All posts by Ibrar



Costochondritis is a medical term that refers to a common condition in which joints of affected person become inflamed resulting into pain, tenderness and swelling over the ribs and cartilage around the breastbone. This inflammation usually grip several cartilage areas on both sides of the sternum but more often than not is on one side only.

Costochondritis Causes

The causes of Tietze’s syndrome are still unknown because it can be caused by several factors. However, costochondritis usually results from a physical strain or slight injury like recurring coughing, sneezing, vomiting, or impacts to the chest. It has also been realized that this condition occurs after hearty bouts of laughter. Costochondritis may occur as a result of over exerting and in some cases, the same may occur due to any injuries to the chest or breast. Psychological stress can aggravate this syndrome however, there is no evidence that has been brought forth to ascertain that it is a direct cause to this ailment.

Costochondritis Signs and Symptoms

The pain and tenderness suffered by a person affected with this syndrome happens either gradually or suddenly; and this is mainly manifested through a sharp pain in the upper ribs. Tenderness around the area of the upper ribs and swelling around the area of one’s upper ribs are also common signs and symptoms of this ailment. In addition to this, the pain could be made worse by sudden movements of the ribs at some point in physical activity or when one coughs or sneezes.

In most cases, the pain of Tietze’s syndrome is always confused with a case of heart attack. In contrast, the pain of heart attack is more widespread than that of Tietze’s syndrome which commonly affects a small area.

Costochondritis Treatment

Costochondritis is usually motivated by any activity that entails stressing the arrangements of the facade of the chest cage. It is thus prudent to minimize these activities until the tenderness of the rib and cartilage areas has subsided. Apply ice packs to the local swelling to reduce the pain and inflammation. If the tenderness persists, it is necessary to see a general practitioner for some anti-inflammatory drugs and injections. Consequently, the victim it is recommended that the patient should have enough rest. In addition to this, he or she ought to engage in consistent physical therapy until the pain subsides as these can lessen the impact of pain and inflammation, and thus promotes faster treatment to the patient.

Tietze’s syndrome is likely to improve on its own after a few weeks even though the affected person would still experience some swelling after the ache and tenderness have subsided. Any physical activity that is likely to worsen the pain in one’s chest should be avoided at all costs until and unless the inflammation in the ribs and cartilage has completely gone down. All these measures as explained above are aimed at effectively managing this condition. However, should the pain persist, it is advisable to seek medical treatment from a general practitioner.

Contact Dermatitis

First Aid Training Room
First Aid Training Room

Contact dermatitis is a type of skin inflammation (eczema) that occurs when particular substances touch the skin causing an irritation or an allergic reaction. These substances are not necessarily irritants or allergens that are high in chemicals but every day resources causing red, itchy rashes. Bacterial infection is the most common complication from contact dermatitis. Although contact dermatitis cannot be passed from person to person or fatal, it can cause great discomfort to an individual, thus, application of first aid is necessary to relieve of symptoms.

Types and Causes of Contact Dermatitis

There are two different types of contact dermatitis, irritant and allergic, each with different ways of causing a reaction in the body. The latter involves the body’s immune system, whereas the former does not.

  • Irritant dermatitis (more common): skin reacts to an irritant that comes into direct contact with the skin
    • Acids
    • Materials that contain alkaline such as soaps, detergents, fabric softeners, and other chemicals
    • Shampoos
    • Hair dyes
    • Cement
    • Prolonged exposure to wet diapers
    • Rubber gloves
    • Pesticides and weed killer
  • Allergic dermatitis: reaction to an exposure to a substance causing an allergic reaction
    • Rubber or latex gloves or shoes
    • Certain metals found in jewelleries, buttons, etc., such as nickels
    • Nail polish
    • Adhesives
    • Particular fabrics and clothing
    • Fragrances found in cosmetics, soaps, perfumes, etc.
    • Certain antibiotics
    • Poison ivy, oak, sumac and other plants containing urushiol

Symptoms of Contact Dermatitis

Initial exposure to any of the substances may not show any symptoms but prolonged or repeated use may cause sensitivity and lead to reaction. Other products only cause a reaction upon exposure to sunlight. Moreover, symptoms will differwith the type and cause and may vary from person to person. The following symptoms are commonly associated with contact dermatitis:

