Primary

Early Learning, School, Child care

Migraine – more than just a headache

Elvis Presley, Stephen King, Serena Williams, and Princess Margaret are just some of the famous people who have suffered from migraines.

Migraines are headaches that typicallyimages-14 last from 4-72 hours and you may experience nausea and vomiting as well as sensitivity to light or sound.

There are more than three million migraine sufferers in Australia, meaning that more people suffer from migraine in Australia than diabetes, asthma, or coronary heart disease. It is thought that more women suffer migraine than men due to hormonal factors. Onset of migraine is from childhood onwards but most commonly in the 20s and 30s.

Symptoms of migraine

A migraine headache has different symptoms from other types of headache. Migraine symptoms can include:

  • headache: one sided, throbbing moderate to severe
  • nausea and vomiting
  • sensitivity to light
  • sensitivity to sound
  • affected vision, such as an aura (bright zigzag lines, flashing lights)
  • difficulty in concentrating, confusion, co-ordination
  • stiffness of the neck and shoulders
  • sensitivity to smell and touch
  • numbness of the face or extremities

What causes migraine?

Susceptibility to migraine is normally inherited.  Certain parts of the brain employing monoamines, such as serotonin and noradrenaline, appear to be in a hypersensitive state, reacting promptly and excessively to stimuli such as emotion, bombardment with sensory impulses, or any sudden change in the internal or external environment.  If the brainstem systems controlling the cerebral cortex become active, the brain starts to shut down, a process starting at the back of the brain in the visual cortex and working slowly forward.  The pain nucleus of the trigeminal nerve becomes spontaneously active; pain is felt in the head or upper neck and blood flow in the face and scalp increases reflexly.  Noradrenaline is released from the adrenal gland and causes the platelets to release serotonin.

Want more information about the pathophysiology of migraines? Click here..

Triggers for migraine

No one really knows what causes migraine, however attacks are almost certainly triggered by a combination of factors, such as:

  • diet –images-16 cheese, chocolate, citrus fruits, alcohol (especially red wine)
  • sleep – too little or too much
  • menstrual cycle
  • physiochemical – excessive heat, light, noise or certain chemicals
  • emotional causes – stress, excitement or fatigue
  • relaxation (weekend migraines) – often triggered by a period of stress and overwork followed by relaxation.

 

Nearly all people who suffer from migraines report a reduction in social activities and work capacity.

Treatment of migraine

images-15There is no cure for migraine and prevention is difficult, but treatments can help reduce the number of attacks. Migraines vary greatly from person to person and so does the treatment. If you feel you suffer from migraines it is important to consult your health care professional to discuss treatment options.

The four treatment options available to migraine sufferers include:

  • prevention – avoiding trigger factors – this can be difficult, if not impossible since migraines are often triggered by a combination of factors
  • pain-relieving medication and medication to alter pressure on blood vessels
  • preventative treatment medication
  • non-medication therapies – including acupuncture, biofeedback, goggles, hypnotherapy, exclusion diets, relaxation, yoga, meditation, herbal or homeopathic remedies.
Information Sources: headacheaustralia.org.aubetterhealth.vic.gov.au

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.

 

type-1

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.

———————————————————————-

Do you have a first aid experience you would like to share with us?

Submit your story, it may be published to help others appreciate the value of first aid training. Click here..

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.

Fire safetydownload (1)

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.

Fireplaces & Heatersdownload (2)

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.

Electric blanketsdownload (2)

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.

Hot water bottlesdownload (3)

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.

unnamed copy

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

5 Tips to creating a better culture of workplace health and safety

 How can you improve the current workplace culture toward Work Health and Saftey?

1. Frequent and informal communication.

imagesCommunication between workers and management on safety management raises workers’ awareness of and can potentially contribute to a positive preventative safety culture. People work more safely when they are involved in the decision making process.

 

 

images (1)2. Set the example.

