First aid for seizure 

There must be more to this story. 

A medical professional would not put anything into the mouth of a patient during a seizure. 

I see many similar stories from European football leagues and online opinion pieces in recent times which gives the practice "repetition credibility" which makes people believe it is true.

Epilepsy peak authorities the word over agree on 2 key points in the case of a seizure: 

DO NOT try to restrain the victim 

DO NOT put anything in the victims mouth It is not possible to swallow your own tongue. 

Time the seizure and, when it has subsided enough, roll the victim onto their side.

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High blood pressure-The Silent Killer

 High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) is known as the “silent killer” because most people do not know they have it until something bad happens. 

In a hypertensive crisis a blood vessel in the brain may burst resulting in a stroke. 

It is normal for blood pressure to rise and fall through out the day in response to activities and it is at its lowest during sleep.Some common causes of high blood pressure include: 

Stress: While stress reaction is normal and healthy for the body in response to imminent danger to enable a ‘fight or flight’ response long term, or chronic, stress is not. When a sudden danger appears the body will, among other things, cause a surge of hormones to be released by the adrenal glands. These include adrenaline and cortisol. 

Adrenaline will increase the heart rate, lift the blood pressure and boost energy while cortisol will increase sugar in the bloodstream. 

Cortisol also stops non essential functions that are not needed in fight or flight mode such as digestion, reproduction. 

By keeping the body in a constant state of stress mood will alter, sex drive lowered, blood sugar and pressure levels are raised which can make people at risk of adopting unhealthy lifestyle choices such as smoking, alcohol abuse and over eating. 

Alcohol abuse: Many studies have concluded that a moderate intake of alcohol, particularly red wine, is good for the heart but excessive use is not. 

Smoking including second hand smoke: Part of the smoking problem is nicotine which narrows the arteries, causing blood pressure to increase, hardens the artery walls and increases the heart rate.

Inactivity: People who exercise regularly are less likely to have higher blood pressure than those who do not 

Obesity and uncontrolled diabetes are also contributing factors. 

Blood pressure is measured in 2 numbers. The top number, systolic, is the pressure exerted on the artery wall as the heart pumps. The low number, diastolic, is the pressure on the artery wall in between pumps and is measured in on a scale of mm/Hg ( the amount of pressure required to push a column of mercury up 1 millimetre) 

Signs and symptoms of hypertension may not appear until the problem has reached crisis stage which it is important to monitor blood pressure regularly, particularly as we age. 

It is best to have this done by a medical professional but, if using a monitor at home, take it at the same time of day as it will vary. Taking blood pressure directly after taking stimulants such as coffee or smoking will result in a higher reading. 

So, what should your blood pressure be? What is normal for you may not be for someone else which is why monitoring by your doctor is recommended. As a general guide 120/80 is considered “normal” while above 180/110 is considered an emergency. 

The advice is to know what is normal for you and maintain it before developing the signs and symptoms of a hypertensive crisis which could include head ache, nose bleed, dizziness and blurred vision.

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Too young to learn CPR?

 At what age should children be taught Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation? 

Reliable sources including The American Heart Association and The Lancet report there are over 2,000 deaths per day due to out of hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) in the USA and Europe.

In the event of a Sudden Cardiac Arrest the chances of the victim surviving is doubled or even tripled if effective Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation is performed immediately. 

But at what aged should children be taught CPR? 

One study by ABC news found almost 90% of 6 - 9 year olds were able to correctly administer CPR after hands on training however they did not have the physical strength to perform effective CPR on an adult. 

In my experience it is quite easy for children to learn CPR and indeed the European Resuscitation Council does recommend it. 

The former Expired Air Resuscitation Certificate had been available to children from the age of 10, prior to it being replaced by CPR as standard practice.EAR of course was 'mouth to mouth' breathing with no chest compressions.

In European children, the study found, “the optimal age to start teaching cardiac compressions is 12 years”Obviously the age of the learner is not as much a factor as their physical size, strength and weight. 

I am not aware of studies comparing other ethic groups for example Asian children versus South Sea Islander children. 

There is however a great benefit in teaching younger children what to do in an emergency however the focus should not be on physically performing chest compressions but moreover:

· How to recognise an emergency 

· How and who to call for help 

· Position an unconscious victim 

· What to not do in an emergency

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Can you really swallow your tongue?

Why does this myth persist? I really can not understand it. 

Once again a sensational news story, about a heroic footballer who "saved an opponents life" because he had swallowed his tongue. 

This time from Portugals Primiera Liga where a goal keeper collided with the upright and appeared to be unresponsive. 

Yes, well done to the player who stopped to look after the victim but all that needed to be done, if he was breathing normally, was roll him onto his side until the medics arrived. 

Reaching down someone's throat to pull out the tongue is unnecessary. 

I can recall many similar stories from European football leagues in recent years which seams to give the practice "repetition credibility" which seems to have, once again returned this to standard practice among the public, for someone having a seizure. 

Epilepsy peak authorities the word over agree on 2 key points in the case of a seizure: 

DO NOT try to restrain the victim 

DO NOT put anything in the victims mouthIt is not possible to swallow your own tongue. 

Time the seizure and, when it has subsided enough, roll the victim onto their side. 

Photo: fennec news

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