  • Itching in the exposed area
  • Irritant dermatitis
    • Dry, red, and rough skin
    • Painful
    • Burning sensation
    • Skin cuts
  • Allergic dermatitis, red streaks or patches in the exposed area
    • Moist, weeping blisters that ooze and then crust over
    • Scaly, thickened skin
    • Warm and tender

Treatment and Management for Contact Dermatitis

Contact dermatitis can be managed at home even without medical help. Without complications, contact dermatitis fades away within 2-3 weeks. Some cases of contact dermatitis do not require treatment at all, however, if symptoms are giving discomfort, administer first aid to provide relief. To treat and manage contact dermatitis:

  • Wash the affected area with copious amounts of water to remove any leftover trace of the irritant that may still be present on the skin.
  • Applying topical moisturizers may help retain skin moisture.
  • Applying corticosteroid skin creams or ointments may help limit inflammation
  • To further reduce symptoms, place wet dressings or antipruritic lotions.
  • It is necessary to identify the irritant or allergen to avoid any further exposure.

To learn more about how to treat and manage contact dermatitis and other skin conditions, enrol in First Aid Courses.

Milia Treatment


Milia is characterized by the appearance of tiny white cyst like formation on the skin. It is seen to occur in people of all age. Milia are formed when keratin is trapped in the outer layer of the skin, thus forming a cyst. These cyst starts from the base of a hair follicle or sweat gland.

Milia can be primary or secondary. When the keratin is entrapped under the skin and milia is formed, and then it is called primary milia. Primary milia are seen on the faces of adults and infants. Secondary milia occur when something clogs the ducts leading to the surface of the skin. Such condition occurs after an injury, blistering of the skin or after suffering from a burn. Primary and secondary milia look similar.

Who’s At Risk?

Milia is seen to occur to people of all ages, ethnicity and gender. They are very common among new born babies. Secondary milia appear on the skin of people who have had the following condition.

  • – Skin condition such as bullous pemphigoid, epidermolysis bullosa and porphyria cutanea tarda which results in blistering of the skin.
  • – People who have suffered from burns
  • – Chronic skin damage due to sun exposure
  • – Long term use of steroid creams

Signs and Symptoms:

Milia usually occurs as 1–2 mm dome-shaped bumps that are white- yellow in color and are not painful or itchy. Primary milia mostly occurs in the following area:

  • – around the eyes, cheeks, nose and forehead.
  • – in infants they also occur on the gums, palates insure the mouth. Around 85% infants go through this condition. It is known as Epstein’s pearls.

Secondary milia can occur anywhere in the body, particularly on the areas of the body that have had too much sun exposure.

Self-Care Guidelines

Primary milia that is mostly found in infants do heal on its own. But, it may take several weeks to heal on its own. The milia occurring in adults last longer.
Do not try to attempt to remove the milia from the outer layer of the skin on your own. It may leave a scar which itself can take a while to heal.

When to Seek Medical Care

If these bumps drastically increase in number or if they look cosmetically unappealing, consult a dermatologist or your general physician for evaluation.

Treatments Your Physician May Prescribe

For the occurrence of milia in infants, no treatment is necessary. It will heal on its own in due course. In adults, milia may or may not go away on its own. It can be recurring as well. Your doctor may treat you with any of the following methods:

  • – Each milia bumps is pierced with a sterile scalpel and the tiny cyst is removed with a tool called comedone extractor.
  • – He may prescribe you topical retinoid cream such as tretinoin, tazarotene, or adapalene.
  • – Acid peels or microdermabrasion procedures can also be administered by the doctor.

Chalazion: Signs and Symptoms, First Aid Treatment, and Prevention


A chalazion is a fairly common eyelid condition. It is a chronic inflammation in the glands of the eyelids. It is when a small cyst forms in the upper or lower eyelid, though it is more common in the upper eyelid. Under the inner surface of the eyelids, tiny glands are present that produce an oily fluid, called sebum, which lubricates the eyes. A chalazion occurs when one of these glands become clogged, disabling the fluid from escaping, therefore creating a cyst. Specifically, when the meibomian gland opening is blocked with oil, a chalazion occurs. Chalazion is also called meibomian cyst or tarsal cyst.

