Archive for May, 2013


Fatal Drug Overdoses on the Rise

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The biggest rise in accidental drug overdoses are among men and woman in the 45 to 64 year range, says the National Safety Council. The National Safety Council categorizes home drug overdoses as household poisonings. Since the year 2000, there has been a 100% increase in accidental poisonings. Approximately 24,000 people in the U.S. die each year from fatal drug overdoses. The main culprits are the painkiller drugs, such as, oxycodone, hydrocodone, fentanyl and buprenorphine. Many of those who use these drugs, don’t have a prescription. They were able to get these drugs from a friend or relative.

Symptoms of a Drug Overdose or Poisoning:
• Seizures
• Nausea
• Diminished level of responsiveness
• Unusual smells on breath
• Open containers or bottles nearby
• Abdominal pain or cramping

How to care for Patient
It’s important to act quickly in a drug overdose by calling 9-1-1. If the patient is still conscious you may call the U.S. National Poison Control Center at (800) 222-1222. They are the leading authority in the treatment of all poisonings. In a drug overdose case, never induce vomiting unless instructed to do so by the Poison Control Center. Save any vomit, bottles or containers for the emergency medical personnel. Consider having “Activated Charcoal” available. This is an over-the-counter medication which slows or prevents the absorption of the poison or drugs. This is only to be given by the advice of the Poison Control center and is not a cure. The victim still needs to proceed to a hospital, in case the poison or drugs need to be removed from the body.

Drug Overdose Prevention
Make sure to secure and monitor all prescribed medications, especially painkillers, in the home. Routinely clear out all old medications from your home medicine cabinet. Dispose of any remaining pills, after expiration dates or if they are no longer needed. And never, in any event, give someone else, medications that have not been prescribed to them by a doctor.

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Compression Only CPR

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The American Heart Association (AHA) gave a “Call to Action” for bystander witnessed out-of-hospital cardiac arrest of probable cardiac origin. The news media picked this up and announced to the public that the new AHA recommendation is to do compression only CPR. From the number of calls we received there seems to be a lot of confusion.

This call to action for bystander does NOT apply to unwitnessed cardiac arrest, cardiac arrest in infants, children, or cardiac arrest presumed to be of non-cardiac origin, such as drowning, trauma, airway obstruction, acute respiratory disease and apnea (such as associated with drug overdose).

Now if my clarification begins to sound too confusing, let me try to simplify. The new recommendation seem to be directed towards the non-trained rescuer. The idea of having more people getting involved, in providing care, would lead to more successful resuscitation. Many people may be reluctant to get involved due to the fear of contracting a disease (through mouth to mouth breaths) or being unable to provide proper CPR skills.

The new guidelines are as follows:

* If a bystander is not trained in CPR, then the bystander should provide hands-only (compression) CPR, pushing in the middle of the chest hard and fast until an AED arrives or emergency personnel take over the care of the victim.

* If a bystander was previously trained in CPR skills and is confident in his/hers ability to provide rescue breaths with minimal interruptions in chest compressions, then the bystander should provide conventional CPR using the 30:2 compression to ventilation ratio.

* If a bystander was previously trained in CPR skills and is NOT confident in his/hers ability to provide conventional CPR, then the bystander should provide hands-only (compression) CPR, pushing in the middle of the chest hard and fast until an AED arrives or emergency personnel take over the care of the victim.

If you know your skills and are confident in performing them, the best care for the victim is still CPR with compressions and rescue ventilations. On the other hand if you are reluctant or have not had proper CPR training, then beginning chest compressions alone without rescue ventilations is beneficial to the victim and should be start immediately.

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Epi-Pen and Allergy First Aid Kit

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Springtime brings more bites and stings. Here’s a few suggestions for a simple allergy first aid kit.

Now that the weather is getting better and we’re planning more outdoor activities, it would be prudent to carry a few additional items to help guard and treat any type of an allergic reaction. Bees, plants and pollens can turn a simple enjoyable afternoon into a sneezing, itchy and in a severe case, a life threatening situations. By carrying a few essential items you can help combat many of these irritants.


