Advanced First Aid Training

Perhaps you are someone who has already gotten an ample amount of training in first aid. You know that basics, from CPR to setting a bone, and now want to expand your repertoire of what help you can give medically in an emergency situation. Well, while there are certainly a few more things that you can learn and practice, you will soon meet a ceiling with what you can do with first aid alone. If you still have a desire to do more and help, then perhaps a medical career is up your alley.

But if not, there is always gaining more data and information. The video below outlines a few more advanced first aid procedures. So if you want to expand on what you already know, then check it out.

You will also need some more advanced equipment to practice these advanced first aid techniques, like Automated External Defibrillators and other items, so keep that in mine.

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How Doctors Can Prepare For Delivery

baby-499976_960_720One of the most important moments in a person’s life is experiencing the miracle of birth. But aside from being important and a usually joyous occasion, it can also be dangerous. This is why it is extremely important that whoever is overseeing the delivery is competent and experienced at what to do should something go wrong. So usually, you’ll want a doctor who knows his business well to take care of it. But what about a new doctor? After all, everyone has their first time. How is it that new doctors can go into the work field ready? That all boils down to training.

In medical school, proper training is everything. One needs to be ready for whatever illness or injury they will face with their future patients, and childbirth is also something that must be adequately prepared for, But since delivering a child as an apprentice isn’t going to be part of every medical student’s training, then what will give them the experience needed?

Well, medical manikins, especially birthing simulators can really help in this area. A medical manikin is essentially a dummy, and a birthing simulator is a whole body dummy that represents a woman giving birth, complete with child and all. Using this training aid, medical students can adequately prepare for the real thing, and have a sense of familiarity before undertaking an actual birth.

Study in books and journals isn’t enough. Medicine is a very hands-on thing and needs to be physically experienced and worked with. These medical manikins allow for doctors to give good practice to their techniques and procedures, before ever touching an actual patient. This makes for safer practice and better results.

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Better Midwife Training

baby-718146_960_720The midwife is a staple for many before, during and after childbirth. There is comfort in knowing that there is someone around who is there exclusively for you, and who has herself experienced what is about to happen, both personally and with others before you. Even though she is not a doctor, and is not a substitute for one, she is still a calming and useful element.

But while most midwives are trained in some of the basic theory and techniques of childbirth, not all of them have personally practiced delivering a baby. That is to say, being the one who catches the newborn and knows that problems signs to look for and how to handle them on the “business end”. This is why it would be a good idea for more midwives to train using a birthing simulator.

A birthing simulator is a medical manikin that represents a woman giving birth. It can be positioned in a variety of poses and includes a model baby which will be forced out of a synthetic vagina. It is actually quite realistic and provides a great training experience for anyone who is going to have anything to do with delivering a baby.

Obviously, the more training a person has, the better prepared they will be to handle an emergency should one come up. And a birthing simulator is the best way to train people on properly handling the miracle of birth.

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Preparing For A Death In The Family

angel-1500972_960_720Sometimes, your time is simply up. Though it is typically an unpleasant point of discussion, death is a completely natural and (as of right now) inevitable part of life. We all have our time, whether long or short, and when it’s over, it’s over, no matter what you have in your medical supply bag. So while we try to learn first aid so that we can preserve and save life whenever possible, we must understand and accept that sometimes, it is the only result.

Therefore, we need to be prepared for and ready to handle a death when it happens. Usually, we would prefer if it comes as no surprise. The person has had a chance to say their goodbyes, and no one is caught off guard. This would be the most optimum way to go about it. if someone you know is nearing that point, help them to get in contact with those they wish to communicate with. Help them to terminate or hand-off any things they may be in the middle of (you don’t want to have the person pass having unfinished business). Essentially, you want to make it very “ok” for the person to depart. We don’t truly know what happens afterward, but if existence continues on in another form, then let’s make it as easy for the person to do so as possible.

If the death comes unexpectedly, this can be harder. Usually, the priority is to help the surviving family with they issued that they will now need to take care of. Expenses, property, etc. All these things, while not in the front of everyone’s mind, can make things hard for an already grieving family. By assisting with these things, you can make the situation a bit better. Also, being an ear to  talk to can make a big difference. People will grieve in their own way, but if you can, try to get the rest of the family to engage in some group activity. Remembering the best about the person who dies is usually beneficial as people can feel gratefulness for the time they did have together.

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Preventing Infections

bacteria-106583_960_720One of the biggest worries and concerns that modern physicians have is one that has been with the medical community since it was discovered: keeping the spread of infections down to a minimum. As this is the primary cause of most complications from surgeries as well as other procedures, it is a good target of address. It is also the cause of many deaths, wherein one has an already-weakened immune system, and an infection goes out of control and pushes the whole thing over. So controlling infection is important to say the least.

Fortunately, there are many ways that doctors and other medical professionals keep infections at bay. The first is to have a sanitary environment to work in. You know that sterile smell in most hospitals? That comes from the cleaning agents employed to kill germs and bacteria.

Another way to fight infection is to use disposable medical equipment. Ever see those plastic tips that doctors put on devices like when they check your temperature? This is so that the same instrument is not touching multiple people, and potentially spreading germs around. Many different types of medical tools are disposable, or at least come with disposable parts to keep infections in check (check out some of them here:

Another way to help prevent the spread of germs is to keep all surfaces clean. This is why examinations tables usually have a roll of disposable paper that is used to overlay it. This way each patient’s germs stay their own. If these precautions weren’t in place, people would undoubtedly get sicker every time they went to the doctor from all the diseases other patients are carrying.