Chalazion is different from a sty. The latter pertains to a small collection of pus or abscess that typically appears at the base of an eyelash or under or inside the eyelid.A chalazion is usually painless and not infected by bacteria, whereas a sty may be painful and typically infected by a Staphylococcus bacterium. Moreover, a chalazion may result from a sty.

Signs and Symptoms of Chalazion

A chalazion is generally evident. However, its appearance is often confused with those of a sty. The following symptoms are the commonly associated accompanying symptoms of chalazion:

  • Small, mildly painful or painless cyst that usually develops on the side of the eyelid
  • Inflammation within the gland and the eyelid
  • Warm and tender
  • Does not affect the sight
  • If infected, swollen and painful
  • May sometimes develop after a sty

First Aid Treatment for Chalazion

A chalazion will typically disappear within a month after occurring even without medical treatment. However, first aid home treatment may promote drainage of the fluid and healing. This can also help decrease consciousness from the cysts near the eye. The following hints should not be used for medical advice or substituted for medical treatment:

  • Place warm compresses over the eyelid for 10-15 minutes. Do this at least four times a day to soften the hardened oils that blocked the duct and promote fluid drainage. Do not use compresses hotter than the hand can handle.
  • Lightly massage the area a few times a day, preferably after applying warm compress.
  • Do not attempt to pop or squeeze the chalazion.
  • Avoid putting eye makeups to avoid infection.
  • If the chalazion continually grows in size, surgery may be required to remove the chalazion.

How to Prevent a Chalazion

The following hints do not guarantee complete prevention of chalazion but may reduce chances of developing a chalazion.

  • Clean the eyelid twice a day to remove grease that may contribute to formation of cysts.
  • Apply warm compresses to the eyelids for five minutes before bedtime to avoid clogging of glands.
  • Avoid touching the eyes and surrounding areas.

Chalazion, although it is not a medical emergency, should still be treated to reduce discomfort to the person. To learn how to treat chalazion and other eye-related injuries or conditions, enroll in First Aid Courses.

Neurogenic Shock

In neurogenic shock, vasodilatation occurs as a result of a loss of balance between the parasympathetic and sympathetic stimulation of the nervous system. Sympathetic stimulation causes vascular smooth muscles to constrict and parasympathetic stimulation causes the vascular smooth muscles to relax or dilate.

The individual who experiences neurogenic shock experiences a predominant parasympathetic stimulation that causes dysfunctional vasodilatation lasting for an extended period, leading to a relative hypovolemic state. However, blood volume is still adequate, since the vasculature is still intact due to the fact the that blood volume in this case is simply displaced which results in a hypotensive state (lowering of blood pressure). The overriding parasympathetic stimulation that occurs with neurogenic shock causes a drastic decrease in the patient’s systemic vascular resistance and bradycardia. Inadequate BP results in the insufficient perfusion of tissues and cells which is common in all classifications of shock.

Causes of Neurogenic Shock

Neurogenic shock can be caused by spinal cord injury, spinal anesthesia, or nervous system damage. It may also result from the depressant action of medications or from a prolonged insufficiency of glucose (insulin reaction to shock). Neurogenic shock may have a prolong course such as in cases of spinal cord injuries or a short one as in the case of fainting. Usually, during states of stress, the sympathetic stimulation causes the BP and heart rate to increase.

In neurogenic shock, the sympathetic system is not able to respond to body stressors. Therefore, the clinical characteristics of neurogenic shock are basically signs of parasympathetic stimulation. It is characterized by dry war skin rather than the cool, moist skin seen in hypovolemic shock. Another special characteristic is hypotension with decreased heart rate (bradycardia) which is the exact opposite of other cases of shock  wherein heart rate and BP increases to compensate the lack of blood volume in the vasculature.

Medical Management of Neurogenic Shock

Treatment of neurogenic shock involves restoring sympathetic tone, either through stabilization of a spinal cord injury or in the instance of the induction spinal anesthesia, by positioning the patient in the proper recovery position. Specific treatment and medical intervention measures will depend on the cause of the shock, however since the main cause of neurogenic shock is a sympathetic nervous response which in all cases of neurogenic shock does not preclude actual blood loss, special medication is typically given to correct the dysfunctional vascular response of the circulatory system. If hypoglycemia resulting from insulin shock is the primary cause, glucose administration should be rapidly administered to stabilize and correct shock.

