treatment for severe anaphylaxis is the subcutaneous injection of 0.3cc of epinephrine and supportive care.
The most characteristic and serious symptoms of an anaphylactic reaction are loss of voice and difficulty breathing. Other typical signs are giant hives, coughing, and wheezing. As the condition progresses, signs and symptoms of shock develop, followed by respiratory failure. Emergency management consists of maintaining vital life functions. The medical officer must be summoned immediately.
A number of heart conditions are commonly refereed to as heart attacks. These include angina pectoris, acute myocardial infarction, and congestive heart failure. Together they are the cause of at least half a million deaths per year in our country. They occur more commonly in men in the 50 to 60 year age group. Predisposing factors are lack of physical conditioning, high blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels, smoking, diabetes, and a family history of heart disease.
This condition is caused by insufficient oxygen being circulated to the heart muscle. It results from a partial occlusion of the coronary artery, which allows the heart to function adequately at rest, but it does not allow enough oxygen enriched blood through to support sustained exercise. When the body exerts itself, the heart muscle becomes starved for oxygen, resulting in a squeezing substernal pain that may radiate to the left arm and to the jaw.
Angina is differentiated from other forms of heart problems since the pain results from exertion and subsides with rest. Many people who suffer from angina pectoris carry nitroglycerin tablets. If the victim of a suspected angina attack is carrying a bottle of these pills, place one pill under the tongue. Relief will be almost instantaneous. Other first aid procedures include reassurance, comfort, monitoring vital signs, and transporting the victim to a medical treatment facility.
This condition results when a coronary artery is severely occluded by arteriosclerosis or completely blocked by a clot. The pain is similar to that of angina pectoris, but is longer in duration, not related to exertion or relieved by nitroglycerin, and leads to death of heart muscle tissue. Other symptoms are sweating, weakness, and nausea. The pulse rate increases and may be irregular; blood pressure falls; respirations are usually normal. The victim may have an overwhelming feeling of doom. Quick or lingering death may result.
First aid for an acute myocardial infarction includes:
A heart suffering from prolonged hypertension, valve disease, or heart disease will try to compensate for decreased function by increasing the size of the left ventricular pumping chamber and increasing the heart rate. As blood pressure increases, fluid is forced out of the blood vessels and into the lungs, causing pulmonary edema. This leads to rapid shallow respirations, the appearance of pink frothy bubbles at the nose and mouth and a distinctive rales sound in the chest. Increased blood pressure may also cause body fluids to pool in the extremities.
Emergency treatment for congestive heart failure is essentially the same as that for acute myocardial infarction. Do not start CPR unless heart function ceases. A sitting position promotes blood pooling in the lower extremities. If an intravenous line is started, it should be maintained at the slowest rate possible to keep the vein open; an increase in the circulatory volume will worsen the condition. Immediate transport to a medical treatment facility is indicated.