Emergency

Diabetes Basics

Diabetes is the name given to a group of conditions where there is too much glucose, or sugar, in the blood. This glucose comes from the carbohydrates we eat and includes starchy foods (eg breads, cereals, potato, pasta, rice), fruit and certain dairy products. Blood glucose levels are regulated within the body by insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas. Insulin moves glucose from the blood into the body’s cells where it can be used by the body for energy. Diabetes develops when the pancreas isn’t making enough insulin, or the insulin isn’t working properly.

 

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Information Sources: diabetesnsw.com.au, diabetesaustralia.com.au

Outback First Aid – Our Story

20160723_144631sNewcastle’s Robert Watson had done his Medilife First Aid Training over many years when he was employed in the steel industry. Now retired, he and his wife Coralie continue to do the refresher training, “just in case” they are ever called on to help in an emergency situation.  Their spiral bound  First Aid for Life course books are kept with a first aid kit in the boot of their car.

 

P1290923xsIn July, during a 6,000 km road trip through inland Queensland, Coralie developed some chest pains one afternoon on the road. It was a few hours after lunch, and she assumed it was indigestion. However the pain became worse, and worse. They were 1 hour out from Emerald, and it was a further 2 hours to their overnight stop… in a tiny town which almost certainly didn’t have a hospital. The pain was severe enough that Coralie thought it might have been a heart attack, but – from memory – Robert asked, “Do you have a crushing feeling on your chest, and are you sweating a lot?” The answer was, “No”, and Coralie added, “and I don’t have pain radiating to my left arm!” But they pulled off the road and dug out their first aid book.

The signs and symptoms  listed included the three they remembered, plus Anxiety, Nausea, Shortness of breath and Pale/grey skin colour.

On that basis, they agreed that there was no immediate need to panic or get upset, and they continued on to Emerald Hospital Emergency Department. Coralie was wired up to their machines and it was quickly determined that she was not having a heart attack, so that was good news. Further tests suggested that she had had a particularly severe bout of reflux, coupled with dehydration. Over the course of 3 hours she was attended to by the doctors and nurses, who all reinforced that going to see them was the sensible thing to do, and they were always happier to release people than to have to admit them with something serious.

The travel plans were changed, and they stayed in Emerald for the night … in a motel directly opposite the hospital. “Just in case!” added Robert.

Thank you Robert and Coralie for sharing your experience.

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Winter health hazards at home

 

The cooler months means we will probably be spending more time in the home than anywhere else. It is also a time of seasonal hazards. As we unpack our hot water bottles and electric blankets please keep these reminders for a safer winter.

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About half of all fires in the home start in the kitchen, and more than 40% of all deaths from fire happen during winter. Here are a few tips to keep you and your home fire safe:

  1. Have a written home fire escape plan and practice it regularly.
  2. Install smoke alarms throughout your home and test them monthly. Change the batteries every year.
  3. Keep curtains, tablecloths, clothes and bedding away from portable heaters and fireplaces.
  4. Clean the lint filter every time you use a clothes dryer.
  5. Always keep children away from open heat sources such as fireplaces and gas stoves, and remember that even clothing with a ‘low fire danger’ label can still catch on fire.

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If you have a fireplace in your home then make sure the chimney is clean and not blocked. Always place a screen in front of a fireplace when it’s being used, and never burn rubbish such as plastics or foam as these create toxins.

  1. Store matches and lighters in a safe place out of reach of children.
  2. Check that each heater is safe to use every winter.
  3. Don’t leave portable heaters in places where people or pets could knock them over.
  4. Gas heaters produce heat when they burn gas fuel. This also produces air pollutants and water vapour. If your gas heater doesn’t have a flue, service it regularly and make sure the room is well ventilated.
  5. Use just one appliance per power point and switch them off when you’re not using them. Heaters consume a lot of power and may overload the supply which can cause a fire.
  6. Never use a gas heater designed for outdoor use inside your home.

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Check your electric blanket is in good condition and hasn’t been recalled by checking the Recalls Australia website. About 400,000 potentially faulty electric blankets were recalled in 2012. Faulty electric blankets can overheat, cause an electric shock, spark and potentially cause a fire.

You should always roll your blanket up to store it because folding it can damage element wires inside the blanket. When you take it out of storage and use it for the first time, lay it flat on the bed and check for hot spots as it heats up.

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Use warm, but not boiling, water to fill your hot water bottle and examine it for leaks before you use it. Replace it as soon as it starts to look cracked or worn or every two years. Remember – the rubber can perish from the inside so you may not be able to see if it’s worn out.

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Learning first aid can help you to

identify potential hazards and

be prepared to act if an accident where to occur. 

Book into one of our public courses here.

 

information source: www.healthdirect.gov.au

Prepare Your Emergency Go Bag

images (4)What do you grab in an evacuation situation, when you’re panicked, you have to leave in a hurry and you’re facing the possibility that your home and everything you own will be destroyed?

Not the things you really need, people can say from experience. Panic stations is not a time to be thinking about packing a go bag. The following is a list of suggested items to pack.

Suggested Content List:

  • Comfortable clothing – Layers, sealed in weather proof bag
  • A current family photograph including pets – to use for identification.
  • Water for drinking and sanitation
  • Non-perishable food such as energy bars, tinned tuna etc.
  • Extra set of car and house keys
  • Proof of identification and ownership of pets
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • AM/FM radio and extra batteries
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • A method of water purification.
  • Can opener for food & utensils for eating
  • Extra toothbrush and toothpaste, toiletries
  • Lighter or flint
  • Mobile phone with chargers
  • Important documents (see tips below)
  • First aid kit & manual
  • List of Contact Numbers
  • Local maps and compass
  • Money small denominations rather than large notes.
  • Unique family needs such as prescription medications, pet supplies, infant supplies, eyeglasses

 

images (2)Documents Tip

Prepare certified copies of important documents and having them packed safely in a sealed waterproof sleeve. Alternately you can get electronic copies of these documents and your family pictures and store them on a USB. Store correctly in sealed bag to protect. Remember you can only access a USB with a computer or device and power.

Make copies of important paperwork such as:
– drivers license, medicare card, marriage certificates, birth certificates, insurances, property deeds, banking details, current medications & treatments, proof of residence, insurance policies, and tax records.

 

Information sources: nrdc.org, wikihow, nyc.gov