So also keep in mind that it is important to keep one’s home clean as well to prevent the spread of germs there too.

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Handling A Broken Bone

accident-1238326_960_720Broken bones can be scary. And not just for the injured person, but also for those helping him. In all of first aid, this is one of the least-known things to be handled, yet it is really kind of simple.

The idea is that when you break a bone, you need to immobilize that area so as to not cause further harm. This isn’t such a big deal with a hairline fracture (you may not even know the bone is broken), but in more severe breaks, you’ll need to stop bone splinters from tearing or puncturing other parts.

This guide here from gives a good idea on how to splint up a broken bone:

Part 1 of 4: Overview

What Is a Splint?

A splint is a piece of medical equipment used to keep an injured body part from moving and to protect it from any further damage.

A splint is often used to stabilize a broken bone while the injured person is taken to the hospital for more advanced treatment. It can also be used if you have a severe strain or sprain in one of your limbs. Placed properly, a splint will help ease the pain of an injury by making sure that the wounded area does not move.

If you or a loved one is injured at home or during an activity, such as hiking, you can create a temporary splint from materials around you.

 Part 2 of 4: Materials

What You Will Need to Make a Splint

The first thing you will need to make a splint is something rigid (hard to bend) in order to stabilize the fracture. This could be a rolled-up newspaper, a heavy stick, a board or plank, or a rolled-up towel. If you are using something with sharp edges or something that might cause splinters, such as a stick or board, be sure to pad it by wrapping it in cloth.

You will also need something to fasten the splint in place. Shoelaces, belts, ropes, and strips of cloth will work. Medical tape can also be used if you have it. Try not to place commercial tape, such as duct tape, directly against a person’s skin.

(you could also just have a splint kit ready:

Part 3 of 4: Application

How to Apply a Splint

Attend to any bleeding before you attempt to place the splint. You can stop the bleeding by putting pressure directly on the wound. Then, apply a bandage, a square of gauze, or a piece of cloth. Do not try to move the body part that needs to be splinted — you may accidentally cause more damage.

Place the splint so that it rests on the joint above the injury and the joint below it. For example, if you are splinting a forearm, place the rigid support item under the forearm. Then, tie or tape it to the arm just below the wrist and above the elbow.

Avoid placing ties directly over the injured area. You should fasten the splint tightly enough to hold the body part still, but not so tightly that the ties will cut off the person’s circulation.

Once the splint is applied, you should check the areas around it every few minutes for signs of decreased blood circulation. If the extremities begin to appear pale, swollen, or tinged with blue, loosen the ties that are holding the splint.

If the injured person complains that the splint is causing pain, try loosening the ties a little. Then, check that no ties were placed directly over an injury. If these measures do not help and the person is still feeling pain from the splint, you should remove it.

The injured person may be suffering from shock if they are feeling faint or taking only short, rapid breaths. In this case, try to lay the person down without affecting the injured body part. If possible, you should elevate their legs and position their head slightly below heart level.

After you have applied the splint and the injured body part is no longer able to move, call 911 or take your loved one to the nearest urgent care clinic or emergency room for a checkup and further treatment.

Part 4 of 4: Hand Splints

Splinting the Hand

The hand is an especially difficult area to immobilize. Here are some tips for making your own hand splint.

First, treat any open wounds and control any bleeding. Then, place a wad of cloth in the palm of the injured person’s hand. A washcloth, a ball of socks, or a tennis ball can work well. Ask the person to close their fingers loosely around the object.

After the person’s fingers are closed around the object, loosely place padding between their fingers. Next, use a large piece of cloth or gauze to wrap the whole hand from the fingertips to the wrist. The cloth should go across the hand, from the thumb to the pinkie.

Finally, secure the cloth with tape or ties. Make sure to leave the fingertips uncovered. This will allow you to check for signs of poor circulation.

Once the hand splint is on, seek medical attention at an emergency room or urgent care center as soon as possible.

Also for your reference, here’s a video of the procedure:

Hopefully you now have a good idea of how to handle this sort of thing should you ever need to.

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Why Proper First Aid Training Is Necessary

When it comes to handling emergencies, there’s no substitute for proper first aid training. While many people lead understandably busy lives and the thought of taking a first aid class seems impossible, the moment the need for such training presents itself, you’ll wish you had it. This has lead many people to where they normally go for answers: the internet. Online, you’ll find loads of information and even “courses” on how to do various first aid techniques. While this is, of course, better than no information or training whatsoever, it’s still not a sufficient substitute.

Why? Well, because in an emergency, you’ll have little time to think and will just have to act. Your own uncertainties will slow you down as you’ve never physically carried out the motions of whatever procedure you’re about to attempt. Whether it’s good old fashioned CPR, setting a bone or preventing blood loss, the right training can make all the difference?

That’s because not only will you be mentally prepared with the data, but you’ll also have some physical experience. For example, people who train to do CPR use a CPR training manikin so that they can practice chest compressions and proper breathing. This way they not only have the information about how to carry out the procedure, but also the muscle memory of doing it. In an emergency situation, there may be lots of things to distract you while trying to help someone and all of the benefits of proper training come into play.

So don’t underestimate what value correct first aid training has in store. Pray that you’re never in need of it, but should you find yourself there one day, I hope that you took the time to get the training necessary to handle the situation.

