Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Never Leave Kids in Hot Cars!


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By Terry Orr

Leaving kids in cars by themselves is just plain wrong!  To do so in warm/hot weather boils my blood where I read or hear about this happening.  Those individuals need to experience what it is like being inside in all that heat.  Then again, some folks are just clueless and or don’t care.  They need professional help.

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Kids in Hot Cars
  • Never leave kids alone in a hot car, even briefly.
  • Always check the front and back seats of the car before you lock it and leave.
  • See a kid alone in a hot car? Call 911 immediately. Get them out ASAP if they are in distress.
  • Put your purse, briefcase, or something else you need by the car seat so you don’t forget to check.
  • Always lock your car when it’s empty so kids can’t get in without you knowing.

SOURCE: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

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Today is Mutt's Day


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By Diane Forrest

My son was married at the end of 2010.  His wife owned a dog, but it had been staying with her parents in Memphis.  Once they got married and moved into an apartment, she retrieved her blonde cocker spaniel, Dolce.  My son quickly learned that she had a soft spot for dogs, and they would visit the local animal shelter.  It was there that they met Charlie.  He had the cutest face, and was a mutt, but he had to come home with them.  Their story doesn’t end there, however.  6 months later they visited the shelter again and that's when they met Anna, a black and white mutt.  I now have 3, 4-legged grand puppies.  They are all spoiled, and well behaved, and are great company for my son and his wife.
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Today is Mutt's Day.  The most famous mutt is Benji.  He was made famous during his television series of the same name.  Benji was just a poor dog who had found his way to an animal shelter, and was adopted.  What makes a mutt so special? While purebreds come from a lineage of dogs of the same breed, mutts are a mix between two or more breeds. This means that no two mutts are alike—each is unique in its own way! These dogs certainly deserve a day of celebration for their diverse heritage.
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If you own a mutt, today is the day to show it a little extra attention, perhaps an extra special treat.  Spend the day relaxing and doing all the things you and your dog like to do. Do so with both of your chins held high. For your mutt is worth a million bucks!  If you don't have a mutt, or any type of dog, and are looking for some companionship, try visiting your local animal shelter and adopt one of these great animals.  They will fill your life with joy.
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Monday, July 30, 2012

Those Pesky Tick’s


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By Diane Forrest, RN

Every year around the holidays my mom always cooks a big spread of food.  After we eat she will exclaim, "I’m full as a tick!!"  Well after seeing a picture of what a full tick looks like, I know what she means.
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Some people think ticks are insects, but they are actually arachnoids, like spiders and scorpions.  They will attach themselves to a host, and begin feeding.  It may take an hour to finish a meal, so during this time they will excrete an enzyme to prevent blood from clotting.  Once they have finished eating, they will simply fall off, but what is left behind is a bite that could become infected, and produce serious problems.
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A tick's bite can result in many different diseases, such as Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Lyme disease, Q Fever,  African tick bite fever, tularemia, tick-borne relapsing fever, babesiosis, ehrlichiosis, Tick paralysis and tick-borne meningoencephalitis, as well as bovine anaplasmosis.
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Some of the symptoms experienced after a tick bite include:
  • Itching, burning, redness, and rarely, localized intense pain (some soft tick bites) in some individuals. A few individuals may be sensitive or allergic to tick bites (tick saliva secretions) and develop rash, shortness of breath, swelling, numbness, or paralysis. However, the majority of individuals with tick bites develop no symptoms, and many do not remember getting bitten.
  • Some immediate symptoms that infrequently or rarely develop during or immediately after a tick bite may be fever, shortness of breath, weakness, vomiting, swelling, weakness or paralysis, headache, confusion, or palpitations. Individuals with these symptoms should be seen immediately by a doctor.
  • If you see a tick on your body, the first thing you need to do is remove it with some tweezers.  Make sure to pull upward in a single motion, and check to make sure there are no parts remaining attached to you.  I have also heard that painting them with clear fingernail polish will cause them to release themselves from your skin, however this is not recommended as it may cause the tick to release more pathogens into your body.

