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Results for search "Emergencies / First Aid".

Health News Results - 180

TUESDAY, June 18, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- A flesh-eating bacteria has migrated into the Delaware Bay between Delaware and New Jersey, drawn north by the warmer waters of climate change, doctors say.

Five cases of infection with Vibrio vulnificus occurred in 2017 and 2018 along the Delaware Bay, compared to one infection with the devastating bacteria in the eight years prior, r...

MONDAY, June 17, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Take a stroll down the beauty products aisle and you'll see rows of colorful packages, even some with pictures of fruit on them. It's easy to see how about a dozen kids a day end up in the emergency room due to exposure to these enticing chemical concoctions.

Over a 15-year period, nearly 65,000 youngsters under 5 years of age were treated in ...

THURSDAY, June 13, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The United States is stepping up its response to a historic outbreak of Ebola in two African nations.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention activated its Emergency Operations Center Thursday to assist in the government's response to the second-largest outbreak of Ebola on record.

The announcement came as the deadly v...

TUESDAY, June 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Having emergency heart surgery is always risky, but a new case report reveals an unexpected danger: A flash fire ignited a man's chest during such a procedure.

A 60-year-old man underwent lifesaving heart surgery for a torn aorta, the main artery that carries blood away from the heart.

The patient had chronic obstructive pulmonary di...

THURSDAY, May 30, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- When a heart attack occurs, delaying treatment by even a few minutes could be deadly.

But many people wait hours after symptoms set in to get care -- either because they feel mentally "frozen" and unable to act, or because they're slow to recognize the seriousness of the situation, a new survey reveals.

The finding stems from a look...

MONDAY, May 28, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Women who suffer a cardiac arrest in public are less likely than men to get resuscitation help from bystanders, and more likely to die, new research shows.

For the study, scientists analyzed data on more than 5,700 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests that occurred in a province of the Netherlands between 2006 and 2012. Women accounted for 28% o...

THURSDAY, May 16, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- After years of steady increases, the number of Americans showing up in emergency departments with heroin overdoses is on a downswing, at least in some states.

Between 2017 and 2018, many states saw a dramatic drop in the number of people being rushed to hospitals as a result of a heroin overdose, according to a new report from the U.S. Center...

THURSDAY, May 16, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Swimming pools are one of the great joys of summer, but U.S. health officials warn that the chemicals that keep the water pristine can land you in the ER.

Between 2008 and 2017, there were more than 4,500 pool chemical-related injuries reported each year, a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found.

"...

THURSDAY, May 16, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- There's a severe nationwide shortage of Type O blood, and the American Red Cross has issued an urgent appeal for donations.

The current supply of Type O blood is critically low: Six units are available for every 100,000 people in the United States, but at least twice as much is required every day.

Type O-negative is the universal b...

THURSDAY, May 9, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- All it takes is two hours of training to save a life after a severe head injury, researchers say.

A new study reports that training first responders in emergency treatment guidelines for severe head injuries does improve chances of survival.

The guidelines for pre-hospital care of traumatic brain injury (TBI) patients by EMS workers ...

WEDNESDAY, May 8, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The United States' ability to deal with major health emergencies quickly has improved significantly in recent years, researchers say.

In 2019, America scored 6.7 on the 10-point National Health Security Preparedness Index. That's a 3.1% improvement over the last year, and up 11.7% since the index was created in 2013.

The fin...

TUESDAY, May 7, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- A new study finds that a tourniquet used in war zones could save students' lives when gun violence strikes a campus.

The Combat Application Tourniquet (CAT), a cuff-like device that wraps around a limb to stop bleeding, was developed for adults, but this study of 36 boys and 24 girls found that it controlled blood flow in their arms and legs.

THURSDAY, May 2, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- As the United States battles an ongoing epidemic of opioid abuse and deaths, new data shows that fatalities tied to cocaine and methamphetamines are also surging.