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Performing CPR On A Child

childOf all of the common first aid techniques, CPR it undoubtedly the most ubiquitous. And while it has the ability to be one of the most crucial, it can also be one of the more dangerous procedures to apply. How’s that? Well, it can be very dangerous to apply it to a child.

As CPR goes, you’ll have to breathe for the victim by forcing air into their lungs. You’ll also have to essentially beat their heart for them by applying pressure to their chest. In a child, their lungs are smaller, so overfilling is an issue. Their chest and ribs are smaller as well, so the threat of applying too much pressure to the chest, and possibly harming internal organs is also present. This is why proper CPR training is essential if one is to perform it on a child.

As children vary in size, you’ll need to have at least some familiarization with performing the procedure on various body sizes. This is where a CPR manikin comes into play. It is a physical representation of the human body which is designed for use in CPR training. They come in all sizes so one can practice on a child or baby CPR manikin and get a literal feel for how much to breathe and how hard to press. This why one already knows what to do in the event of an emergency. This greatly reduces the risk of accidental injury and improves the chances of patient survival.

This training isn’t very expensive. In fact, one can often find it for free in their city. Also, while not as effective as hands-on training, one can at least gain familiarity with an online CPR course.


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Being Prepared Everywhere

Taken in Townsville Qld Australia.© I retain copyright.

Most people know the importance of having a first aid kit around. This is why you’ll find one in most any home. But you don’t spend all of your time at home, so if you only have one, you won’t exactly have one around if you aren’t at home. So it’s important to have several in the various places where you spend time.

They easiest way to do this is to just buy some pre-made first aid kits and keep them wherever you’ll need them: at home, in the car, at work, and anywhere else applicable. But those kits can be expensive, and your money will go much further if you assemble them yourself.

First, you’ll want to get some medical bags or good waterproof containers to keep everything in. Then you’ll need to get all the usual supplies for general first aid. In addition to this, you’ll want some of the various “location specific” tools and supplies depending on where that particular kit will be. For example, if you have a kit that you keep in the truck that you use to go camping in, you’ll want that one to contain anti-histamine cream and pills in case of allergies or poisonous plants. If you have a kit at work, depending on the kind of work you do, you’ll need to prepare the adequate and likely equipment.

Finally, you’ll want to place the kits in their proper location. The trunk or glove compartment will work for the car (or under a seat if it will fit). In your office or break room where you work is a good idea for a storage location. You’ll also want to make sure that others know where these kits are to be found and that they exist so that it can be used even if you aren’t around (or if you are the victim!)

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Some Common Cures For Headaches

headache pillsThe headache is one of the most annoying, frustrating, distracting and unwelcome sensations. They range from a slight nagging in the head to crippling migraines that stop a person from doing pretty much anything. The natural reaction is to go for a pain killer, but some may not want to just to that route. All drugs (even over the counter ones) can have side effects, and the accumulation of drug residues in the body can cause unwanted effects later in life. So as an alternative to pills, here’s a few cures for common sources of headaches.

The first is that the body is thirsty or malnourished. Many people get caught up in their busy days that they forget to eat, or don’t eat enough. Your stomach may be used to not having a lot, but your body may still be suffering, and a headache can be the result. If you haven’t eaten in a while, have a snack and that may subside your symptoms. Also drink plenty of water too as headaches are a symptom of dehydration.

You may be deficient in salt and/or potassium. When you sweat, these minerals are lost, and your body needs them. If you live in a warm climate (or have been outside on a hot day), then this may be the cause of your headache. We don’t usually notice this when we sweat at the gym because we tend to drink sports drinks which replace these minerals. But a day at the beach or just a walk in the summer could do it. You can buy salt and potassium tablets at any pharmacy.

You may also be suffering from eye strain. Especially if your job involves staring at a screen all day long. Give your eyes a rest and see if you can shut them for a few minutes. Or try focusing on objects far away (to give the muscles that control your lenses a break). Find more info here:

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Taking Care Of Family With Allergies

peanutWhen most people think of allergies, they think of people with itchy eyes and runny noses during allergy season. Yes, those are some symptoms of common airborne allergens and they can be very frustrating and annoying. However, these types of allergic reactions are not exactly the biggest cause for concern. As annoying as they may be, they are nothing compared to people with serious allergic reactions to types of foods.

For example, there was recently a story about a girl who tragically died after kissing her boyfriend who’d recently eaten a peanut butter sandwich. These types of serious allergens are what were are most concerned about. So if you live with or are someone with this type of condition, there are a few things that you need to have around you and be aware of at all times in order to stay safe and healthy.

The first thing is to understand your allergy completely. Some people have to eat a certain type of food in order to have a reaction. Others only need to touch it or smell it before the symptoms start. So knowing just how allergic you are will help.

The next thing is to know what types of foods will use your arch-nemesis as an ingredient. My wife is allergic to peaches, and therefore needs to avoid certain items in Chinese food. It’s not that she’s in fear of eating, she just stays aware of what she puts in her mouth.

You also need to be prepared for the event of accidental ingestion/exposure. For some, carrying around a form of antihistamine tables is enough. For others who experience anaphylaxis (the most serious allergic reaction), an EPI Pen is needed. As put by

Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening condition. Call 911 immediately. Emergency personnel usually administer epinephrine (adrenaline) immediately. The sooner you receive a dose of epinephrine, the greater your chances for survival.

