Choking is a blockage of the upper airway/throat by food or other objects, which prevents a person from breathing effectively. Choking can cause a simple coughing fit, but complete blockage of the airway may lead to death.
Choking is a true medical emergency that requires fast, appropriate action by anyone available. Emergency medical teams may not arrive in time to save a choking person’s life.
In adults, choking most often occurs when food is not chewed properly. Talking or laughing while eating may cause a piece of food to “go down the wrong pipe.” Normal swallowing mechanisms may be slowed if a person has been drinking alcohol or taking drugs, and if the person has certain illnesses such as Parkinson’s disease.
If an adult is choking, you may observe the following behaviours:
Coughing or gagging
Hand signals and panic (sometimes pointing to the throat)
Sudden inability to talk
Clutching the throat: The natural response to choking is to grab the throat with one or both hands. This is the universal choking sign and a way of telling people around you that you are choking.
Turning blue: Cyanosis, a blue colouring to the skin, can be seen earliest around the face, lips, and fingernail beds. You may see this, but other critical choking signs would appear first.
If an infant is choking, more attention must be paid to an infant’s behaviour. They cannot be taught the universal choking sign.
Weak cry, weak cough, or both
How to help someone who is choking?
Do not hesitate to call for emergency help if you believe a person is choking. Do not attempt to drive a choking person to a hospital emergency department.
What to do if a person is choking:
It is best not to do anything if the person is coughing forcefully and not turning a bluish colour. Ask, “Are you choking?” If the person is able to answer you by speaking, it is a partial airway obstruction. Stay with the person and encourage him or her to cough until the obstruction is cleared.
Do not give the person anything to drink because fluids may take up space needed for the passage of air
If the material is not yet removed, then follow Heimlich manever.
Heimlich maneuver steps
Comfort the victim. A person will start to panic when they are choking. Go to the victim and reassure them that you know the Heimlich manure and begin assistance. Let the sufferer know that he must remain calm, and should follow your instructions. Then get working!!
Have the choking victim stand. For the Heimlich maneuver to work successfully, the choking victim must be up on their feet. If the victim is unstable or panicking you can help support them
Get behind the person who is choking. For the next phase of the Heimlich maneuver you need to put yourself in the right position. Get behind the person who is choking.
Carefully hug the choking victim. Place your hands around the victim’s chest when you are standing behind the victim. The victim’s arms should be up and away from yours. You have to get a good hold on the person’s trunk.
Close your hand in a fist. As you are hugging from behind, put your hand exactly in the middle of the person’s chest in the form of a fist. Do not tuck your thumb into your hand; it needs to be on the outside, pointed up. Place your fist above the area of the navel (belly button). There is no time to be modest and it may be required that any heavy clothing worn by the victim be removed to find the proper first placement. Whatever needs to be done in order to keep the victim from choking to death must be done.
Take a hold of your fist. Create the perfect circle when you grab your fist with your free hand. Do not release your grip on your fist.
Begin to thrust. Hold your arms closely; with the one hand still closed tight, push inward and up in one motion. You need to thrust hard on the victim’s abdomen. To dislodge the object blocking the victim’s airways, do the strong fisted thrust five times squeezing stronger each time. A firm thrust will also bring air from the person’s airways, making them cough. To do it right, you have to go deep, although it may hurt the victim. Don’t let this worry you! He will always be thankful for your forceful methods when he can breathe once again. Keep doing this until the item they were choking on is expelled.
Through out the Heimlich maneuver, it is vital to keep a good hold of the victim in case becomes unconscious. If the maneuver is successful, sit the victim down again and don’t leave him until his breathing gets back to normal.
To read more on First Aid, click on the link below.
The common cold is an upper respiratory tract infection caused by many different viruses
Runny or stuffy nose
Slight body aches or a mild headache
Low grade fever
Generally feeling unwell (malaise)
Although many types of viruses can cause a common cold, rhinoviruses are the most common culprit.
A cold virus enters your body through your mouth, eyes or nose. The virus can spread through droplets in the air when someone who is sick coughs, sneezes or talks.
It also spreads by hand-to-hand contact with someone who has a cold or by sharing contaminated objects, such as utensils, towels, toys or telephones. If you touch your eyes, nose or mouth after such contact or exposure, you’re likely to catch a cold.
There’s no cure for the common cold. Antibiotics are of no use against cold viruses and shouldn’t be used unless there’s a bacterial infection. Treatment is directed at relieving signs and symptoms.
Wash your hands
Disinfect your stuff (kitchen and bathroom countertops)
Don’t share your things (glass of water, utensils)
Avoid close contact
To read more on Patient Care, click on the link below.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder which is a chronic and long-lasting mental disorder. In this condition the person suffers from the uncontrollable, reoccurring thoughts (obsessions) and behaviors (compulsions). The person performs the repetitive actions like hand washing, checking on things or cleaning, which affects the person’s daily activities and social interactions.
OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder)
What are the signs and symptoms of OCD?
People with OCD can have the symptoms of either obsessions or compulsions, or both. These symptoms can affect the aspects of life, such as work, school, and personal relationships.
Obsessions are repeated thoughts, needs, or certain mental images that cause anxiety.
