Headaches are one of the most common complaints among adults and the cause is not always clearly identifiable. When headaches arise after an accident, be it an injury sustained during a car crash or from a fall, it has to be assessed more closely. Sometimes a person who always suffered with headaches finds that it worsens after an accident. There are several reasons why headaches may arise after an injury. But sometimes the cause is not always obvious and can continue for months or years for no discernible medical reason.
ABCD – First Aid: Injuries, Poisoning's Articles Archives
Insect bites and stings are undoubtedly going to occur many times in the course of human life. For some people living in more rural areas, insect bites and stings may be an almost daily occurrence and can be serious. However, in the more developed areas these bites and stings are usually harmless as the more venomous insects would have been eradicated to a large extent. Therefore the vast majority of insect bites and stings can be managed at home.
We all fall at some time or the other. For children it is a common occurrence but in most cases the consequences are not severe. Not only do children have more flexible bones that can withstand the impact, they also tend to recover faster. However, a fall can be much more serious for adults, especially as they get older. Most of the time we get back onto our feet and continue with daily activities after a fall unless there is an open wound of fractured bone. But sometimes the most unassuming of fall injuries can be serious.
Alcohol consumption has a direct effect on the body which is often harmful or at least not helpful to efficient functioning. The presence of alcohol and its byproducts affects different organs and tissues in the body in different ways. Collectively we refer to these effects as alcohol intoxication. It is therefore important to be responsible about how much of alcohol you consume, especially if you are going to be in a position where you could compromise your safety or that of others by driving a vehicle or operating heavy machinery.
A hot bath may be relaxing at the end of a long day. But depending on the temperature of your bath water and duration of bathing, it can hold several health risks. The bathroom is known for being dangerous mainly because of wet floors being slippery and often resulting in falls. For the elderly, the bathroom is one of the most dangerous areas of the house with more accidents happening in the bathroom than anywhere else. However, the act of bathing itself may further contribute to the likelihood of accidents in the bathroom.
The fear about poisoning is not unfounded even with the regulatory and medical advances these days. Many household goods that previously had the potential to be dangerous poisons have been made safer. Those that are still dangerous are usually clearly marked and have safety measures like tamper-proof caps thereby decreasing the chances of accidental poisoning especially in children. But poisoning still occurs, even with otherwise relatively “harmless” OTC medication, stronger prescription drugs, antifreeze, brake fluid and strong detergents.
Insecticide or pesticide poisoning is still a real risk within the household. The formulation of many insecticides/pesticides has been changed in recent years to make it less toxic to humans. But not entirely so. Garden pesticides that are often needed to battle more hardy pests in the outdoor environment is still highly toxic. But even indoor insecticides can also be a problem if it is ingested or large amounts of an aerosol insecticide is inhaled especially in a closed room. So how do you know if you, an adult or a child has been poisoned with an insecticide/pesticide? Spotting the signs and symptoms of acute poisoning as early as possible can make the difference between life and death.
continue reading 10 Acute Pesticide Poisoning Symptoms (Ingested, Inhaled, Skin Contact)
What is botulism?
Botulism is a medical condition caused by nerve toxins (neurotoxins) produced by a specific type of bacteria known as Clostridium botulinum. This neurotoxin blocks nerve impulses thereby leading to muscle weakness and paralysis. It is potentially fatal as it can lead to respiratory arrest. Botulism is therefore always treated as a medical emergency. The nerve damage with botulism is irreversible at times and recover may take long periods of time after the toxin is eliminated from the system. However, this neurotoxin also has medical uses such as wrinkle reduction, eyelid twitching and excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis) at specific areas of the body.
What is foreign body aspiration?
Foreign body aspiration is a medical emergency that arises when an object enters the airways. Depending on the size of the object, either a solid or semi-solid, it may obstruct the airways. A significant or complete obstruction can be life-threatening within minutes. Smaller objects may lodge in the tract, causing inflammation and increasing the chances of infection. Although children are the highest risk group, foreign body aspiration can affect any age group. Foreign body aspiration in young children is largely due to purposely swallowing large or inedible objects, whereas with adults it primarily due to throat problems, use of sedatives and an impaired gag reflex.
What is toluene?
Toluene (methyl benzene) is a chemical that is widely used in various substances within the home such as glue, paint and paint removers, and polish. It is also widely used for various industrial purposes. Toluene is volatile meaning that it disperses into the air and can thereby be inhaled. In high doses, it can be toxic. Due to its ability to cross the blood brain barrier and affect the central nervous system, it is an important chemical in everyday substances that can induce as sense of euphoria among other neurological disruption.
What is glue sniffing?
Glue sniffing is a global problem mainly among children. It involves voluntarily inhalation of glue or a rag soaked in glue to induce a sense of euphoria. Glue sniffing is a form of addiction largely due to the effects of the substance toluene within these preparations. Other toluene-containing substances could be used for a similar purpose. However, glue is often the preferred substance because it is easy to access and cheap.
What is a cold injury?
A cold injury is any disruption of internal processes, damage or death to tissue and associated complications that results from exposure to cold. This includes cold weather, cold water, snow, ice and liquid gas. Although the body has various means to tolerate and cope with cold, minimize damage and regulate the internal temperature, there comes a point where this is insufficient. Cold injury is dependent on the temperature of the environment or substance and the duration of exposure. The injury may also be determined by clothing and other other protective gear that can play a role in minimizing the severity of the injury.