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To prevent getting bitten by ticks:
  • Avoid grassy areas and shrubs where ticks populations may be high and where they reside, waiting to grab a ride on a potential host.
  • Wear light-colored clothing so ticks can be easily seen, and brush them off.
  • Tuck pants into boots or socks to avoid ticks crawling up loose pant legs.
  • Apply insect repellant and use the brands designed to repel ticks. Follow label instructions. Avoid use of DEET-containing repellents on children. Carefully follow instructions and apply some repellents directly to skin and others to clothing. DEET-containing repellents with concentrations of 15% or less may be suitable for children. These should be carefully applied strictly following label directions. Repellents containing permethrins may be applied to clothing but not to skin. In areas that have a high tick population, DEET-containing repellents may need to be reapplied more frequently than for repelling mosquitoes. Follow the package label instructions carefully.


Promptly check yourself, others, and pets if exposed to areas where ticks are likely to be located.
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Most tick bites do not produce pathogens, but it’s better to be safe than sorry, take measures to prevent the bite from occurring, and remove the tick if it attaches itself to you.  Keep the area clean and monitor for any symptoms that were mentioned above, and have a safe summer.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Choking


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By Diane Forrest, RN

Two hillbillies walk into a restaurant. While having a bite to eat, they talk about their moonshine operation.
Suddenly, a woman at a nearby table, who is eating a sandwich, begins to cough. After a minute or so, it becomes apparent that she is in real distress.
One of the hillbillies looks at her and says, 'Kin ya swallar?'
The woman shakes her head no. Then he asks, 'Kin ya breathe?'
The woman begins to turn blue and shakes her head no.
The hillbilly walks over to the woman, lifts up her dress, yanks down her drawers and quickly gives her right butt cheek a lick with his tongue.
The woman is so shocked that she has a violent spasm and the obstruction flies out of her mouth. As she begins to breathe again, the Hillbilly walks slowly back to his table.
His partner says, 'Ya know, I'd heerd of that there 'Hind Lick Maneuver' but I ain't niver seed nobody do it!'

I was watching a movie recently, Groundhog Day, and there was a scene where Bill Murray goes to a restaurant and someone is choking and he performs the Heimlich Maneuver, and out pops the food that was blocking the person's airway and the person quickly recovers.

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Choking can happen at any time. Choking prevents breathing, and can be partial or complete, with partial choking allowing some, although inadequate, flow of air into the lungs. Prolonged or complete choking results in asphyxia which leads to anoxia and is potentially fatal. Oxygen stored in the blood and lungs keep the victim alive for several minutes after breathing is stopped completely.  One of the most common causes of choking is a foreign object blocking the airway, such as food or small toys.

If you see a person start to choke, they will typically use the universal sign of choking, which is the hands across the throat.  If a person is coughing forcefully, there is no need to take any action.  Encourage coughing, or even slapping them on the back.  Sometimes when I drink water it will go "down the wrong way" and my mother will tell me to raise my arms.  This has never helped me, but it may help you.  Keep watching closely, and if they stop coughing, that is the time to go into action.  Ask if they are ok...then follow these steps:
  1. From behind, wrap your arms around the victim's waist.
  2. Make a fist and place the thumb side of your fist against the victim's upper abdomen, below the ribcage and above the navel.
  3. Grasp your fist with your other hand and press into their upper abdomen with a quick upward thrust. Do not squeeze the ribcage; confine the force of the thrust to your hands.
  4. Repeat until object is expelled.

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If choking occurs with a small child or infant, there are other procedures to take to prevent causing injury to them.  With a baby you will want to place them on your lap so that their head is lower than their body, have them on their stomach, so that you will be able to slap their backs.  This is the proper technique, however, in most actual cases the rescuer will become excited, and hang the child upside down and shake.  Caution must be taken to prevent injury to the child.