Special Independent and Emergency Management of Neurogenic Shock

It is important to elevate and maintain the head of the bed at least 30 degrees to prevent neurogenic shock when a patient receives spinal or epidural anesthesia. Elevation of the head prevent the spread of anesthetic agent up to the spinal cord. In suspected spinal cord injuries, neurogenic shock may be prevented by carefully immobilizing the patient to prevent further damage to the spinal cord. Nursing interventions are directed towards supporting cardiovascular and neurologic function until usually transient episode of neurogenic shock subsides.

Neurogenic Shock
Neurogenic Shock

Applying elastic compression stockings and elevating the foot of the bed may help minimize pooling of blood to the lower extremities. Pooling of blood to the legs increases the risk for thrombus formation, therefore the members of the health care team charged with the care of a patient with neurogenic shock should be constantly evaluated for deep vein thrombosis.

Courses for Parents and Babysitters in Caring for Children

From time to time as parents, you need to leave your children in the care of a babysitter. This can be a difficult discussion to make, leaving the care of your child or children in the hands of a total stranger. You want to be sure that the babysitter really knows how to care for your child especially when the child is very young and may have medical issues such as  allergies or other health issues that require proper attention and care. This is where the workplace approved course for Babysitters comes in.

First Aid and CPR Classroom in Vancouver
First Aid and CPR Classroom in Vancouver

St Mark James Babysitter courses are getting more and more popular everyday. These courses have material for both parents and babysitters to learn. This course can put the parents mind at ease knowing that their babysitter has the skills to manage almost any emergency.

Concern for Parents

Entrusting the care of your child in the hands of a teenager even for a few hours might not sound as a good idea. I mean the teenager is still under the care of an adult right? Even though some of the care needed to babysit like playing with your child and having the best interest of your child at heart, is simply common sense but other things like if and when your child is choking, has a cut or a burn requires some skill and experience which the babysitter might not have without taking a workplace approved course for Babysitting.

Thus apart from knowing that you have hired a babysitter who is responsible and has the best interested of your child at hand, it best to know that that the sitter will know how to respond to emergency medical care of your child apart from just calling 911.

Benefits for Babysitters

The workplace approved Course for Babysitter is usually for student from the age of 11. Generally, the course offers basic parental and emergency medical care for younger children. They are taught how to care for children and infants, how to play with children, dress then and feed them. They are taught which types of tools to play with to avoid accidents and how to avoid accidents generally.

Basic First Aid is probably the most important aspect taught in the course. They learn how to respond to emergency medical attention to a child or infant who is choking, who stops breathing or whose heart stops beating, and more. They also learn how to respond to emergency medical attention to a child or infant who has a cut, a burn, injury, illnesses and household accidents.

The workplace approved Course for Babysitter does not only train its student how to care for a child and First Aid, it also teaches the student to be discipline, how to make good decisions, how to be a good leader, a good role model and good problem solver. These skills will be definitely beneficial to the babysitter’s personal life aside from been a babysitter.

Spinal Cord Injury: It’s Impact

Spinal cord injury is among the leading causes of chronic disability. Read further and learn about how spinal cord injury can impact a person’s life.

A spinal cord injury refers to the damage to the spinal cord, usually due to extreme physical trauma such as in accidents or contact sports. This condition can lead to lasting and serious impact on a person’s life.

Spinal Pain
Spinal Pain

Although it can happen to almost anyone, males age 15 to 35 are at higher risk of developing spinal cord injuries. This is because most people who sustain serious physical trauma to this part of the body are both young and in good health.

The spinal cord connects the brain to the other parts of the body. This bundle of nerves and other tissue is contained and protected by the vertebral bones of the spine. The spinal cord is composed of many nerves, and extends from the base of the brain to the lowermost end of the buttocks. This body organ is essential for relaying messages or impulses from the brain to the different parts of the body, and vice versa. It is responsible for effective sensation, balance, movement, and many more. Spinal cord injury can result when the nerves protrude or the vertebra pushes towards the nerves or the nerves get severed or damaged.

