Category: Guides

Blocked Airway

Foreign object – inhaled or swallowed

Definition

If you breath a foreign object into the respiratory tract, it may become stuck and cause breathing problems, as well as inflammation and infection.

If swallowed, a foreign object may become stuck along the digestive tract.

See also: Choking

Alternative Names

Obstructed airway; Blocked airway

Considerations

These injuries can occur at any age, but are most common in children ages 1 to 3.

Causes

Certain foods (nuts, seeds, popcorn) and small objects (buttons, beads) are easily inhaled by young children. Such objects may cause either partial or total airway blockage .

Coins, small toys, marbles, pins, screws, rocks, and anything else small enough for infants or toddlers to put in their mouths can be swallowed. If the object …

Bleeding

Definition:

This condition involves losing blood. This can occur internally (when blood leaks from blood vessels inside the body), externally through a natural opening (such as the vagina , mouth, or rectum), or externally through a break in the skin.

Alternative Names

Blood loss; Open injury bleeding

Considerations

Direct pressure will stop most external bleeding, and is the most important initial first aid.

Blood loss can cause bruises, which usually result from a blow or a fall. They are dark, discolored areas on the skin. Apply a cool compress to the area as soon as possible to reduce swelling . Wrap the ice in a towel and place the towel over the injury. Do not place ice directly on the skin.

Serious injuries don’t always …

Animal Bites

Definition

An animal bite can result in a break in the skin, a bruise, or a puncture wound.

Considerations

If the bite is a puncture wound, it has a greater chance of becoming infected.

Rabies is a rare, but potentially fatal, disease transmitted by the saliva of a rabid animal. If you believe an animal may be rabid, notify the proper authorities. DON’T go near an animal that may be rabid. Examples include a raccoon who is active during the day, a stray pet, an animal that is acting strangely, or one who bites unprovoked. Be particularly cautious with bats. Some doctors believe that any potential contact with a bat, even simply seeing a bat in your house, requires a rabies vaccination.

There is …

Allergic reactions

Definition

Allergic reactions are sensitivities to a specific substance, called an allergen , that is contacted through the skin, inhaled into the lungs, swallowed, or injected.

Considerations

Allergic reactions are common. In fact, the immune response that causes an allergic reaction is similar to that which causes hayfever. Most reactions happen soon after contact with an allergen.

Many allergic reactions are mild and can be treated at home, while others can be severe and life-threatening. They often occur more frequently in people with a family history of allergies .

Substances that don’t bother most of us (such as venom from bee stings and various foods, medications, and pollens) can trigger allergic reactions in some people.

While first-time exposure may only produce a mild reaction, …