In fact, of the more than 70,000 lives lost to drug overdoses in 2017, "nearly a third involved cocaine, psychostimulants or both," reports a team led by researcher Mbabazi Kariisa, ...

THURSDAY, April 25, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The idea behind immunotherapy for peanut allergy is appealing in its simplicity: Ask a patient to eat tiny amounts of peanut every day, and over time their immune system will become desensitized to it.

Unfortunately, this cure might be doing more harm than the allergy itself, a new evidence review suggests.

People who undergo immunoth...

WEDNESDAY, April 24, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Injuries, heart attacks, lung infections, strokes and other medical emergencies caused about half of the world's 28 million deaths in 2015, a new study reports.

Such deaths are on the rise, and rates are much higher in poor countries than wealthy ones, the researchers said.

"We believe our study is among the first to identify the...

FRIDAY, April 19, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The first generic naloxone nasal spray to treat opioid overdose has received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Teva Pharmaceuticals' lifesaving product is also the first generic naloxone nasal spray approved for use by people without medical training. There was already a brand-name spray (Narcan) for emergency use by untrai...

FRIDAY, April 12, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- About 100 kids a day are rushed to U.S. emergency rooms after accidentally swallowing a toy piece, battery, magnet or other foreign object, according to new research.

That's almost twice as many as in the mid-1990s.

"The sheer number of these injuries is cause for concern," said Dr. Danielle Orsagh-Yentis, lead author of the study p...

THURSDAY, April 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- If a few minutes of your time could save a person's life, would you do it?

In a new study, researchers found that any type of bystander CPR -- including just performing chest compressions -- significantly improves the chances of survival for people who suffer an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.

A cardiac arrest is when your heart su...

WEDNESDAY, April 3, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- For weeks last summer, the world was riveted by frantic efforts to find and rescue a soccer team of 12 Thai boys, along with their coach, who'd become trapped deep in a cave complex on June 23.

Exploring the caves in a northern province of Thailand, the group had become isolated after monsoon rains cut off their means of escape.

H...

MONDAY, April 1, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Folks who aren't covered by private insurance are much more likely to get booted out of the hospital early, a new study finds.

Uninsured patients were also more than twice as likely to be transferred to another hospital and 66% more likely to be discharged outright, compared with people with private insurance, the findings showed.

...

MONDAY, March 25, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- If Colorado is any indication, the legalization of marijuana comes with a downside.

Researchers reported that emergency departments across the state saw a sharp spike in marijuana-related visits after recreational use of pot products was made legal.

For the study, the researchers analyzed data on almost 10,000 patients seen at the...

WEDNESDAY, March 20, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Would you be able to recognize if you or someone close to you were having a stroke? A stroke is a 911 medical emergency and every second counts for survival.

To help you recognize the signs of stroke, the National Stroke Association wants you to remember F-A-S-T, or fast.

F stands for "face." Signs of stroke include droopi...

MONDAY, March 18, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. emergency departments are seeing a surge in the number of kids and teens seeking help for mental health problems, new research warns.

Between 2011 and 2015 alone, there was a 28 percent jump in psychiatric visits among Americans between the ages of 6 and 24.

"The trends were not a surprise," said study author Luther Kalb, given...

THURSDAY, March 14, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- There's good news and bad news from a new study of children visiting U.S. emergency departments for head injuries: The rate of these potentially serious events has fallen among boys, but risen for girls.

In recent years, the danger of concussion from contact sports -- most notably football -- has garnered much media attention. So the author...

TUESDAY, March 12, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Cardiac arrest outside of a hospital setting is a leading cause of disease-related health loss in the United States, a new study says.

But bystander use of CPR and automated external defibrillators reduces the risk of death and disability.

"Cardiac arrest is unique because survival is dependent on the timely response of bystanders,...

FRIDAY, March 8, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Black neighborhoods in America's three largest cities are much more likely to be located in a "trauma desert," an area without immediate access to a designated trauma center, a new study finds.

Census data for neighborhoods in New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles revealed that neighborhoods made up of mostly black residents are more often 5...