Once you’ve experienced anaphylaxis, your doctor can prescribe emergency epinephrine (EpiPen®) so you can carry it with you. The autoinjector comes with a single dose of medication you can inject into your thigh. Remember to replace the medication if unused by the expiration date. Educate family and close friends on how to administer the medication in the event of an emergency.

Once administered immediately, paramedics can take the person away on a stretcher and get them to a hospital.

Being prepared is what can make all the difference in these types of situations.

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Why Bedside Manner, Matters

bedside mannerWhen you’re a doctor, sometimes training and expertise in your field aren’t enough. You could be the best of the best as far as application of medicinal technology, but still fall down in one area: bedside manner.

Bedside manner is defined as: the attitude, approach, and deportment of a doctor with patients. Bedside manner is demonstrated in the way a doctor conducts himself with his patients. It is the understanding he has and shows the people that he works with. It is how he carries himself in various situations.

Let’s take a look at an example with pediatrics. No child wants to get a shot, yet they are often necessary. A doctor who authoritatively orders the child to sit still and receive the shot is likely to upset the child as well as the parent. The child will make it more difficult when it comes time for the next appointment and may even successfully talk their parents out if it. A doctor with good bedside manner will have more success and ease in this area.

Same goes for dealing with adult patients. You may have someone in need of some weight loss. Their lack of discipline may annoy you, but scolding will not get you as far as proper communication. As the old saying goes, you get more does with honey than you do with vinegar.

Realize that while medicine is a very scientific matter, you are still dealing with people, making it partially one of the humanities as well. Proper communication and conduct are therefore a must as well. Besides, a positive attitude from both doctor and patient will only assist treatment. You wouldn’t want to be being taken away in a stretcher splint with a doctor who won’t say even a single reassuring word, would you? Manner matters.

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A Few Cautions About Self Diagnosis

warning-alert-signAt line in an age where information is almost instantaneous. We have grown accustomed to having our requests for data being met in the blink of an eye. Want to know how much money is in your back account right now? You can probably find out in a few clicks. Want to check how much rent costs in Denver? Again, only a few seconds stands between you and having the answer. So it’s no wonder that many people are also looking for answers to their medical questions in a similar way, expecting near instant responses.

There are lots of websites that seem to offer this data. And I use the word “seem” carefully. These types of sites text to be more of a site of database of diseases and their symptoms and usually a brief bit about their treatment. Many people go to these sites when they are feeling ill in hope of finding a quick remedy. Sometimes you can find just that. But other times complications could result.

This is because of two factors. The first is that people tend to diagnose themselves with every illness under the sun, moon and stars. This can lead a person to believe that they are shocked than they are, and that can actually make a person sick!

The second, and more important problem, is that a serious condition could be missed. Had the person gone to a real doctor earlier a potentially dangerous condition could have been detected and handled in time.

People tend to find what they themselves want to find. A person who usually shrugs off and body problems is likely to not find anything wrong with themselves at all whereas a hypochondriac will jump to the conclusion that they are terminal.

The solution in both cases is to visit an actual doctor. Their medical training gives them the information needed to make a correct estimation of the patient without bias. No website can substitute an actual doctor with his opthalmoscope and stethoscope and knowledge

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Deciding On A Medical Specialty

doctorThere are those who aspire to be a doctor. They dream of having an office, regular patients and the regular operating hours and salary that goes with that type of setup. It’s not a bad gig at all. But there are others who would prefer to specialize in a particular part of the body, or in treating a specific type of malady. These are the doctors that others will send their patients to in the event of a particular circumstance or tricky situation. These specialists are looked up to by their peers and have a great deal of knowledge in their fields.

Perhaps during the course of your medical training you decide that this is what you want to become. So how do you course which type of specialist to be?

Well, this obviously would depend on where your interest or talent lies. Perhaps you have lost someone to a certain illness or condition and would like to honor them by working to treat it in others. This has been a motivating factor for many. There could also just be a particular pathology that you take a great deal of interest in. In becoming a specialist of a particular organ or body region, it again boils down to interest and talent.

There’s no real rules except for one: you need to pick a field that you are genuinely passionate about. Remember that you are going to be working and living and eating and breathing that specific subject around the clock. So it had better be one that you really like.

If your interest is purely in medicine in general, then perhaps a general practitioner is what you should be (which is totally fine). But if you have an area of great interest, then consider becoming a specialist. There are also others areas in the medical field besides doctors. Check out this book here to more info.

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Some Basic Medical Devices

stethoscopeWhen you go to the doctor, there are a few basic devices that will be used on a regular basis. That is to say, certain tools that will be employed almost every time. While most of us know what they look like and have a general idea of what they do, we rarely know their names and full purpose. So let’s take a closer look at the four most commonly used medical instruments.

The first on the list is a stethoscope. This is what a doctor uses to listen to your heart. It consists of a membrane on the circular plate that works like an eardrum in that it will pick up vibrations. These get sent down the tube and into the earpieces so that the doctor can easily hear your heart beating. Nothing really more complicated than that on this one.

The next is the sphygmomanometer. This sure sounds like a mouthful, but it is just the blood pressure cuff. It tightens around your arm and a pressure gauge shows how tightly. As the blood tries to flow in and out of the area, this pressure is lessened until it can do so. The doctor could then hear the heart beat in the area. That lets him know the systolic pressure. The lowest place he can still hear it is the diastolic.

Next we come to the opthalmoscope. This is a tool used to look into the eyes. It allow the doctor to see if there’s anything wrong and is useful in detecting early signs of certain diseases.