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If you find yourself alone and become choked, a person may also perform abdominal thrusts on themselves by using a fixed object such as a railing or the back of a chair to apply pressure where a rescuer's hands would normally do so. As with other forms of the procedure, it is possible that internal injuries may result.
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Taking time to chew your food properly or keeping small objects away from children is the key for prevention of choking.  Taking small bites and proper chewing will help what you swallow to go down efficiently.  Make sure to review the Heimlich Maneuver, and ask those around you if they know the procedure.  It’s never too later to learn, and you could save a life.

Rain Day Festival


Rain, Rain,
Go away;
Come again,
April day;
Little Johnny wants to play

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By Diane Forrest

I remember saying this little rhyme alot while I was growing up.  Kids don't like the rain, especially during the summer.  It keeps them from being able to play outside or do other fun activities.  I have a friend who is in Florida now on her vacation at Disney World.  If any of you have ever been to Disney world, you know that it will rain every day.  It usually doesn't last long, but it always happens at the worst time. I’m sure they make a fortune selling those little plastic rain ponchos.

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Most of the country is asking for rain, half of the country is in a drought now.  Last summer, my cousin was married in Texas.  Actually, today is her anniversary.  She was married outside, on a farm, on probably the hottest day of the year, in the middle of a drought. The farm, her husband's family farm, was about an hour from town, so they rented a bus for the guests.  Unfortunately the air conditioner went out, so they all melted.  They didn't want the rain to go away, they were wishing for rain to come.

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In Waynesburg, Pa, they celebrate a rain day festival today.  It started out innocently enough.  Rain Day got its beginning in the Daly & Spraggs Drug Store, located in the center of Waynesburg. Legend has it that one day a farmer was in the drugstore and mentioned to Byron Daly that it would rain the next day, July 29. Mr. Daly asked him how he knew and he replied that it was his birthday and that it always rained on his birthday. He had a journal for several years in which he recorded the weather and always had noted rain on July 29th. Mr. Daly thought this was too sure a thing to let pass, so he started betting salesmen who came into his drugstore that it would rain in Waynesburg on July 29. The bet was usually a new hat, which of course he would win.  This tradition began in 1874, and as of 2011, it has rained 113 years out of 137 years of score keeping.

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In later years, Byron Daly's son, John, continued the tradition of wagering a hat on Rain Day. John was an attorney in Waynesburg, a very gentlemanly individual, who always tipped his hat to the ladies he passed on the street, and spoke with a kind soft voice. Although he had fun with Rain Day, he also took it very seriously. He liked the idea of keeping it as a local phenomenon.
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These days, the town celebrates with an annual festival.  It begins with a pancake breakfast and spends the day with live entertainment, contests and activities for children.  They still continue the tradition of hat betting; only now the duties have been handed over to a commission.  There have been many celebrities who have won hats, some including:
  • Bing Crosby
  • Bob Hope
  • The Three Stooges
  • Arnold Palmer
  • Jay Leno
  • Will Ferrell

In 1983, Willard Scott the weatherman on NBC's Today Show was the bettor who gave Rain Day the most notoriety. Willard, being a weatherman, the phenomenon of Rain Day was of special interest to him. Mr. Scott not only mentioned Waynesburg on Rain Day, but talked about it the day before and the day after. Although it didn't rain for Willard's year, he sent a beautiful Stetson cowboy hat.

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This year, as the country looks at Waynesburg, PA to see how the annual tradition plays out, the rest of the country can do a rain dance to see if perhaps they too can get a refreshing rain shower today.

Friday, July 27, 2012

World Hepatitis Day


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By Diane Forrest, RN

Back in the 1980's there was a young girl around 2 years old named Molly.  Her family went to my church, and her skin and eyes were very yellow.  She was born with liver damage, and I can remember having fund raisers to raise money for a transplant.  This was 30 years ago.  She was able to have the transplant and immediately her skin and eye color returned to normal and she was able to live a normal life.  My uncle, who taught her in Jr. High, told me she was married 10 years ago, and her parents still live in my old home town.