In case of spinal cord injury, the impulses that are transmitted through the nerves may be prevented. The result can either be a total or partial loss of sensation and voluntary body functions below the injury. The part of the body affected after a spinal cord damage depends on the level at which the damage occurred, the type of injury, and the extent of damage involving the spinal cord. For example, spinal cord injury that is closer to the neck will typically result in loss of body movement throughout the entire the body. On the other hand, injury occurring at the lower back may only result in paralysis of lower limbs.

The effects of spinal cord injury can be quite difficult to predict. Some may experience partial paralysis while others suffer total paralysis. Either way, it can adversely affect the life of the person. The loss of function of the body part can go on for a lifetime. Medical intervention can only help manage symptoms but not actually repairing the damaged nerves.

Since accidents are the most common causes of spinal cord injury, it is important to learn how to properly handle victims of an accident. A first aid training course can equips laypeople with the knowledge and skills at how to manage injured individuals. Improper handling of

victims in an accident can definitely lead to damage to the spinal cord.

Immobilizing the head and neck, and keeping the body well-aligned while rendering first aid to a spinal cord injury victim is crucial at preventing this life-changing condition.

First Aid For Chemical Burns to the Eyes

Knowing what to do in case of chemical burns to eyes is essential in protecting one’s eyes. Taking basic first aid offered by the workplace approved equips you with these skills.

According to an adage, “the eyes are the windows to one’s soul.” But aside from being the window to our soul, the eyes are also our windows to the world. They are very important sense organs. Just imagine waking up one day without the sense of sight. You would definitely find it difficult to feed yourself, perform personal hygiene, or even move around. You are always at risk for injuries.

And because of their importance in our lives, we strive to protect them from potential damage.

We wear protective goggles or glasses when our work poses danger the eyes. We rest our eyes every now and then to prevent it from becoming fatigued. We use eye lubricants. Over the past few years, some have been taking supplements to ensure eye health. There are still others who practice special regimens to ensure that their eyes are in perfect shape. Unfortunately, some people meet accidents.

Chemical burns to the eyes are some of the most serious eye injuries. Without immediate first aid, these burns can lead to blindness, sometimes even irreversible. The eyes are made up of very delicate tissues. A corrosive chemical can burn the eyes even before a person can react and shut the eyelid. Even with the person’s eyelids close, chemicals continue to seep through onto the globe causing burns to a large portion of the eyes.

First aid actions taken for chemical burns to the eyes include:

  1. Place the eyes under running water and flood the eyes. In some cases, the burn will involve parts of the face. If this is the case, you should also flood the entire affected area. If only one eye or one side of the face has been burned, position the burned site below. Avoid washing the chemicals towards the unaffected eye or side of the face.
  2. Keep the water running, if possible from a faucet. If both eyes are affected, the flow should be from the medial corner of the eye to the sides. Since the natural reaction of the victim is to close his eyes, you may need to hold the eyelids open.
  3. Continue washing eye for at least 30 minutes or until help arrives.
  4. If the victim complains of renewed burning sensation, resume washing of the eyes.
  5. Once the chemical has been cleared, loosely cover the eyes to prevent it from moving. Keep both eyelids shut.

Chemical burns to the eyes can be difficult to manage, especially if you Chemical Burns to the Eyesdo not have adequate training. Taking basic first aid course offered by the workplace approved and its training partners is essential. Chemical burns to the eyes are usually work-related injuries.

People whose work involves handling corrosive substances are highly encouraged to take first aid course. On the other hand, employers are mandated by law to have someone in the workplace who knows how to manage such emergencies.


First Aid CoursesLichen planus refers to inflammatory conditions that affect the skin and mucous membranes which may appear as purplish, often itchy and flat-topped bumps.

Lichen planus forms lacy white patches which are associated with painful sores, typically in the mouth, vagina, and other regions of the body with mucous membranes.

This condition arises when one’s immune system mistakenly attacks the cells of the skin or mucous membranes. The reason for this abnormal immune response still remains unclear however; mild cases of lichen planus can be managed at home without a prescribed medical treatment. One cannot catch linen planus or give to another person. If the condition causes pain or significant itching, a medication to suppress the immune system should be prescribed.