Finally, we have the otoscope. This tool is the one used to see inside your ear. It it used to check for blockages, infections and problems with the eardrum. Consisting of just a light and a magnifying lens setup, it’s a simple, yet necessary tool.


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Proper First Aid Equipment

home kitWhen one thinks of a first aid kit, usually one will think of a small collection of bandages, alcohol (or other disinfectant) and some topical cream. While this certainly is far better than having nothing at all, it’s a far cry from a complete kit. A true first aid kit will include everything you may need for a common emergency.

Now, if this kit is for the home, you may not think that you’ll need all that much. Well, think again! Most accidents occur in the home. Not necessarily because the home is a dangerous place, but because you spend more time there. So it’s important that even a home first aid kit carry sufficient items.

Things like bandages (of various sizes and types to accommodate all sorts of wounds), antibiotic creams, burn gel, aspirin (useful not only for pain, but also for fevers), gauze, cold packs, etc all should be in a first aid kit as they can all be utilized in common injuries.

While you can purchase the basic essentials from your local pharmacy, you may end up forgetting something. This is why getting a pre-assembled kit is a good way to go (one like this: as it will have all the items in it already (including some you probably didn’t think of).

While some of these kits may seem expensive, realize that once you buy it, you’re all set for several years. So it really isn’t all that much once you think about it. And can you really put a price on having the ability to treat someone in a medical emergency?

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The Benefits of Using Medical Training Equipment

1450506006qgd95If you want to be proficient in first aid, then you need to ensure that you are not only well familiar with all of the procedures and tools that you will need, but also well practiced. Practice is the key to perfection in any area of activity, and medical procedures are, of course, no exception. But it can be hard to find opportunities to practice in the area of first aid, since it’s not every day that you are faced with some type of medical situation or emergency that you can use as a training session. That’s why there is a need for professional medical training equipment.

So what types of equipment are there? Well, mostly medical manikins. These are facsimiles of the human body (or just parts thereof) that can be used to practice various medical procedures. For example, a CPR manikin comes with a head and torso, can be breathed into, and will provide a lifelike feel for doing chest compressions. This way the one who will be doing the procedure will know just how hard to push, and how much to breathe. There are also manikins that simulate broken bones, internal bleeding, and pretty much any other first-aid type situation you can think of. This makes them an invaluable training aid as they allow one to prepare for and practice well any type of situation they may face in the future. And since you can accidentally harm someone through improper application of first aid, this practice is vital.

While it is better to have some sort of first aid knowledge and/or training than none at all, giving yourself the opportunity to train with these types of devices will give you the best field results. If you can find somewhere to use these tools, then do yourself a favor and take advantage of them.

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Looking Stylish While Working The Hospital

Lots of doctors lead stressful lives. This is due to the nature of the work. Emergencies can happen at any time, and any good doctor knows that your work isn’t necessarily over just because you’re not on call or duty. This is why many doctors carry medical bags with them, or at least leave them in the car or somewhere nearby so that in the event of a medical emergency, they are prepared with at least some tools and supplies.

But going back to the busy lifestyle, it can be hard to “keep up” socially in terms of connections and in terms of your own personal image. Usually, the doctor’s coat and stethoscope are enough. But when all of your colleagues are other doctors, you may want to stand out from the crown with your own bit of flair. This is where designer medical bags come into play.

Yes, there are medical bag styles that are not your average fare. These are sleek and stylish and are a great way to subtly show off your good taste.

Now I know it may seem a bit petty (when compared to the life-saving equipment that will be stored in said bag), but every profession has its little style points like this. Be it business cards, or ties, or bags, there’s nothing wrong with showing off a little bit. Especially when you probably don’t have much of any other chance to do it than on the job.


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Different Types Of Medical Teaching Aids

In medical training, there are never enough methods of improving the education process. After all, you want students to get as much hands-on experience and practice as possible before going out into the world to work on actual live people. This is why there are more training aids in medical schooling that probably in any other profession. Each of them is important and serve a specific function. Let’s take a look at a few of them now.

First, there are medical manikins. These are essentially dummies that show an entire or part of a human body. They vary greatly, with some being rigid, only showing a specific thing, to others being modular, complete with rubbery skin and organs and bones underneath. These are used to give the medical student familiarity with the human body and its parts.

Moulage kits are another important one. This is essentially a make-up kit, which includes faux wounds and lesions that can be applied to either a dummy or live actor. This way students can see certain symptoms, common injuries, and the like. This helps in not only recognition of these in the future, but also in preparing the student to go face to face with them whenever they should arise in their career.

ketches and photos are another good resource. Their use is obvious and is probably one of the oldest forms of demonstrating the human anatomy sans an actual cadaver. While their accuracy can be contested (sketches), photographs are invaluable. The more familiarization gained, the better.

All of these various tools and aids are what make medical training as effective as it is today. With computer technology becoming ever cheaper and more widespread, undoubtedly there will be even more in-depth training in the near future.

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Having The Proper Medical Bag

When it comes to first aid, one would think that the materials inside your kit are far more important than what you use to transport or store them in. And if you think that way, you’d of course be correct. But don’t discount all importance of having a proper way to carry your first aid gear, as you will learn, there’s more to it than just a simple sack.


A proper medical bag is one that can store all of and at the same time, protect the items of your first aid kit. If you happen to have sensitive items inside, like an automatic blood pressure monitor, or blood sugar testing devices, you’ll need a bag that can keep them cushioned and safe from impact.