Here is a list of some common obsession symptoms:
The person is extremely fearful of germs or contamination
He/she keeps on thinking about certain taboo thoughts such as sex, religion, and harm
Person becomes extremely aggressive towards others or becomes self destructive
Person becomes obsessive in keeping things symmetrical or in a perfect order
Some of the common compulsions include:
Person becomes cleaniness and/or handwashing freak
Always tries to order and arrange things in a defined or particular way
Gets the habit of checking certain things like if the door is locked or that the oven is off
It is not mandatory that a person who double checks things are suffering from OCD, but an OCD patient is unable to control his or her thoughts or behaviors, even when those thoughts or behaviors are recognized as excessive and spends least 1 hour a day on these thoughts or behaviors
Some individuals also suffer from a problem known as Tic disorder. Tics is a motor disease and is causes sudden, brief, repetitive movements, such as eye blinking and other eye movements, certain facial movements such as grimacing, shoulder shrugging, and head or shoulder jerking. Some people also suffer from vocal tics such as repetitive throat-clearing, sniffing, or grunting sounds.
What causes OCD?
OCD is thought to have a genetic predisposition. OCD is common in some families; however not all in a family suffer from OCD. OCD starts in the adolescence and affects early in boys than the girls. Research has indicated that people who have suffered physical or sexual trauma are at an increased risk for OCD.
It has been observed that children who suffer from a streptococcal infection known as the post-infectious autoimmune syndrome is called Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Streptococcal Infections (PANDAS) are more likely to suffer from OCD and it has also been observed that such symptoms of OCD in such children get worse post infection.
How is OCD treated?
As a first step, it is necessary to consult a doctor about your symptoms. The doctor can do an examination and may refer the patient to a mental health specialist, such as a psychiatrist, psychologist, social worker, or counselor for evaluation or treatment.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) medication or a combination of both can be used in treating a patient with OCD
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
CBT is a way which guides a patient in different ways of thinking, behaving, and reacting to the obsessions and compulsions.
Exposure and Response Prevention (EX/RP) is a type of CBT which has been shown to help many patients recover from OCD. EX/RP teaches gradually exposing you to your fears or obsessions and teaching you healthy ways to deal with the anxiety they cause.
Some other therapies include habit reversal training have been found in reversing the compulsions.
For children, the psychiatrist may design some methods to manage stress or may add an extra support to curb the OCD symptoms in school and home.
Certain medications like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and a type of serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SRI) called clomipramine are used to treat OCD.
Although SSRIs and SRIs are commonly used to treat depression, but they are also helpful for the symptoms of OCD. These medications may also cause side effects, such as headaches, nausea, or difficulty sleeping. Clomipramine, is other substitute and is a different class of medication from the SSRIs, sometimes experience dry mouth, constipation, rapid heartbeat, and dizziness on standing. However, these side effects usually vanish as a person starts taking the treatment on a regular basis and the dose is increased slowly under the guidance of the physician.
Psoriasis is a long term (chronic) skin condition in which the lifecycle of the skin cells is speeded up. These extra cells pile up on the top of the skin and form scaly, red patches. Psoriasis patients often experience bouts of the disease and at other times they might not have any skin issues.
Why does it happen?
Psoriasis is mostly thought to be an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s immune system starts attacking its own cells. It tends to run in families. Most people also experience some triggers that aggravates their condition. These might be infections, skin injuries, stress, smoking, alcohol or some medicines like some psychiatry drugs like lithium, anti-malarial and high blood pressure medicines like beta blockers.
Symptoms and signs
What it looks like- Mostly psoriasis patients develop reddish, raised areas on the skin which is covered with silvery scales. These might be itchy or even painful. These can be on any part of the body. Psoriasis can affect the nails too, causing discoloration and even separation of the nail from the nail bed.
How to manage and treat it- Psoriasis is not curable, but with the right treatment it can be kept under control. Once the doctor diagnoses the condition, sometimes with the help of a biopsy, the correct treatment can be decided depending on how severe the condition is.
Mild cases– For mild conditions with just a few areas affected, the doctor might prescribe just a corticosteroid cream to be applied on the affected areas. It’s best to use these creams under medical supervision as long term use of steroids can cause thinning of the skin. Other ingredients that are commonly used are a synthetic form of vitamin D, coal tar, anthralin or synthetic vitamin A creams. Most of these creams can cause some skin irritation and sensitivity and some are not safe for use in pregnancy, so do consult your doctor before use, and remember to use a sunscreen regularly.
Moderate cases– If the steroid creams are ineffective, phototherapy might be advised. This involves exposing the skin to controlled amounts of UV rays from sunlight or an artificial light source. The effect might be increased by using a drug, Psoralen, that increases sensitivity to light.
Severe cases– For severe cases, your doctor might prescribe oral or injected drugs. These could be synthetic vitamin A drugs (retinoids), methotrexate or cyclosporine. These drugs help to reduce the skin cell turnover time and also suppress the body’s immune system. Since there can be many side effects like liver damage and reduced blood cell levels, these drugs are always meant to be taken under your doctor’s supervision.
Dos and Don’ts
Moisturizing the skin regularly helps in keeping the excess dryness under control.
Avoid alcohol, smoking and excess caffeine as these can trigger a breakout.
Some supplements like omega 3 and aloe vera might help to prevent severe lesions.
Bathing daily with a mild soap and exposing yourself to small amounts of sunlight regularly also helps to keep the condition under control.
Does the sun affect psoriasis?
Small amounts of sunlight can help psoriasis.
Can people with psoriasis use hair dye and makeup-?
It’s best to do a sensitivity test before using these products and use non comedogenic products.
Is psoriasis contagious?
No, it is not contagious.
We strongly recommend that you consult your doctor before starting any treatment regime.