Lichen planus signs and symptoms

Symptoms of lichen planus may vary depending on the affected areas. Conversely, characteristic signs and symptoms include painful oral or vaginal ulcers, nail damage or loss, purplish, flat-topped bumps, often on the inner forearm, ankle or wrist but are sometimes found on the external genitals.; blisters that may break to form scabs, hair loss and scalp discoloration, and white spots or patches in the mouth-inside the cheeks or in the gums, lips or tongue.

Lichen planus causes

Just like lichen nitidus the cause of lichen planus is unknown, though physically powerful evidence suggests that inflammation controlled by a body’s immune system, brings about the lesions. Notably, certain diseases, medical conditions and other factors may also act as triggers of lichen planus in some individuals.

Possible triggers of lichen planus include certain pigments, metals and chemicals, flu vaccine infection from hepatitis C, hepatitis B vaccine and certain medications for arthritis, heart disease and high blood pressure. This infection can be difficult to manage when it is on the vulva and in the vagina as it causes severe pain, leaving scars. Sexual dysfunction becomes a long time complication to live with and might force the victim to look for a general practitioner.

Complications of lichen planus

There is also some evidence that lichen planus increases the risk of one getting skin cancer although the risk is always small. The doctor may also recommend routine screening for evidence of any cancerous cells in tissues that lichen planus might have affected.

Lichen planus treatment

Lichen planus commonly affects middle-aged adults even though anyone is at risk of developing this condition. It may last for a few months or several years on one’s skin then suddenly clear on its own. It may however be more resistant to treatment and prone to recur if it affects the mucous membrane. It is in order to get correct medications and other treatments to help relieve itching and to promote healing.

There is no cure for this inflammatory condition currently, but there are certain types of medicines used to reduce the effects of the inflammation with prescriptions medication. Lichen planus may go into a dormant state after treatment and flare up years after it is considered cured.

Choosing the Right Certification Courses

These days, some jobs would require that you have a CPR certification. But with several certification courses being offered today, and by different institutions like the American Heart Association or American workplace approved, it’s understandable why some are frustrated and wary when it comes to choosing what CPR certification class to take. Taking into consideration the following questions will make your search easier.

Which kind of CPR certification do I need – the standard or healthcare provider one?

The kind of certification you need would depend on what profession you’re in. Most would just go for the standard CPR certification, which is also known as CPR for the layperson (level “C”). This is usually recommended for babysitters, camp counsellors, coaches, daycare employees, nursing home employees, personal trainers, school bus drivers and teachers.

Those in the healthcare profession are required to study take a more advanced CPR class. Healthcare provider CPR certifications are necessary for dentists and dental assistants, EMTs, firefighters, nurses and nursing assistants, respiratory therapists, paramedics, physical therapists, police officers and occupational therapists.

Should I get an AED certification too?

Check with your employer if it’s a requirement for you to have AED certification. Almost all CPR classes discuss AED or Automated External Defibrillator in passing and also give out materials on them.  Being certified on it will depend on your profession.

Do I need a CPR certification that focuses on infants and children?

As with AED, specializing on infants and child CPR would depend on either your job or your preference. Teachers, daycare workers and foster parents would need to get this certification. But parents can also decide to get this on their own so they’ll know what to do during emergencies.

Should I choose the American Heart Association or another Workplace Approved Provider?

While there are numerous organizations where you can get CPR certified, the American workplace approved and the American Heart Association are two of the most popular. Ask your employer which of the two institutions are preferred.

The American Heart Association has two popular CPR courses, the Heartsaver CPR AED and Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers. The former teaches adult, infant and child CPR and AED while the latter is geared towards healthcare professionals.

On the other hand, the American workplace approved offers classes that are broken down into categories – adult, infant, child and AED. Infant and child CPR courses are taught as a single class and Adult CPR as another class. But classes where all three categories are taught together are also offered.

The workplace approved healthcare provider course is known as “CPR for the Professional Rescuer”. However, some healthcare employers don’t accept certifications from this course so it’s best to coordinate with your employer. You should also double check what the classes will be covering
before you sign up.

There are CPR classes being offered on the Internet which only cost around $20 or so. But most companies don’t accept certifications from online-only courses as CPR skills should be taught in a classroom set-up where the student can get hands-on practice.