You will also want one that can stop UV light from entering. Light can degrade certain chemicals, and if you have to keep drugs or medicines in your bag, you don’t want any sunlight getting in and damaging them.

There is also an element of how easy the bag is to carry. If you are a doctor performing a home visit, then a simple handle is enough. But if you are going to be having to navigate difficult terrain in getting to those you are trying to help, then you will need one that offers a hands-free strap.

It seems a trivial thing, but having the proper gear means having ALL of the proper gear necessary, and the bag you use is also of importance. Not to mention that if you are a distinguished doctor, you’ll want one that also looks the part as well, aside from being functional too.

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Advanced Home First Aid Items

Typically, when one thinks of home first aid, the usual spread of items come to mind: bandages, alcohol, antibiotic creams, gauze, painkillers, etc. These are the tried and true parts of any first aid kit, and their use is important as they are so frequently needed for a variety of emergencies and injuries.

But they are far from everything that may be needed. For example, how are bandages going to help you if a victim isn’t breathing? Or if someone’s heart stops? For those type of situations, you’ll need to more advance “firepower”. That’s where the following devices come in.

Home defibrillators can be used to start up someone’s heart again. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes (and also prices) but you can find some for less than $300. Their effectiveness is questionable, but then again, there’s not a whole lot of data available yet as to how useful they really are. Many would argue that it’s still better to have one than to not.

Clotting sponges are useful in the case of large, bleeding wounds. They can be quickly applied and will work to stop bleeding in the area. Whenever there is a lot of blood loss, the first target should be to stop it and these devices can often do the trick. Tourniquets can also help, but there is a risk in applying one in that if no blood goes to the area for too long a time, then amputation may become necessary.

These tools don’t necessarily need to be part of every home first aid kit, but having them wouldn’t be a bad idea. You can find these and more items like them here.

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Performing CPR On A Child

warning-alert-signCPR can be a life-saving technique. It can bring a person back to consciousness or keep their body alive long enough for more powerful medical help to arrive. It is something that most everyone should learn how to do and it’s really not that hard. There is always some risk to the patient when performing this action (bones in the chest could be broken due to compressions) but that risk is multiplied tenfold when you are talking about performing CPR  on a child.

The problem with a child is that their body is smaller, and the younger the child, the more susceptible they are to broken bones. Working too roughly with a child can mean collapsing their chest and worsening the situation. There is also the risk of over-inflating their lungs. As their lung capacity is smaller than that of an adult, it is actually easy to literally burst their lungs by breathing too deeply into them.

Therefore, special care must be taken when training others (or when learning) to perform CPR on children. The supervision on an experienced instructor is a must and the aid of CPR manikins (child sized) is also necessary so that one can get the proper feel for how much pressure to apply and how big a breath to give. With these things well-practiced, then this procedure can safely be applies to victims of any age.

This is not meant to discourage anyone from trying to help in the event of an emergency. I’m only trying to make the risks known so that adequate care can be taken should a situation arise. In reality, the only preparation that is sufficient is professional training in the procedure.

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Basic First Aid Procedures

As a change of the usual pace, here’s a cool video that shows how to handle some basic first aid procedures. Everyone should have some familiarity with what they go over so that you can handle basic situations and some emergencies competently.

You will of course need a medical bag in your home fill with the necessary supplies in order to ba able to do all of the shown procedures, so make sure that you stock up on the needed supplies.

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Burn Treatment

flammes-chaleur-feu-flammechesBurns can occur under a variety of different circumstances. Whether you are out in the sun too long, make a mistake while cooking or eating, or are working with machinery that can get hot, you need to know how to properly treat a burn. The first step is to know what type of burn you are dealing with. There are 3 basic kinds:


  • First-degree burns damage only the outer layer of skin
  • Second-degree burns damage the outer layer and the layer underneath
  • Third-degree burns damage or destroy the deepest layer of skin and tissues underneath

Burns can cause swelling, blistering, scarring and, in serious cases, shock and even death. They also can lead to infections because they damage your skin’s protective barrier. Treatment for burns depends on the cause of the burn, how deep it is, and how much of the body it covers. Antibiotic creams can prevent or treat infections. For more serious burns, treatment may be needed to clean the wound, replace the skin, and make sure the patient has enough fluids and nutrition.

Treating a first degree burn can be done quite simply by soaking the area in cold water for a few minutes, taking any necessary painkillers, applying some burn gel or aloe cream and then applying an antibiotic.

Second degree burns are trickier. You’ll want to do the above, but soaking the area for 15 to 30 minutes to cool the area and prevent the burn from spreading. Then, you’ll want to take care to not break any blisters that form and if some do break, dressing the area with a non-stick bandage and keeping it loosely wrapped. Change bandages regularly, taking care to not break the skin.

Third degree burns should be treated by a doctor.

With that information, you can help to bring ease and healing to a burn victim. You’ll of course need to ensure that you have all the necessary materials and tools to hand (you can find them at this link)

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Proper Safety While Saving Others

emtWorking in the medical field (particularly for EMTs) presents all sorts of personal risks. You will, of course, be dealing with sick people and there is always the risk of catching whatever virus they may have, but the risks go further than just that. There are other hidden dangers lurking in the field and it is important to know what they are and how to protect yourself from them.