Here are a few items we suggest:

  • Moisturizer – Eases skin irritation due to dryness.
  • Hydro-cortisone cream – Helps treat itchy skin reactions.
  • Eye drops – Can reduce inflammation, reddening, itchy, tearing and swelling of the eyes.
  • Decongestants and Nasal Sprays – Reduce the discomfort of nasal swelling and stuffiness.
  • Antihistamines – A powerful relief for allergy symptoms.
  • Inhaler and Bronchodilators – For those who have asthma or other pulmonary distresses.
  • Epi-pen – Many of us can have a serious reaction to a substance like bee stings, shellfish or peanuts. This self-induce injection can save a person life with this sensitivity. Only a doctor can prescribe.
  • Vaseline – Rubbing a small amount of Vaseline on the inner portion of the nose with a Q-Tip has given many relief from recurring nosebleeds. When seasons change and the air gets dryer, many children suffer from frequent nose bleeds. Applying a thin layer of Vaseline to the inner portion of the nasal canal helps keep the nasal passages moist and has reported to reduce the number of nosebleeds. Apply in the morning and just before bedtime.

Those who have experienced a severe reaction to a substance should see a doctor immediately.  For future protection the physician may presribe an Epi-Pen.  This is an easily sef used injectable dose of epinephrine, which helps counteract the severe allergic reaction.  Without epinephrine an anaphylactic reaction could quickly become fatal.

Reference: First Aid


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Have Hayfever, Eat an Orange

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Actually eat a Northern California Mandarin orange. This specific orange contains a high amount of natural antihistamine that relieves a stuffy nose due to a cold or allergies.

A U.S. Government study found, that 10 ounces of the Owari Satsuma mandarin orange that grows in and around Placer County, contains up to 6 times the synephrine as the same quantity of other oranges. This is the same amount of synephrine you receive with an over-the-counter decongestant pill.

So next time you are feeling nose stuffiness due to pollen in the air, consider treating it naturally by eating an orange.

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Do Dogs Die From Heat Stroke?

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Absolutely, in fact during the summer months heat illnesses are one of the leading causes for an emergency Vet visit. Unlike humans, dogs do not have sweat glands and all internal heat is released from their body’s by panting, which can make dogs more susceptible to heat exhaustion if excited or exercised too vigorously during hot days. Signs of a dog in heat exhaustion are:

• Increased rectal temperature, normal temperature range is 100.5 – 102.5. (Over 104° requires action; over 106° is a dire emergency).
• Vigorous panting
• Gums become a dark red
• Dry mucus membranes (specifically around the gums)
• Lying down and unwilling to get up
• Collapse and/or loss of consciousness
• Thick saliva
• Dizziness or disorientation

If you suspect heat exhaustion, stop all activity and get the dog into shade or a cooler environment. Place wet rags on the foot pads and around the dog’s neck. If you use water to cool them, make sure it is temped and not extremely cold water. Try not to use ice, ice causes blood vessels to constrict and will prevent the core from cooling properly. Place fans to blow cool air on a dog’s coat.

If not treated, heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke which is a life threatening condition. This happens when the core body temperature is above 105° or higher. At this temperature brain and organ damage begins. Dog breeds with short noses, such as pugs, bulldogs and mastiffs are more susceptible and need to be watched more closely. To prevent heat exhaustion and heat stroke:

• NEVER leave your dog in a car. A dog’s body temperature can elevate into the danger zone in less than 20 minutes.
• Use moderate activities during hot days.
• Have plenty of water for your dog to drink.
• Give your dog ample opportunities to rest in the shade.

Some dogs can recover fully from heat stroke if it is caught early enough. Others suffer permanent organ damage and require lifelong treatment. Sadly, many dogs do not survive heat stroke. Prevention is the key to keeping your dog safe during warmer weather.

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Weight Loss and Migraines

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A recent study suggest that weight loss can reduce or eliminate migraine headaches. Over 45 million Americans suffer from migraine headaches. Migraines are painful and can reduce the quality of your life. Some of the symptoms of a migraine headache can include:

• A severe headache
• Vomitting
• Nausea
• And sensitivity to light

In two studies presented at the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, obese patients who went through gastric bypass surgery not only lost weight but reduced or eliminated the incidents of migraine headaches. In one study, of the 51 people suffering from migraines, 41 reported no incidents of migraine headaches after surgery. While an additional seven (7) people reported improvements.

Doctors cautioned, that though this information is interesting and can give them more insights to the causes of migraines, it is preliminary and has not gone through the peer review process.

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