WEDNESDAY, March 6, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Most folks treated in a U.S. emergency room for misuse of prescription medications get into trouble because they mix different substances, a new study reports.

Benzodiazepines like Xanax (alprazolam) and Ativan (lorazepam) are most commonly implicated in health crises that lead to an ER visit, followed by prescription opioids, researchers f...

MONDAY, March 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Actor Luke Perry, who shot to fame in the 1990s in the TV series "Beverly Hills, 90210," has died of a stroke at the age of 52.

In a statement, Perry's family said he died Monday after a "massive stroke" suffered last Wednesday, the New York Times reported.

He had been hospitalized since a 911 call on Wednesday brought paramed...

FRIDAY, Feb. 15, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Glass-fronted gas fireplaces can pose a serious risk to young children, an emergency room physician warns.

Dr. Michael Gittelman, from Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, cited the case of a 3-year-old boy whose hand was badly burned when he touched the glass door of the family's gas fireplace.

"Young children, like the bo...

TUESDAY, Feb. 12, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Flu season is reaching its peak in the United States, which means emergency departments could fast become crowded with people who really aren't sick enough to be there.

Healthy people who have flu-like symptoms such as high fever, muscle or body aches, exhaustion and loss of appetite should not go to the emergency department, according to med...

FRIDAY, Feb. 8, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- When kidney failure patients undergoing treatment at dialysis clinics suffer cardiac arrest, the clinic staff usually jumps in to perform lifesaving CPR, but not always, a new study finds.

"It is reassuring that bystander CPR was associated with improved outcomes in dialysis clinics just as it is in other settings, but it is concerning that the...

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 6, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- How fast emergency medical help arrives at the scene of a car crash plays a significant role in patient survival, a new study finds.

Reviewing U.S. collisions between 2013 and 2015, researchers blamed 14 percent of fatalities in cities and suburbs on slower-than-average EMS response times. Poor timing accounted for 10 percent of deaths in ru...

THURSDAY, Jan. 31, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- How long patients who faint should be monitored in the emergency department hinges on their risk for serious disease, a new study says.

In most cases, fainting is harmless. But some people faint due to serious medical conditions, including an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia). Because arrhythmias can come and go, patients are sometimes kept i...

FRIDAY, Feb. 1, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Paramedics have a "remarkably low" rate of compliance with hand hygiene standards, which could put patients at risk for deadly infections, according to a new report.

For the study, researchers observed 77 paramedics in Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Australia as they dealt with 87 patients. The paramedics' compliance with basic hygiene was high: ...

THURSDAY, Jan. 31, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- How long patients who faint should be monitored in the emergency department hinges on their risk for serious disease, a new study says.

In most cases, fainting is harmless. But some people faint due to serious medical conditions, including an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia). Because arrhythmias can come and go, patients are sometimes kept i...

THURSDAY, Jan. 31, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Minus 29 Fahrenheit in Fargo, minus 28 in Minneapolis, minus 13 in Des Moines.

With potential record-setting low temperatures ahead for much of the nation, one expert warns that frostbite can quickly strike exposed skin.

"With wind chills approaching the single digits and below zero, it is possible to develop 'frostnip' with progr...

THURSDAY, Jan. 31, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Using medical scribes in emergency departments is a smart way to increase the number of patients seen by doctors and reduce the time patients spend there, a new study indicates.

Medical scribes do administrative tasks, such as documenting visits while a doctor evaluates the patient, printing out paperwork and arranging tests and appointments...

TUESDAY, Jan. 29, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- As a giant polar vortex sweeps down over most of the United States, bringing with it temperatures so frigid that frostbite and hypothermia can happen within minutes, doctors have some advice for those who dare to venture outside.

The swath of the cold freeze is so wide and deep that roughly 75 percent of Americans living on the U.S. mainland...

MONDAY, Jan. 28, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- For seniors who often find themselves in the ER, complications from diabetes is the most common culprit, new research shows.