Starting with the obvious is infection. Both airborne and fluid transmission are present. So you’ll need to take care to wear proper gloves and masks to prevent yourself from getting anything from your patients. When you first see your patient, do a quick visual assessment of the person and see if they are bleeding, are there other bodily fluids or secretions present, or anything of that nature so that you can bear it in mind while working.

Another important point to cover is that of transporting your patients. Often times, they are in no shape to walk and need to be carried. And there are numerous situations in which you may have to transport them. This is where having the proper equipment is vital. For example, having a weight belt may come in useful if your patient is very obese. A stair chair is essential for moving victims safely down flights of steps. Stretchers and gurneys all have their proper place and you must know how to use them properly.

Finally, there is the matter of getting injured by the patient themselves. They may be in a state of confusion or fear and may not be totally aware of what is happening around them. As such, they may resist and even fight those trying to assist them. Having a partner and a way of safely restraining and possibly even sedating them is also something that must be known and practiced for the good of both the patient and yourself included.


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The Human Body As A Machine

machineSome people think that the human body is an extremely complex structure and system, beyond the understanding of the average person. While it is indeed complex and has a lot of parts to it, this isn’t necessarily true. Anyone could understand the human body and its systems if they were to liken it to a machine.

We usually consider machines to be less intimidating because we are the creator of those machines, after all. Well, the human body is just another machine, just it is organically composed, instead of being made out of metal.

Let’s take the circulatory system. It functions like a plumbing system. A pump (the heart) pushes the blood around the body. It passes through a filter (the liver) and special additives are put into the blood (oxygen via the lungs) as it circulates. And that’s really all. There are certain pipes (veins and arteries) that are more important than others as they supply fluid to more sensitive systems. See? Not all that complicated.

Or how about the digestive system. This is really like a processing plant. Raw materials enter in and are broken down first by being crushed (the mouth) and then are left in a vat of acid (the stomach). Once broken down, special filters extract valuable elements from the material (the intestines) before the waste is excreted. Again, just a simple system.

Understanding the various parts of the human body should be done one at a time to ensure that a firm understanding of a single system is achieved before trying to tackle other ones. There are plenty of books, videos, anatomy models, and other aids that can be employed to help increase your understanding of how these systems work.

A working knowledge of the various systems will make anyone more adept at applying first aid.

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There’s No Substitute For Experience

cprIn any sort of medical emergency, you’re going to be under a quantity of stress. The stress of whatever the victim is going through, the stress of how much or little time you have to act, the stress of the consequences of the situation, etc. So it’s extremely important that whatever the situation is, that you are well versed with the first aid procedure that you are going to be undertaking.

Having comfort with whatever tools you will use and the maneuvers you will be practicing is crucial, and the only way to get that is with hard-won experience.

Now this is a bit of a tricky one. How exactly are you supposed to get experience for a medical emergency outside of an emergency situation? The average person doesn’t deal with such situations on a frequent basis, so where is one supposed to get this hands-on knowledge? The answer is from training.

Proper training, involving professionals and correct medical training equipment can make the difference between someone who knows a bit about first aid, and someone who is proficient in its use. First aid is designed to save lives, and so competence in its use is an absolute must.

There are many ways to get this training and experience. Many local fire departments will offer classes as a community service. You can also usually find some training events being sponsored by some hospital or other company. Most times, you can get this training for little or no money, and you will have acquired a very valuable skill.

So don’t just settle for reading about how to do CPR or about how to set a broken bone. Get out there and give it some proper practice and you will feel much more competent and comfortable should you ever find yourself in a position where you need to use your knowledge.

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Do You Have The Stomach For Surgery?

mock-operation-stuffed-animalOne of the challenges that surgeons face is simply one of being able to stomach the sights, sounds and smells of operating on a live patient. This can be more difficult for some than you may think. First of all, let’s get the stress factor out of the way. You are literally cutting into a sedated, but very much alive human being, and your actions will have consequences for that individual. That alone can be nerve-wracking enough to keep some away from this profession. But there’s even more.

One has to be able to keep a calm head while looking at what most would consider a gory mess. While it’s true that surgery is not as “open” as it used to be (with many types of surgery taking place only with very small incisions and the use of cameras and special tools), it can still be a grizzly sight. And not everyone has the ability to stomach it.

While, of course, there are certain training aids that student doctors can use to accustom them to the sights (like moulage kits, videos and models), there is also a smell factor. Certain types of diseases can leave the insides of patients smelling quite foul and this poses yet another distraction for surgeons.

So it does actually take a very special type of person to work in this area. The fact that they can tolerate so much, and perform very precise actions under these circumstances is all but miraculous.

If you have ever considered entering the medical field, and have considered being a surgeon, I would first recommend that you watch videos of various surgeries online first. If you can handle that, it’s a good first step in deciding if this is the right thing for you to pursue.

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The Truth About A Fever

thermometerThere has never been a more commonly misunderstood physiological phenomena than a fever. There has been so much “hand-me-down” knowledge about this that many people have a completely wrong idea about a fever altogether. It is often seen as a thing to cause trouble and worry, but that’s actually quite far from the truth.

A fever is your body’s natural response to a viral infection. You body turns up the heat in an effort to “burn out” the virus. So while many people turn to a fever reducer at the first sign of any fever, they are actually hindering the body’s natural process in dealing with the virus. Many claim that a fever can cause brain damage, and while this is true, your fever would have to be well over 105 degrees to cause any real damage. So even a high fever of about 102 or 103 isn’t necessarily something to be alarmed about.