Managers that model behaviour by making a personal contribution to WHS consultation can significantly change the way their team thinks about health and safety in the workplace.

 

 

 

3. Reward positive contributions. download (1)

This has lasting effects to culture change. An organisation is formed to achieve certain goals and objectives by bringing individuals together on a common platform and motivating them to deliver their best. It is essential for the employees to enjoy the workplace for them to develop a sense of loyalty towards it. The organisation must offer a positive atmosphere to the employees.

 

 

download4. Promote team building activities.

Conduct training programs, workshops, seminars and presentations to upgrade the existing skills of the employees and to bind the employees together. Team building improves communication, boosts morale, increases motivation, improves productivity and a fun way to learning effective health and safety strategies.

 

 

 

personal responsibility5. Make it personal.

Personal safety responsibility, control and rational judgment are essential to a good health and safety culture. An organisation is said to have a strong work culture when the employees follow the organisation’s rules and regulations and adhere to the existing guidelines.

Allowing personal responsibility within organisational guidelines gives employees ownership of their responsibilities and personal satisfaction.

 

 

Information source: comcare

Delirium

Although delirium is primarily found within aged care facilities and hospital patients, the symptoms of delirium may be the first signs of an untreated medical or mental condition or medication reaction. Causes also include trauma, drug toxicity, bleeding and dehydration. All causes we may come across as first aiders. These may include:

  • Medications or drug toxicity
  • Alcohol or drug abuse or withdrawal
  • A medical condition
  • Metabolic imbalances, such as low sodium or low calcium
  • Severe, chronic or terminal illness
  • Fever and acute infection, particularly in children
  • Exposure to a toxin
  • Malnutrition or dehydration
  • Sleep deprivation or severe emotional distress
  • Pain
  • Surgery or other medical procedures that include anesthesia

Delirium involves a quick change between mental states. For example, from lethargy to agitation and back to lethargy. Other symptoms may include:

Delirium syndrome mental health icon design. Hallucinations symbol concept

  • Changes in alertness
  • Changes in sensation and perception
  • Changes in level of consciousness
  • Changes in movement. For example: may be slow moving or hyperactive
  • Changes in sleep patterns, drowsiness
  • Confusion about time or place
  • Decrease in short-term memory
  • Disorganized thinking, such as talking in a way that doesn’t make sense
  • Emotional or personality changes, such as anger, agitation, depression, irritability
  • Movements triggered by changes in the nervous system – seizures, tremors

Delirium or Dementia?

Dementia and delirium may be particularly difficult to distinguish, and a person may have both. In fact, frequently delirium occurs in people with dementia. Dementia is the progressive decline of memory and other thinking skills due to the gradual dysfunction and loss of brain cells.

Delirium is a  sudden onset of symptoms, often lasting about 1 week. It may take several weeks for mental function to return to normal . Full recovery is common, but depends on the underlying cause of the delirium.

First Aid for the Delirious or Demented

What ever the cause of delerium,  how do we render first aid treatment effectively to a severely confused person?

Our primary concern is our own safety and the safety of the ones we are treating. If a person seems delirious it is important to reassure our casualty to enable us to treat them effectively and safely. Which we would try to do anyway, but these specific types of reassurances will help your casualty deal with their situation.

Perform the initial steps to providing first aid, ensuring all dangers have been identified and dealt with and that medical help is on its way. If the person is not requiring immediate resuscitation or action, bear in mind these tips to help reassure your patient as you perform assessment for/of injuries.

  • Reassure the person by speaking slowly in a clear voice, identifying yourself and them (if known).
  • Knowing the time of day can reduce confusion. Let them know where they are, what day it is and the time of day.
  • Visual and hearing impairment can make confusion worse. If you can see they have glasses or hearing aids help them to put on (if safe to do so).
  • If aggressive or agitated do not try to restrain. Try to make sure the area is free from hazards.

