2.10 Insect Bites
INSECT BITES AND STINGS CAN BE LIFE-THREATENING
TO PEOPLE WITH SEVERE ALLERGY TO THE INSECT’S VENOM!
Signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction include pain, swelling of the throat, redness or discoloration at the site of the bite, itching, hives, decreased consciousness, and difficult or noisy breathing.
First aid calls for being alert for signs of allergic reaction or shock and seeking medical attention as quickly as possible for these victims!
If a stinger remains in the victim, you may try to remove it carefully with a tweezer or by scraping it with the edge of a credit card. Be careful not to squeeze the stinger, as this will inject more venom.
Once a stinger has been removed, the wound should be washed well with soap and water. Cold compresses will help relieve pain and swelling. The stung area should be kept lower than the heart to slow the circulation of the venom.
REMEMBER, IN ALL CASES OF INSECT BITES, WATCH FOR SIGNS OF ALLERGIC REACTION AND IF THEY APPEAR, SEEK PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ATTENTION WITHOUT DELAY!
2.11 Fractures, Sprains, Strains & Dislocations
Fractures, sprains, strains, and dislocations may be hard for the layperson to tell apart. For this reason, first aid treatment of any of these conditions is handled as though the injury was a fracture.
Signs and symptoms of the above conditions may include a “grating” sensation of bones rubbing together, pain, tenderness, swelling, bruising, and an inability to move the injured part.
First Aid for any of these conditions comprises:
• Control bleeding, if present.
• Care for shock.
• Splint affected area to prevent further movement, but do so only if possible without causing further pain to the victim.
• Cold packs may help reduce pain and swelling.
Victims with traumatic injuries, such as those caused by automobile accidents, falls, etc. should not be moved except by trained rescue workers. Head, neck, and back injuries are serious and require special care for the movement and transport of victims with these conditions. In exceptional circumstances, such as when a victim is at risk of further injury unless moved, the victim’s head and neck should be stabilized and the body moved with minimal flexing of the head, neck, or spinal cord.
ALL VICTIMS WITH FRACTURES, DISLOCATIONS, SPRAINS, AND STRAINS REQUIRE PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ATTENTION.
Over a million cases of poisoning occur in the world each year, most involving young children.
PREVENTION of poisoning should be the concern of every parent with young children.
Substances that are likely to cause poisoning should be kept away from inquiring youngsters!
Since various poisons cause different symptoms, and because treatments vary depending upon the substance ingested, the first step in the event of poisoning is to call the local POISON CONTROL CENTER!
DO NOT WAIT FOR SYMPTOMS TO OCCUR!
IDENTIFY THE NATURE OF THE POISON AND RECEIVE SPECIFIC CARE INSTRUCTIONS FROM THE PROFESSIONAL STAFF AT THE CENTER!
All poisoning victims need to be monitored carefully for signs of shock or impaired consciousness.
Every household should keep ACTIVATED CHARCOAL & SYRUP OF IPECAC on hand for possible use in poisoning emergencies, however they should not be administered unless instructed by the Poison Control Center staff. Both of these items are readily available, without prescription, at any drug store.
2.13 Diabetic Emergencies
Sugar is required in the body for nourishment. Insulin is a hormone that helps the body use sugar. When the body does not produce enough Insulin, body cells do not get the needed nourishment, and diabetes results.
People with this condition take Insulin to keep their diabetes under control.
Diabetics are subject to two very different types of emergencies:
Insulin Reaction (or Insulin Shock)
This condition occurs when there is TOO MUCH INSULIN in the body. This condition rapidly reduces the level of sugar in the blood and brain cells suffer.
Insulin reaction can be caused by taking too much medication, by failing to eat, by heavy exercise, and by emotional factors.
SIGNS & SYMPTOMS: Fast breathing, fast pulse, dizziness, weakness, change in the level of consciousness, vision difficulties, sweating, headache, numb hands or feet, and hunger.
This condition occurs when there is TOO MUCH SUGAR and too little INSULIN in the blood and body cells do not get enough nourishment.
Diabetic coma can be caused by eating too much sugar, by not taking prescribed medications, by stress, and by infection.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS: Diabetic coma develops more slowly than Insulin shock, sometimes over a period of days. Signs and symptoms include drowsiness, confusion, deep and fast breathing, thirst, dehydration, fever, a change in the level of consciousness, and a peculiar sweet or fruity-smelling breath.
First Aid for Insulin Reaction and Diabetic Coma
Looking for the signs and symptoms listed above will help to distinguish the two diabetic emergencies. In addition, if the patient is conscious, you can ask two very important questions which will help determine the nature of the problem:
• ASK “HAVE YOU EATEN TODAY?”
Someone who has eaten, but has not taken prescribed medication may be in a diabetic coma.
• ASK “HAVE YOU TAKEN YOUR MEDICATION TODAY?”
Someone who has not eaten, but took his or her medication, maybe having an Insulin reaction.
DISTINGUISHING BETWEEN THE TWO TYPES OF DIABETIC EMERGENCIES CAN BE DIFFICULT.
(Always look for an identifying bracelet, if any, which may reveal a person’s condition)
OF THE TWO CONDITIONS, INSULIN SHOCK IS A TRUE EMERGENCY, WHICH REQUIRES PROMPT ACTION!
A PERSON IN INSULIN SHOCK NEEDS SUGAR, QUICKLY! IF THE PERSON IS CONSCIOUS, GIVE SUGAR IN ANY FORM: CANDY, FRUIT JUICE, OR A SOFT DRINK!
SUGAR GIVEN TO A PERSON IN INSULIN SHOCK CAN BE LIFE-SAVING! IF THE PERSON IS SUFFERING FROM DIABETIC COMA, THE SUGAR IS NOT REQUIRED BUT WILL NOT CAUSE THEM FURTHER HARM.
Monitor victims carefully. Seek professional help.