Another common misconception is that one needs to “starve a fever“. This comes from the fact that when one eats, their metabolism kicks in and their temperature goes up. This is thought to be making the fever worse and so eating is traditionally avoided. In reality, all that you are actually doing is depriving your body of energy and nutrients that it needs in order to fight the virus. Sure, your metabolism raises your body temperature, but you need to eat to keep your strength up. So don’t change your eating habits when you have a fever.

When you have a fever, it is important to check your temperature regularly to ensure that your fever is within normal limits (you can get a thermometer at, get plenty of rest and trust your body in that it knows what it’s doing to bring you back to full health again.

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Getting Medical Equipment

1431329537bxkg7For those of us who simply want to have a first aid kit, there’s plenty of places to obtain the necessary items. Most everything needed can be found in a local pharmacy or super-center so compiling a first aid kit isn’t all that difficult at all. But what if you’re looking for more than just bandages and aspirin?

There are some people who either live in remote areas, not near to any hospitals, or those who engage in outdoors-type activities (like camping, rock climbing or hiking) who may eventually need access to higher grade medical supplies. Where should those things be gotten?

Well, as we live in the internet age, shopping online is, of course, the rapid choice. But there are other ways to get even better deals on medical equipment. For example, military surplus stores often carry medic’s supplies. Everything from gurneys to torniquetes can be purchased and usually at a fairly low price.

One can also check out used EMT equipment. Sometimes you can find good deals on various items that still function properly although used. You can find ems stretchers for sale, CPR aids and other essential equipment.

If you are not in a well-populated area and medical attention isn’t just a quick drive away, then you should seriously consider having all the necessary equipment to hand. You would hate to have an emergency situation and have to make do with less-than-optimal gear. So ensure that you are prepared for anything and everything that you may encounter and get the right equipment for any situation.

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Preparing For A Storm

tropical-stormIf you live on the east coast, then you know about hurricane season. It’s that time of year when we all keep our eyes and ears open for news of a potentially damaging storm that could head our way. While they don’t necessarily hit every year, it is important to know what is needed in case one should come to your city. Because when they do, they can cause untold damage and possibly loss of life.

Obviously, having supplies of nonperishable food and plenty of water for each individual are a must. People also instinctively buy flashlights and batteries and radios so that they can stay informed and well lit. A powerless mean to cook food is also a good idea, but there’s something that is often overlook: medical supplies.

If anyone in your home is on medication, then they should stock up before the storm arrives in case pharmacies are closed due to extreme weather or damage. Also having an abundance of first aid supplies is crucial as if there are severe injuries due to the storm, help may not be able to get to you quickly, and so having the ability to treat wounds will be potentially life saving.

Buying these supplies may seem expensive, especially since you are getting them on a “just in case” basis, but think about what would happen if you needed them and didn’t have them. Besides, you can find places (like where you can find kits and supplies for a relatively low price. Once you have these, you don’t need to buy them again.

Being prepared means being ready for anything. So when preparing for the next stormy season, make sure that you have all that you need for whatever may come your way.

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Getting To Know The Human Body

rotgenbildOne of the most essential pieces of knowledge needed to be able to help people in times of medical emergency is a bit of familiarity with the human body itself. After all, if you don’t know the structure and systems therein, how can you expect to be able to be competent at identifying problems and resolving them? Knowing where everything is, and how it all works together is paramount.

For the structure itself, you have a lot of different options available to use to gain familiarity. You can look as books with photographs, see videos (though not for the faint of heart) or use anatomical models to get a good grasp of how everything fits together and where everything belongs. Models work best as they allow you to get a more hands-on experience.

For how everything works, you should pick one system at a time and learn about that system. Say you wanted to learn about the cardiovascular system. You could go online and find plenty of information that will show you how this systems works, no matter what level of knowledge you already have about anatomy. Once you have this one down, move on to another system. Then, start learning how they all fit together so that you can get a complete picture of how the body functions.

It is also important to learn how to treat common problems with each of these systems. You can check out this page for some information on treatments for common first aid problems (we will be expanding this article as time goes on to include more information.

With the proper information and understanding of the human anatomy, you should have no problem dealing with the simple stuff and have adequate knowledge that may prove to be life-saving for the more serious things should they ever come up.


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What Medical Supplies You Should Have At Home

question1For a home first aid kit, there are a few staples that everyone knows you ought to have. Bandages, alcohol, antibiotic creams, aspirin, etc. But is that all that is necessary? Obviously, you aren’t going to be prepared for EVERY possible emergency, but as technology advances, there are more and more things that you can include in your home first aid kit.

For example, did you know that there are defibrillators that you can get for home use? While they are expensive, if you have someone living in your home who is prone to cardiac arrest, then having one would be a good idea.

There are also some basic tools that you should have on hand. Tweezers of varying types, even scalpels can come in handy if you know how to use them. In the case of someone choking, a tracheostomy can be life-saving if you are unable to remove the blockage.

Along with the proper tools and items, you should also have some familiarity with them and know when each is best used. This way you don’t end up accidentally hurting someone further in an effort to help them.

So bandages, alcohol, tweezers, medical tape, gauze, aspirin, blankets, extra medication (for those who need it), etc should all be part of your home kit. Anything else you include is up to you and the potential needs of people living in your home. Obviously you won’t need something like EMS Stretchers, but the more supplies you have, the better you will be able to handle a medical emergency.

So fill up your kits and be prepared for whatever the future may bring.

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