Agitated or aggressive patients may be dangerous to themselves and others or may not be able to cooperate with necessary procedures.

information sources: nlm.nih.gov, carersaustralia.com.au, mayoclinic.org
Image: kondyukandrey/iStockphoto.com

AEDs – Your Questions Answered

AED-Automated External Defibrillator (2)

Why do we need Automated External Defibrillators?

AEDs save lives. When a person has a sudden cardiac arrest, the heart becomes arrhythmic. Every minute that the heart is not beating lowers the odds of survival by 7-10 percent. After 10 minutes without defibrillation, very few people survive.

AED’s are becoming an essential piece of first aid equipment in shopping centres, schools, community centres, airports and workplaces. If you are considering purchasing one for your workplace, home, community we strongly urge you to. By having an AED onsite you can increase the chances of a persons surviving a sudden cardiac arrest by 75 percent.

Can a non-medical person make a mistake when using an AED?

AEDs are safe to use by anyone who has been shown how to use them. The AED’s voice guides the rescuer through the steps involved in saving someone; for example, “apply pads to patient’s bare chest” (the pads themselves have pictures of where they should be placed) and “press red shock button.” Furthermore, safeguards have been designed into the unit precisely so that non-medical responders can’t use the AED to shock someone who doesn’t need a shock.  

Can the AED itself make a mistake?

It is unlikely. Studies show that AEDs interpret the victim’s heart rhythm more quickly and accurately than many trained emergency professionals. If the AED determines that no shock is needed, it will not allow a shock to be given.  

Can I be sued if I help someone suffering from Sudden Cardiac Arrest?

State and federal “Good Samaritan” laws cover users who, in good faith, attempt to save a person from death. To date, there are no known judgments against anyone who used an AED to save someone’s life.  

Can anyone buy an AED?

Anyone can buy an AED in Australia. AEDs must be TGA approved to be sold.

Who can use the AED’s installed in public areas?

In the event of Sudden Cardiac Arrest anyone can use the “public access” AED’s located in airports, train stations and shopping centres etc.

 

Previously Published Related Article: What is Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA)? Read here..

info source: http://www.defibtech.com/

Why is work health important?

It’s the law

Under section 19(1) of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Cth) (the WHS Act), a person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBUs) must ensure the health and safety of workers at work in the business or undertaking, so far as is reasonably practicable. Additionally, section 19(2) requires PCBUs to ensure that the health and safety of other persons is not put at risk from work carried out as part of the conduct of the business or undertaking, so far as is reasonably practicable.

‘Health’ is defined under the WHS Act to mean physical and psychological health.

The employer’s duty of care includes providing:

  • a physical and psychosocial work environment without risks to health and safety
  • safe systems of work
  • information, training, instruction or supervision necessary to protect all persons from risks to their health and safety.
  • monitor the health of workers and conditions at the workplace to prevent illness or injury

It’s the right thing to do

The workplace plays an important part in combating the rise in chronic disease, promoting participation in employment, and preventing needless disability. The workplace can affect the physical, mental, economic and social wellbeing of workers and therefore offers opportunities to improve worker health.

To realise the health benefits of work and accelerate the prevention of chronic disease, workplaces need to extend their agenda to include health and wellbeing.

It’s the smart thing to do

Good work is good for you. Strong evidence shows that good worker health and wellbeing boosts organisational health and business performance.

Chronic disease negatively affects worker productivity and workplaces bear a number of associated costs. Health and wellbeing programs can improve performance and productivity and reduce indirect costs from:

  • absenteeism
  • presenteeism
  • staff turnover
  • workers’ compensation
  • disability and early retirement.

Other advantages of investment in health and wellbeing include improved workplace culture, attraction of talented workers and improved organisational image.

Healthy and safe workplaces have a future because they are resilient in the face of change and adversity. They contribute to prosperity and a sustainable economy will create new opportunities.

Businesses that protect worker health are among the most successful over time.

Information Source: COMCARE.COM.AU