Chapter 15 Common Sudden Illnesses Fainting. Diabetic emergencies. Seizures. Stroke. Poisoning. Heart attack. Shock. General guidelines of care: Do no further harm. Monitor breathing and consciousness. Help victim rest in most comfortable position. Keep victim from getting chilled or overheated. Reassure victim. Give specific care needed. Fainting Fainting: partial or complete loss of consciousness caused by a temporary reduction of blood to the brain. Signals: Cool, pale or moist skin. Nausea. Numbness or tingling in fingers & toes. Care for Fainting Position victim on their back Elevate the legs 12in. Loosen restrictive clothing. Check for any other conditions Don’t give anything to eat or drink. Don’t splash with water or slap face. If victim recovers quickly & has no lasting signals, you may or may not need to call 9-1-1 Diabetic Emergencies The condition in which the body doesn’t produce enough insulin or doesn’t use insulin effectively is diabetes. Insulin: a hormone that helps sugar pass from bloodstream to cells. Without a proper balance of sugar & insulin, cells will starve and body will not function properly. Diabetic Emergencies Two types: Hyperglycemia: condition where blood sugar is too high Hypoglycemia: condition where blood sugar is too low Signals Changes in the level of consciousness, including dizziness, drowsiness and confusion. Irregular breathing. Abnormal pulse (rapid or weak). Feeling or looking ill. Care for Diabetic Emergency Conscious victim: Check/care for non and lifethreatening conditions. Look for a medical alert tag or ask the victim if they have diabetes. If able to swallow, give them sugar in the form of fruit juice, candy or a non-diet soda Unconscious Victim If the victim is unconscious— Call 9-1-1 Don’t give them anything by mouth. Monitor signs of life. Keep them from getting overheated or chilled Seizures The chronic form of seizure is known as epilepsy. Seizures can range from mild blackouts to sudden, uncontrolled muscular contractions that can last several minutes. Signals of Seizures A change in the level of consciousness Rhythmic jerking of the head and limbs Urinating or defecating Confusion Drowsiness Crying out Becoming rigid Holding the breath Upward rolling of the eyes Care for Seizures Don’t restrain the victim. Protect victim from injury by removing nearby objects After the seizure, position them on one side so fluid can drain from the mouth. Check for life-threatening conditions. Stay with them until they are fully conscious & aware of their surroundings. Call 9-1-1 Stroke Stroke: disruption of blood flow to a part of the brain, causing permanent damage to brain tissue. Ways to reduce the risk of a stroke: Controlling blood pressure Not smoking Eating a healthy diet Exercising regularly Controlling diabetes Signals Appearing or feeling ill, displaying abnormal behavior Sudden weakness or numbness of the face, arm or leg, often on only one side of the body Difficulty speaking or being understood Blurred or dimmed vision Pupils of unequal size Sudden severe headache Dizziness Confusion Change in mood Ringing in the ears Loss of consciousness Loss of bowel or bladder control F.A.S.T Face — Weakness on one side of the face. Arm — Weakness or numbness in one arm. Speech — Slurred speech or trouble speaking. Time — Time to call 9-1-1 if you see any of these signals. Care for Stroke Care for life-threatening conditions. Call 9-1-1 Position him or her on one side (affected or paralyzed side down) to allow fluids to drain. Stay with the victim until EMS If the victim is conscious— Check for non-life-threatening conditions. Offer comfort and reassurance. Have victim rest in a comfortable position.