Not only that, these chronically ill patients remain in the hospital longer and require more treatment and resources, noted the authors of the study. It was published in the Jan. 28 issue of the Annals of Internal Med...

THURSDAY, Jan. 17, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. emergency rooms routinely prescribe antibiotics to babies with the common viral lung infection bronchiolitis, counter to recommendations issued more than a decade ago, a new study finds.

Bronchiolitis is the leading cause of hospitalization for U.S. babies in their first year of life. In bronchiolitis, the lung's small airways (bronchi...

MONDAY, Jan. 14, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The holidays, winter weather and the flu season have all prompted a blood shortage, the American Red Cross warns.

The organization said Monday it had about 27,000 fewer blood and platelet donations than needed over Christmas and New Year's.

People nationwide, especially those with type O blood, are urged to schedule an appointment to...

THURSDAY, Jan. 10, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Many chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) patients say they aren't taken seriously when they arrive in hospital emergency rooms, a new study finds.

It included 282 people with diagnosed CFS who completed an online questionnaire. Of those, only 59 percent had gone to the emergency department (ED) for treatment of CFS symptoms.

Two-thirds o...

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 9, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Drug users suffering an opioid overdose might soon have access to an unusual lifeline -- a smartphone app.

University of Washington researchers have developed an app that can detect when a person's breathing dangerously slows or stops.

The Second Chance app accurately detected opioid overdose symptoms more than nine times out of 10...

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 2, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- There are few life events more unsettling than being in a hospital emergency room. In situations that threaten life or limb, you may not have any say in your care.

But in some instances, there is time to evaluate your options.

Leaders in the field of emergency medicine have been developing initiatives, such as checklists and even a...

MONDAY, Dec. 17, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Women who call 911 for a possible heart attack may get different treatment from paramedics than men do, a new U.S. study suggests.

Researchers found that ambulance crews were less likely to give recommended treatments, such as aspirin, to women with chest pain. Paramedics were also less likely to turn on their sirens while transporting female ...

TUESDAY, Dec. 11, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- The bites of insects, spiders and dogs are a $1 billion yearly drain on the U.S. health care system, a new study has calculated.

And climate change is only going to make matters worse, researchers contend.

Attacks by mountain lions, bears and alligators get the most press, but the tiniest critters create ...

TUESDAY, Dec. 11, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Women often delay calling for emergency help when heart attack symptoms start, a new study finds.

Researchers in Switzerland found that women suffering a heart attack typically waited 37 minutes longer than men before calling an ambulance. And those delays showed no signs of improving over the 16-year study period.

One reason may be...

FRIDAY, Nov. 30, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Ambulance response times for cardiac arrest are longer in poor U.S. neighborhoods than in rich ones, which means poor patients are more likely to die, a new study finds.

"When it comes to a cardiac arrest, every minute counts," said study author Dr. Renee Hsia, a professor of emergency medicine at the University of California, San Francisco.

TUESDAY, Nov. 27, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Hands-only CPR training kiosks in public places are an effective way to teach this lifesaving skill, a new study shows.

"These kiosks have the potential to lower barriers to training, increase the likelihood a bystander would perform CPR and positively impact the likelihood of survival from cardiac arrest outside of a hospital," said study au...

FRIDAY, Nov. 16, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Your EpiPen will still work after being frozen, researchers report.

The epinephrine auto-injector can be lifesaving in cases of severe allergic reaction, and millions of Americans carry the devices.

In this study, researchers "took 104 same-lot pairs of [EpiPens] and froze one of each pair for 24 hours, while the other was kept at re...

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Wellness Library Results - 67

What should I do if my child breaks a bone or dislocates a joint? A broken bone or dislocated joint is a serious injury that requires a doctor's immediate attention. The best thing you can do is protect the injured area, making sure your child doesn't worsen the damage. Fractures are breaks, cracks, or chips in a bone. A fractured bone that pierces through the skin is called an open fracture. ...

