and may feel like heartburn.
Shortness of breath
You may pant for breath or try to take in deep breaths. This often occurs before you develop chest discomfort, or you may not experience any chest discomfort.
Anxiety
You may feel a sense of doom or feel as if you're having a panic attack for no apparent reason.
Lightheadedness
In addition to chest pressure, you may feel dizzy or feel like you might pass out.
Sweating
You may suddenly break into a sweat with cold, clammy skin.
Nausea and vomiting
You may feel sick to your stomach or vomit.
Most heart attacks begin with subtle symptoms — with only discomfort that often is not described as pain. The chest discomfort may come and go. Don't be tempted to downplay your symptoms or brush them off as indigestion or anxiety.
Don't "tough out" heart attack symptoms for more than five minutes. Call 911 or other emergency medical services for help.
If you don't have access to emergency medical services, have someone drive you to the nearest hospital. Drive yourself only as a last resort, if there are absolutely no other options.
Heart attack symptoms vary widely. For instance, you may have only minor chest discomfort while someone else has excruciating pain. One thing applies to everyone, though: If you suspect you're having a heart attack, call for emergency medical help immediately.
Heat Exhaustion
Signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion may develop suddenly or over time, especially with prolonged periods of exercise. Possible heat exhaustion signs and symptoms include:
• Cool, moist skin with goose bumps when in the heat
• Heavy sweating
• Faintness
• Dizziness
• Fatigue
• Weak, rapid pulse
• Low blood pressure upon standing
• Muscle cramps
• Nausea
• Headache
When to see a doctor
If you think you're experiencing heat exhaustion:
• Stop all activity and rest
• Move to a cooler place
• Drink cool water or sports drinks
Contact your doctor if your signs or symptoms worsen or if they don't improve within one hour. Seek immediate medical attention if your body temperature reaches 104 F (40 C) or higher.
Stroke Symptoms
Symptoms
Watch for these signs and symptoms if you think you or someone else may be having a stroke. Note when your signs and symptoms begin, because the length of time they have been present may guide your treatment decisions:
• Trouble with speaking and understanding. You may experience confusion. You may slur your words or have difficulty understanding speech.
• Paralysis or numbness of the face, arm or leg. You may develop sudden numbness, weakness or paralysis in your face, arm or leg, especially on one side of your body. Try to raise both your arms over your head at the same time. If one arm begins to fall, you may be having a stroke. Similarly, one side of your mouth may droop when you try to smile.
• Trouble with seeing in one or both eyes. You may suddenly have blurred or blackened vision in one or both eyes, or you may see double.
• Headache. A sudden, severe headache, which may be accompanied by vomiting, dizziness or altered consciousness, may indicate you're having a stroke.
• Trouble with walking. You may stumble or experience sudden dizziness, loss of balance or loss of coordination.
When to see a doctor
Seek immediate medical attention if you notice any signs or symptoms of a stroke, even if they seem to fluctuate or disappear.
Think "FAST" and do the following:
• Face. Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
• Arms. Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward? Or is one arm unable to raise up?
• Speech. Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is his or her speech slurred or strange?
• Time. If you observe any of these signs, call 911 immediately.
Call 911 or your local emergency number right away. Don't wait to see if symptoms go away. Every minute counts. The longer a stroke goes untreated, the greater the potential for brain damage and disability.
If you're with someone you suspect is having a stroke, watch the person carefully while waiting for emergency assistance.
These are symptoms and not really any procedures for you to do. Notice all the above includes calling 911 or seeing a doctor.
I think that this information is something you should know now, when facilities and access to providers is plentiful. If some of these problems were to happen without hospitals and doctors, there would be little you could do except basic first aid or CPR. It is beyond the intent of this guide to teach treatments for these complicated problems.
Semper Paratus
Check 6
Burn
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