Pancreatic Trauma Definition
The term pancreatic trauma refers to injury of the pancreas, the elongated gland that sits in the upper middle quadrant of the abdomen. This can occur with blunt force trauma or sharp penetrating injuries. The pancreas is among the more commonly injured organ as it has very limited protection from the ribcage and is therefore quite exposed in the abdomen. A car accident injury or assault are two of the most common causes of pancreatic trauma. It is difficult to identify pancreatic trauma when it is very minor. Treatment in these cases of minimal injury is much easier. However, with moderate the severe trauma, it is very difficult to treat and manage the injured pancreas.
What is argyria?
Argyria is a condition caused by prolonged contact with silver or consuming silver in food and fluids. Less commonly, excessive and prolonged use of drugs containing small amounts of silver may also lead to agyria, as well as the use of silver during certain surgical and dental procedures. The exposure to silver can be seen as discolored patches on the skin blue-gray to gray-black in color. The mucous membranes lining the eyes (conjunctiva) and inside of the mouth (oral mucosa) may also have this discoloration. Overall argyria is a rare condition in this day and age and usually does not have any serious health effects beyond the skin discoloration. It is nevertheless important to understand that in very large doses, silver ingestion can be fatal.
What is heat illness?
Heat illness or more correctly heat-related illness is a broad term to describe any disturbance that arises in the body as a result of heat. It is commonly known as excessive body heat or hyperthermia. As the temperature rises there are various symptoms that will be seen as a result of the heat. There are many different forms of heat illness and the symptoms may vary but the most extreme type, heatstroke, is potentially life threatening. Every year heatstroke causes the deaths of thousands of people across the world. It is more likely when there is a heat wave in a place where people are not accustomed to dealing with uncharacteristically high temperatures. Death is more likely in babies and the elderly.
What is an electrical shock?
An electrical shock is an injury that occurs when the body comes into contact with a source of electrical energy. The severity of the electrical shock is dependent on several factors such as the :
- the voltage of the electrical source,
- the type of current – direct or alternating current, and
- the type of power source.
Electrical shock injuries in children are more likely to be seen in the home environment while adult injuries are usually in the work environment, particularly in factories and when handling heavy machinery. Apart from the factors relating to the power source, a person’s overall state of health can also determine the outcome of an electrical shock. Effects of the injury can range from electrical burns to death. Prompt medical attention following the incident can prevent a fatal outcome in certain instances.
What is alcohol poisoning?
Alcohol poisoning is a serious problem that can occur with drinking excessive amounts of alcoholic beverages in a short period of time. The quantity of the alcohol consumed and its byproducts after being metabolized may be toxic to the body. It can therefore result in several systems in the body shutting down and eventually failing, sometimes even leading to death. There are several different types of alcohol which should be differentiated from each other as some are not fit for human consumption. These other types of alcohol can be toxic in even small doses.
Types of Alcohol
The term alcohol can sometimes be confusing because it is a group of substances that are chemically similar. Ethanol is one type of alcohol and is usually found in alcoholic beverages. Although humans can consume ethanol, in large doses especially if this is ingested over a short period of time, it can be toxic. The other types of alcohol may not be meant to be consumed, but may be ingested accidentally or intentionally. The more common types of alcohol that may be consumed by humans, other than ethanol, is methanol, isopropanol or ethyl glycol.
With the increasing use of ecstasy (MDMA) as a recreational drug, overdosing is fairly common. Ecstasy is an illicit drug, often used in combination with other drugs, which greatly increases the risk of toxicity. There is no such thing as a safe dose of the drug and even a minimum amount can produce toxicity and death. It is not just about individual sensitivity and dose, but also the substances added to bulk up the drug (“cut” it) that may contribute to this toxicity. There is no antidote for ecstasy poisoning.
The Drug Ecstasy
Ecstasy or 3, 4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) is a semi-synthetic psychoactive drug which possesses both hallucinogenic and stimulant properties. Ecstasy is a “designer” amphetamine and contains chemical variations of the stimulant amphetamine or methamphetamine, as well as a hallucinogen such as mescaline. This causes feelings of euphoria, emotional intimacy, increased sensuality, and loss of inhibition, as well as distorted sensory perceptions.
- ABCD – First Aid: Injuries, Poisoning
- Addiction: Alcohol, Drugs, Smoking
- Blood and Immunity
- Bones, Joints, Muscles and Connective Tissue Diseases
- Children's Health
- Current Health Articles
- Diagnostic Procedures
- Ears, Nose and Throat
- Eyes and Vision
- Gastro-Intestinal Diseases
- Genetic Diseases
- Heart and Vessels
- Hormones and Metabolism
- Infections and Infestations
- Kidneys and Urinary Tract
- Liver and Gallbladder
- Medical Questions
- Medical Terminology
- Medication, Supplements
- Men's Health
- Mental Health
- Mouth and Teeth Diseases
- Neurological Diseases
- Skin, Hair, Nails
- Sleep Related Disorders
- Surgery and Other Procedures
- Upper and Lower Limb
- Women's Health and Pregnancy