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World Hepatitis Day provides an opportunity to focus on specific actions such as: Strengthening prevention, screening and control of viral hepatitis and its related diseases; Increasing hepatitis B vaccine coverage and integration into national immunization programs; and coordinating a global response to hepatitis to increase access to treatment.

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Hepatitis viruses A, B, C, D and E can cause acute and chronic infection and inflammation of the liver leading to cirrhosis and liver cancer. These viruses constitute a major global health risk with an estimated 350 million people being chronically infected with hepatitis B and an estimated 170 million people being chronically infected with hepatitis C.

Hepatitis is swelling and inflammation of the liver. It is not a condition, but is often used to refer to a viral infection of the liver.

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Hepatitis can be caused by:
  • Immune cells in the body attacking the liver and causing autoimmune hepatitis
  • Infections from viruses (such as hepatitis A, B, or C), bacteria, or parasites
  • Liver damage from alcohol, poisonous mushrooms, or other poisons
  • Medications, such as an overdose of acetaminophen, which can be deadly
  • Hepatitis may start and get better quickly (acute hepatitis), or cause long-term disease (chronic hepatitis). In some instances, it may lead to liver damage, liver failure, or even liver cancer.


How severe hepatitis is depends on many factors, including the cause of the liver damage and any illnesses you have. Hepatitis A, for example, is usually short-term and does not lead to chronic liver problems.

The symptoms of hepatitis include:
  • Abdominal pain or distention
  • Breast development in males
  • Dark urine and pale or clay-colored stools
  • Fatigue
  • Fever, usually low-grade
  • General itching
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Weight loss


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This can be diagnosed with a physical examination showing yellow skin and eyes, fluid in the stomach or enlarged liver.  Blood tests and liver ultra sounds can also confirm the diagnosis.


If not treated, hepatitis can cause cirrhosis of the liver, liver cancer and even liver failure that can lead to death.  Today is World Hepatitis Day, for more information about hepatitis and ways you can help spread the word, click on this site: http://worldhepatitisalliance.org/WorldHepatitisDay.aspx


System Administrators Appreciation Day


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By Terry Orr

Friday, July 27, 2012, is the 13th annual System Administrator Appreciation Day. On this special international day, give your System Administrator something that shows that you truly appreciate their hard work and dedication.

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Let’s face it; System Administrators get no respect 364 days a year. This is the day that all fellow System Administrators across the globe, will be showered with expensive sports cars and large piles of cash in appreciation of their diligent work. But seriously, we are asking for a nice token gift and some public acknowledgement. It’s the least you could do.

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A special thanks to all the SYSADMINs out there!!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Hemochromatosis Awareness Month


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By Diane Forrest, RN

Hemochromatosis is a genetic disease that can be inherited from a child's parents, and which causes the child to absorb too much iron, leading to extra iron being stored in the child's liver, heart, pancreas, and other organs. And although this usually doesn't cause any symptoms in childhood, later in life it can cause them to have arthritis, heart problems, liver disease, diabetes, and many other medical problems.

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Symptoms include:
  • Generalized darkening of skin color (often referred to as bronzing)
  • Joint pain
  • Lack of energy
  • Loss of body hair
  • Loss of sexual desire
  • Weight loss
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Abdominal Pain

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Hemochromatosis can be diagnosed by a blood test, or a physical exam detecting enlarged liver and spleen and skin color changes.  Other tests include a liver function test and EKG.

Treatment includes a procedure called phlebotomy is the best method for removing excess iron from the body.

One-half liter of blood is removed from the body each week until the body iron level is normal. This may take many months or even years to do.

After that, the procedure may be done less often to maintain normal iron levels.

How often you need this procedure depends on your symptoms and your levels of hemoglobin and serum ferritin, and how much iron you take in your diet.