The sight of blood in your urine -- the toilet water turned a shade of red -- is understandably an alarming one. The good news is that it's usually not serious. In fact, even something as innocent as exercise can cause it. But there's a possibility it may also be a symptom of a more serious problem such as cancer, so you should always see a doctor about it. What is blood in the urine? Red blood c...

It's an injury that can come from anywhere: a baseball in the eye, an elbow from another athlete, or a sucker punch to the face. Any sport in which players collide or hit each other with sticks can cause a black eye -- and much worse damage if blood collects behind it and results in vision loss. If the injury is serious enough, blood can accumulate in the eye's anterior chamber -- the fluid-fille...

As anyone who has ever worn ill-fitting shoes knows, blisters are small but painful irritations that occur when the skin is repeatedly rubbed in the same place. Blisters can also result from using a tool that rubs against your hands and fingers, or from getting a serious burn or scrape. Blisters may look distressing, but they are actually part of the body's normal healing process. Small blisters ...

Many kinds of accidents can cause blows to the abdomen. Common causes are automobile and bicycle accidents, skiing or tobogganing accidents, and other sports-related injuries. Most blows to the abdomen aren't serious. But a severe blow can cause internal bleeding and shock, which can be life-threatening. When the injury is serious What to look out for Danger signs after someone has received a se...

Any bone in the body can break under enough stress. You should be alert for the possibility of broken bones anytime someone suffers a serious blow, perhaps in a fall, a car accident, or a high-speed wipeout on a bicycle. For people whose bones are weakened by osteoporosis, it can take only a slight tumble to cause a fracture. In fact, more than 1.5 million osteoporosis-related fractures are estima...

From childhood falls or biking accidents, most of us are familiar with bruises. Bruises occur when small blood vessels under the skin rupture and blood seeps into the surrounding tissue, which causes the familiar black and blue color of a bruise. Bruises, which are also called contusions, can be the result of falling, bumping into something, or being struck by a blunt object. A blow to the area ar...

The first step in treating a burn properly is to assess the severity and extent of the injury. Burns are divided into four categories: first, second, third, and fourth degree. If you have to treat a burn, you need to know how to determine whether it is mild, moderate, or severe. If it is severe, you also need to know what to do while waiting for emergency medical assistance. Mild or moderate burn...

Often called "the silent killer," carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that can be fatal when inhaled. Smoke from fires, backdrafts from blocked chimney flues, grills that use charcoal or chemical fuels, emissions from faulty gas heaters, and the exhaust of motor vehicles, boats, and appliances are all common sources of carbon monoxide. Accidental deaths from carbon monoxide te...

Many people feel lightheaded every once in a while, so lightheaded that they may faint -- that is, pass out momentarily. Fainting is not the same as being asleep or unconscious. When a person faints, it's usually temporary and the person can be revived in a few minutes. Someone who is unconsciousness, however, won't respond to attempts to revive him. An unconscious person can't cough or clear his ...

This document will help you in an emergency. Print out two copies and fill in the blanks. Keep one copy with you, and give one to your spouse or traveling companion. Also, be sure to pack your child's prescription medicines (and bring them along if you have to take your child to a doctor or an emergency room) and a first-aid kit so you can cope with minor medical problems. My child's personal inf...

What should I do if my child is bitten by an animal? Treatment depends on how bad the wound is. If it's clearly minor -- nothing more than a superficial scratch -- carefully wash the area with soap and water. Apply an antibiotic ointment twice a day. Cover the wound with an adhesive bandage if it's in an area that's likely to get dirty; otherwise, leave it exposed to the air. If the injury is pos...

From the coffeemaker to the fax machine, devices that run on electricity are all around us. Most of the time, we don't worry about the live current that makes them work. But every year, 1,000 people die because of electrical accidents. Anything from touching a downed power line to plugging in a faulty string of Christmas lights can cause serious burns on the skin and damage muscles, nerves, and in...

