safety

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

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

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

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