If you are diagnosed with hemochromatosis, you should follow a special diet to reduce how much iron is absorbed from your digestive tract. Your doctor or nurse will recommend:
  • Do not alcohol, especially if you have liver damage
  • Do not take iron pills or vitamins containing iron
  • Do not use iron cookware
  • Do not eat raw seafood (cooked is fine)
  • Do not eat foods fortified with iron, such as 100% iron breakfast cereals

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Early treatment can help prevent complications such as liver disease, heart disease, arthritis or diabetes. Screening family members of a person diagnosed with hemochromatosis may detect the disease early so that treatment can be started before organ damage has occurred in other affected relatives.

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For more information about hemochromatosis, click this site: http://www.hemochromatosis.org/

All or Nothing Day


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By Diane Forrest

When my son was in college a few years ago, I was surprised and shocked to learn that he had gone out of town with some of his friends to jump out of a perfectly good airplane.  As for myself, I can't imagine why anyone would want to jump out of a plane, unless it was fixing to crash, but many enjoy the thrill of floating in air.  Such as President George H.W. Bush who likes to skydive on his birthday.
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Recently I found out that this year, instead of jumping out of a plane, my son went up and flew it.  While I prefer he keep both of his feet on the ground, I have to commend his courage and resourcefulness.  With him, it’s either all or nothing.  When I told my father about his flying, hoping to "shock" him, all I got was my father wishing he had taken flying lessons when he was younger.  Who knew?
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There are many people in this world what are risk takers, rule breakers, and those who like to play it safe. I have a friend who likes to bet on horse races. When he goes, he will take a friend along with him.  His friend will place a single bet with all his has in his pocket, not being satisfied with a small bet on each race. If he wins, he wants to win big, but when he loses, he loses everything.  I guess that’s where the phase "easy come, easy go" comes from.
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Today is All or Nothing Day.  It's a day where you can just say to yourself, "what have I got to lose?'  Just bite the bullet and take the plunge.  You don't have to do something extreme like jumping out of a plane, or betting the bank, you can simply talk to your crush, or tell him/her that you love them.  You can make an apology over a long time burden you have been carrying.  You can even try something new like order a strange dish at a local restaurant.  All or Nothing Day is a time to take risks and live on the edge. Live like today is your last day alive and let your inner daredevil shine.
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So today, try something new, give it all you got, and who knows, something wonderful may happen to you.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

National Chili Hot Dog Day


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By Diane Forrest

Earlier this month we celebrated Hot Dog Day and National Chili Day, today, we are combining the two and celebrating National Chili Hot Dog Day.  Actually, it was not our idea but was started by someone else.  The National Sausage and Hot Dog Council ran a pole in 2005, they discovered that chili was the third most popular hot dog condiment, receiving 17% of the votes tallied. The chili dog’s popularity has spawned many variations, like the Coney Dog (actually from Michigan) with added onions and mustard, and the Texas Hot Dog (actually from Pennsylvania!), which is topped with hot sauce. Chili dogs are particularly popular in the western U.S., with several restaurant chains featuring them on their menus. Arizona is home to the Sonoran dog, a chili dog that’s also topped with bacon and salsa.

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We have a drive-in restaurant here that serves foot long chili hot dogs.  I like them with a little mustard and cheese.  I will order one with fresh made onion rings and a thick chocolate milk shake and I can't think of a better tasting meal.  There is a quote that when something is described as being American, it is said to be as American and baseball, hot dogs and apple pie. Though it seems like it is normally only served in areas in America, many European countries are starting to eat the dish as well including, Germany, Greece and France.
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Today is National Chili Hot Dog Day, so do yourself a favor and have one or two today.

Tecumseh - Live Your Life


Live Your Life

~Tecumseh~

“So live your life so the fear of death can never enter your heart. Trouble no one about their religion; respect others in their views, and demand that they respect yours. Love your life, perfect your life, and beautify all things in your life. Seek to make your life long and of service to your people. Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide. Always give a word or sign of salute when meeting or passing a stranger if in a lonely place. Show respect to all people, but grovel to none. When you arise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life and strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies in yourself.