Medical emergencies can be frightening, especially if you are unprepared. Being familiar with first aid instructions can help you prevent or minimize serious injury. It can even save lives. Knowing what to do will give you the confidence to act calmly and quickly. How can you be better prepared for emergencies? Keep a list of emergency numbers by the telephone. If you have a cell phone, program...

As just about anyone who has chopped vegetables knows, minor cuts are a part of everyday life. Knowing how to care for them quickly can help prevent infection and lessen the chances of scarring. Before treating any cuts, remember to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water to avoid contamination. Never cough, blow, or breathe on the wound. It's also important to know when a cut is serious en...

What should I do if my child begins to choke? If your child is breathing, encourage him to cough; it helps clear the windpipe. Minor choking usually occurs because a liquid has gotten into the air passage, and coughing can clear it out. Don't offer your child something to drink, though, since fluids may further block the passage of air. If your child is choking on an object and can't breathe, cal...

Choking is a serious threat to people of all ages. Whenever something gets stuck in the throat -- a piece of food, a child's toy, or blood from an injury -- it can block a person's air supply. After four to six minutes without air, the brain begins to die. If someone is choking, quick action can save a life. How can you tell if someone is choking? A choking victim will often put both hands on his...

CPR

CPR -- cardiopulmonary resuscitation -- is a potentially life-saving procedure that can restart a person's heartbeat and breathing. CPR is often used to revive victims of electric shock, near-drowning, and heart attack. According to the National Institutes of Health, quick CPR can triple a victim's chances for survival. The best way to learn the technique is to take a certified training class. (Se...

Many people associate chemical burns with factories, but they can happen at home, too: Contact with strong chemicals found around the house, the garage, or at work can burn your skin or eyes. Examples of dangerous substances are battery acid, bleach, paint strippers, drain cleaners, and even everyday household cleaning supplies like ammonia. Just being exposed to the fumes of some chemicals can ca...

What should I do if another child bites my child? The first step is to wash the wound carefully with soap and water, since human bites are even more likely to become infected than animal bites. If the skin is broken, call your doctor to see if she wants you to bring your child in for an evaluation. If the wound is minor, apply an antibiotic ointment twice a day. If the injury's in an area that ten...

What should I do if my child is bitten by a spider or scorpion? Most spider bites are harmless, causing redness and swelling at the site but no serious risk, so you can probably relax. The only spiders that pose a real danger are black widow and brown recluse spiders. Scorpions are also potentially dangerous. The symptoms of a scorpion sting are similar to those of black widow bites: local pain an...

What should I do if my child is bitten by a tick? First, remove the tick. Forget any advice you've heard about applying petroleum jelly, fingernail polish, or a hot match to the end of the tick. Those home remedies almost never work. Instead of forcing the tick to withdraw, they're likely to kill the tick while it's embedded in the skin, which increases the risk of infection. Although it's not foo...

Shock can occur after any kind of trauma: a severe allergic reaction, poisoning, heat stroke, burns, or any other severe stress on the body. But the phenomenon can also ensue from severe dehydration, excessive vomiting, or extreme diarrhea. Some types of infections and certain heart or kidney problems that reduce blood flow can cause shock as well. What happens when the body goes into shock is tha...

What should I do if my child is bleeding badly? You'll need to act quickly. If your child has lost consciousness or appears to be in shock, have someone call 911 immediately while you begin first aid. Lay your child down with his feet elevated about 12 inches. This increases blood flow to the brain and reduces the risk of shock. If possible, elevate the site of bleeding, as well; that helps reduce...

What should I do if my child breaks a bone or dislocates a joint? A broken bone or dislocated joint is a serious injury that requires a doctor's immediate attention. The best thing you can do is protect the injured area, making sure your child doesn't worsen the damage. Fractures are breaks, cracks, or chips in a bone. A fractured bone that pierces through the skin is called an open fracture. Bec...

Puncture wounds are caused when sharp and pointed objects such as nails, tacks, knife tips, needles, or bullets penetrate the skin. Animal bites are another cause of puncture wounds. Puncture wounds usually don't bleed very much (unless a major blood vessel is broken). For that reason, they may not look serious. They also may appear to heal very quickly. But because puncture wounds penetrate deep...

