Medical Services in Los Barriles
The Los Barriles area is fortunate to be home to the East Cape Health Center and the East Cape Dental Clinic, both providing basic, quality care beyond your first-aid efforts. For first-aid information, we recommend WebMD. They cover a wide range of topics including special items of interest such as jellyfish stings and sunburn. They also have a nice discussion of what to include in your first-aid kit. First-aid information from the East Cape Health Center is also shown below.
Basic First Aid Smart Cards (courtesy of East Cape Health Center)
First Aid Considerations
- Always remember scene safety.
- Approach all victims carefully, looking for dangers that might have caused the emergency.
- Why is the victim lying there?
- Was it a snake bite? Is the snake still there?
- Was it an electrocution? Are there live wires?
- Apply a cold compress or ice immediately to reduce swelling.
- Elevate arms or legs to help with swelling.
- Talk to a medical professional as soon as possible to prevent further damage.
Poison Plants and Rashes
- Wash contact area immediately (take care to use gloves if at all possible; if not, wash hands as soon as possible)
- Antihistamine cream or hydrocortisone should be placed on the site.
- Take Benadryl by mouth if a reaction occurs.
- If the site continues to decline in condition, seek a medical professional.
- An over-the-counter, anti-diarrheal will help most of the time. Ask for a pharmacist's suggestion.
- Consume only liquid until the condition improves.
- Drink liquids often; dehydration can become an issue.
- Work up to bland foods and avoid fried, fat, or vegetables until the condition is better.
- Restore original diet.
- If condition persists, consult a medical professional.
- Minor burns can be treated with cool running water or compress.
- Seek a medical professional if blistering occurs.
- Antiseptic spray can provide relief of sunburn or minor burns temporarily.
Bites and Stings
- Ice or cold compress should be applied immediately.
- Remove any stinger if at all possible.
- Antihistamine cream should be applied to the site.
- Take Benadryl if a reaction develops.
- Elevate the location of the bite or sting.
- Seek a medical professional for treatment for any side-effects such as shortness of breath or swelling.
Nausea and vomiting are symptoms of an underlying disease and not a specific illness. It is important to rest the stomach and yet still avoid dehydration.
- Sips of ginger ale, crushed ice, and tea can be helpful every 5-10 min.
- Emetrol can ease nausea; follow instructions on the bottle.
- Add small amounts of food as conditions improve. Examples: crackers, toast, fruit, rice, clear soups.
- Incrementally add more complex foods, avoiding fatty foods until healed.
- If vomiting persists or it is accompanied by a fever, seek a medical professional.
Colds and Sore Throat
- Drink increased amounts of fluid.
- Over-the-counter cold medicine is sometimes a very effective treatment. Consult a pharmacist to find one that fits your symptoms well.
- Use throat lozenges if needed, following the directions on the label.
- Hot tea or other such liquids can provide temporary relief.
- If fever or other symptoms persist or occur, consult a medical professional.
Choking because of an obstructed airway is a leading cause of accidental death. If a choking person is not coughing or is unable to speak, that's your clue to perform the Heimlich Maneuver.
- Ask the choking person to stand and place yourself directly behind them.
- Place your arms around their waist. Make a fist with one hand and place your thumb toward the person just above their belly button.
- Grab your fist with your other hand and deliver 5 strong upward thrusts into the abdomen.
- Repeat until the foreign object is expelled or the person loses consciousness.
Occurs when body heat is lost faster than it is generated.
- Cold skin temperature.
- Decreased mental status (slurred speech)
- Rapid, then slow pulse
- Lack of coordination
- Stiff, rigid posture
- Muscle rigidity
- Impaired judgement
- Complaints of joint/muscle stiffness
- Remove from cold environment
- Do not allow person to walk or exert himself in any way
- Protect the person from further heat loss
- Remove any wet clothing
- Cover with blanket
- Seek medical attention
How to Control a Bloody Nose
- Pinch nose just below bridge. There should not be visible bleeding. If so, pinch harder or adjust your grip.
- Have person lean forward, not backward.
- Pinch nose for at least 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, release pressure and check bleeding.
- If bleeding hasn't stopped in 5 minutes, repeat for 10 minutes.
- If nosebleed hasn't stopped after 3rd try, seek medical attention.
- Pressure should be applied with a towel or gauze until it stops bleeding.
- Minor cuts and scrapes should be treated with Hydrogen Peroxide.
- Sealing it with a band-aid and antibiotic ointment can reduce the chance of infection.
- Mild/moderate perspiration
- Normal to cool skin temperature
- Weakness, exhaustion, dizziness
- Muscle cramps
- Rapid/shallow breathing
- Rapid/weak pulse
- Altered mental status
- Move to cool environment
- Loosen or remove clothing
- Cool the person by fanning; do not chill
- Give water if awake
- Place on back with legs elevated
- Help ease cramps by placing moist cloths over cramped muscles
Consider all snakebites to be from poisonous snakes. Do not approach live snake to determine its species unless you are an expert. Do not try to catch it.
- Noticeable bite to skin. May appear as nothing more than a discoloration.
- Rapid pulse/labored breathing
- Pain/swelling/May take 30 minutes to several hours to develop
- Weakness/Nervous problems
- Keep person calm and lying down
- Remove jewelry and constricting items from bitten extremity
- Immobilize bitten extremity, keeping it level or below level of heart
- Seek medical attention as soon as possible