Touch not the poisonous firewater that makes wise ones turn to fools and robs them of their visions.

When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song and die like a hero going home.”

Tecumseh (March 1768 – October 5, 1813) was a Native American leader of the Shawnee and a large tribal confederacy (known as Tecumseh's Confederacy) which opposed the United States during Tecumseh's War and the War of 1812. Tecumseh has become an icon and heroic figure in American Indian and Canadian history.

Quotes:

  • A single twig breaks, but the bundle of twigs is strong.
  • Let us form one body, one heart, and defend to the last warrior our country, our homes, our liberty, and the graves of our fathers.


"No tribe has the right to sell, even to each other, much less to strangers... Sell a country! Why not sell the air, the great sea, as well as the earth? Didn't the Great Spirit make them all for the use of his children?

The way, the only way to stop this evil is for the red man to unite in claiming a common and equal right in the land, as it was first, and should be now, for it was never divided. We gave them forest-clad mountains and valleys full of game, and in return what did they give our warriors and our women? Rum, trinkets, and a grave."

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)


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Diane Forrest, RN

In nursing school, one of the first things we learned was how to perform CPR, and we became certified. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation is the most basic form of life saving techniques.  While it only takes a few minutes to learn how to perform it accurately, the benefits are immeasurable.


I have a friend who owns a bowling center.  He has had some heart problems, and some of the people who bowl in weekly leagues are older and have also suffered from heart conditions.  I recently asked him if he knew how to perform CPR.  He stated that he has never had a class.  I asked if his sons, who work with him, or other co-workers were certified in the life saving technique, but he said they weren't certified either.  I called the local chapter for the Red Cross where he lives, and they will come to his business and teach a class instructing all who attend.

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CPR alone is unlikely to restart the heart; its main purpose is to restore partial flow of oxygenated blood to the brain and heart. The objective is to delay tissue death and to extend the brief window of opportunity for a successful resuscitation without permanent brain damage.  This action may not only prevent brain damage due to lack of oxygen, but it also allows the heart to better receive shock treatment once medical professionals arrive.

If you happen to come across a person who is unconscious, the first thing you do is shake them, ask “are you ok?" If there is no response, you either yell out for help, or call 911.

Then you check for a pulse. To do this, you place two fingers on the midline of their neck.  Then move your fingers to the side to locate a pulse.

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If you do not feel a pulse, begin chest compressions.

To begin chest compressions you take your finger, and locate the ribcage.  You follow the ribcage up to the center of the chest.

When you reach the center. You will be at the xiphoid process.  A small flat bone that is very fragile.

Place 2 fingers over the xiphoid process, and leave them there until you place the palm of your second hand beside your fingers.  This will allow you to locate the proper location to place your hand, and prevent breaking the xiphoid process.

Once you place the palm of your hand on the chest, raise your fingers up, and then place the other hand (the one with the fingers covering the xiphoid process) on top of the hand on the chest, interlocking your fingers.

Position yourself so that your shoulders are directly over the center of the victim's chest.
Begin compressions, pushing down 11/2 to 2 inches.

Begin counting to 30 like this:  One, and Two and three and etc.  This should be done so that the rate will equal to 100 beats per minute.

Following the cycle of 30 compressions, take two breaths and blow into the victims’ mouth.

Tilt the head back and lift the chin. Pinch nose and cover the mouth with yours and blow until you see the chest rise. Give 2 breaths. Each breath should take 1 second.

Repeat chest compressions.

After 5 cycles, check again for a pulse, then resume with breaths, then compressions.

To watch CPR in action, click on this site:  http://depts.washington.edu/learncpr/quickcpr.html

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While video is very useful, nothing takes the place of actually performing CPR in front of a Certified Instructor.  Make time to visit your local Red Cross or check with your community hospital for classes.  Learning CPR can help you save a life.

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