Getting a splinter is a common occurrence, but removing one is easy. It's important to do so right away, however, since splinters left in the skin can become infected. Be careful not to let a wooden splinter get wet for very long because the moisture will make it swell. Start by washing your hands with soap and water, then washing the affected area. If one end of the splinter is sticking out of t...

Being prepared ahead of time for a poisoning emergency can save valuable minutes when a person's health -- or life -- is at stake. Look up the phone number of your local poison control center and place it alongside other important numbers everywhere you keep such a list: home, work, wallet, and/or cell phone. The people at 911 can send over an ambulance, but the poison control people are usually t...

What's the best way to treat a bruise? If your child's bruise is relatively minor, you can treat it at home. Apply ice packs for 15-minute periods at least several times a day during the first 48 hours to reduce swelling. A zip-lock bag filled with ice cubes and water or a partially thawed package of frozen peas may be useful if an ice pack isn't handy. Elevating the bruised area also lessens swel...

What should I do if my child is burned? First, get your child away from the source of the burn and remove any clothing or jewelry from the burned area. Don't take off any clothing that has stuck to burned skin, however, or you could cause further injury. Next, quickly cool the burned area, since skin continues to burn because of the stored heat. The best method for cooling a burn depends on the se...

Germs have gotten a bad rap. Some of them are actually good for us, like the ones in our intestines that help us break down food. But we're also surrounded by potentially harmful germs. They lurk everywhere, from the surface of public phones to bottles of unrefrigerated garlic paste. Disease-causing germs, in fact, are always looking for their chance to invade a new host. All it takes is a cut or ...

What's the best way to treat a cut or scrape? If the cut or scrape is deep and bleeding, apply pressure with a clean cloth, paper towel, or bandage to stop the bleeding. If the bleeding doesn't stop in 10 minutes, call your child's physician immediately or go to the nearest emergency room. If the cut appears to need stitches, call your pediatrician. It's also wise to call your child's doctor abou...

Insect bites and stings are a fact of life if you spend time outdoors. Fortunately, although they may be painful, they usually aren't serious. Unfortunately, some bites and stings are poisonous or can cause serious allergic reactions or infections. Most sting reactions are caused by five types of insect: yellow jackets, honey bees, wasps, hornets, and fire ants. Here's what you should know about t...

Muscle cramps are a common ailment, especially in the legs and feet. Since muscle cramps are sometimes caused by dehydration (loss of water) and low levels of potassium, they frequently strike in hot weather, when your body loses water, salt, and minerals through sweating. Drinking plenty of water and eating foods rich in potassium, such as bananas, may help to ward off cramps. You can also get a...

What should I do if my child bumps or chips a tooth? If the tooth was merely jarred or loosened slightly, you probably won't need to do anything, though it's a good idea to call your child's dentist to get her opinion. If you see some bleeding from the gums, pat the area with a cold damp washcloth or gauze. The injury will heal in a few days. If the tooth was pushed in or out of its usual positi...

There are two basic ways to have a tooth removed: You can go to the dentist for a careful extraction, or you can take a serious blow to the face. Unfortunately, many people end up going with option number two. They catch a stray elbow during a basketball game, fall face-first on the sidewalk, or -- in rare cases -- get in a fistfight. What should I do if I lose a permanent tooth? A knocked-out (...

As those of us who wear jewelry know, it's not unusual for a ring to get temporarily stuck on a finger. Fingers naturally swell, especially when it's hot and humid outside, or if you walk with your hands swinging at your sides. Usually, if you simply cool off and elevate the affected hand above your heart for a while, the swelling will go down and the ring will come off easily. Applying ice to you...

At home, you probably have your doctors' numbers posted near the phone and your child's medical records handy in case of an emergency. On vacation, you should be no less prepared. Here are some tips: Before You Go

There's more to first aid than covering up wounds or stopping bleeding. When treating an injury, relieving pain should also be a top priority. Prompt treatment for pain will make an injured person feel more calm and comfortable. Pain relief may also make it possible for the person to move safely on her own -- a handy thing if the nearest phone is miles away. Pain can also be a guide to treatment. ...

Use this checklist to make sure you have adequate supplies for dealing with minor medical problems while traveling with children. You can pack the items in a small tote, a lunch box, or a zip-top bag -- whichever is easiest to stow. It's also a good idea to check with your doctor to make sure you're up-to-date on all of your vaccinations. Your doctor can also tell you if you should take along an...

If you enjoy going fishing, it's important to be prepared in case you accidentally get a fishhook caught in your skin. Caution There are two circumstances when you should not try to remove a fishhook on your own: When a fishhook is caught in the eye or face. When the hook is so deeply embedded in the skin that removing it would cause more serious injury. In these cases, cut the fishing line as...

The bones of the skull are designed to withstand some hard knocks. Most of the time, a blow to the head causes nothing more serious than a swollen bump, or "goose egg." But some injuries to the head can be serious, even life-threatening. The brain is a delicate organ, and head injuries are dangerous when they cause bleeding and/or swelling inside the skull. When someone receives a hard blow to the...

The body carefully maintains its internal temperature at around 98.6 degrees. In hot weather, perspiration cools it off. But sometimes, even the best cooling system can be overwhelmed. Always be alert to the symptoms of heat stroke or exhaustion, especially when you or your friends exercise in hot weather, or work in hot, humid areas that don't have some form of ventilation. Heat exhaustion is a...

What are hives? Hives are red, itchy welts or swellings on the skin that often come in clusters. They sometimes have a light red or pale center surrounded by a darker red area around the borders -- a marking resembling tiny bull's eyes -- but may simply look like large red circles. In doctor speak, hives are known as "urticaria." Hives can appear anywhere on the body, cropping up either in one sm...

What is hyperventilation? Hyperventilation occurs when people breathe too rapidly. Most people take at least a couple of seconds to breathe in and out. If a person sounds as though he's run a mile and is breathing heavily, that's a sign of hyperventilation. What causes hyperventilation? Rapid or labored breathing can result from extreme anxiety or panic. It is also associated with fever, head inj...

Our bodies carefully regulate our internal temperature to a precise degree. In hot weather, we sweat to cool off. In cold weather, we generate additional heat by shivering. However, prolonged exposure to cold can cause the body's control mechanisms to fail. When internal body temperature drops below 95 degrees Fahrenheit, the result is hypothermia. Hypothermia can lead to loss of consciousness, ca...

When you are injured or experience soreness or chronic pain, you may receive conflicting advice about what to do. Apply heat? Apply cold? Here's an overview of how to use temperature in the healing process. What is a cold pack? Popular and effective in treatments to ease pain and swelling from minor injuries, cold packs come in many different varieties. Some are sacks of gel that turn into ice pac...

Ever exercised in the mountains? You probably noticed that oxygen can be a little thin up there. At 10,000 feet, for example, the air has only about 70 percent as much oxygen as it does at sea level. Whether you're hiking, lugging a pair of skis straight up a mountain, or simply standing around and taking in the sights, you'll have to breathe a little harder to get the oxygen that your body needs....

Most dental problems respond well to a take-it-slow approach. Brushing, flossing, and dental appointments every six months will take you far. But every once in awhile, the mouth can become an emergency. Without immediate treatment, a problem with your teeth or gums could quickly become a major threat to your overall health. How do you know if you're facing a dental emergency? Here are some common...

Considering all of the chewing we do on a daily basis -- including the occasional ice chip or peach pit -- it's remarkable that our teeth last as long as they do. And considering how easy it is to accidentally bite yourself, we should all be grateful if our lips, tongue and cheek aren't constantly sore. The mouth can be an especially sturdy and resilient part of the body. But when injuries do hap...

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