24 votes

What to do if someone breaks a bone?

You as an untrained bystander can do little to nothing. Professionally trained paramedics could (as an example) pull the leg and thus remove tension between two bone membranes (periostei) and in a ...
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  • 6,480
10 votes

What's the rush in the case of sudden hearing loss?

According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, a sudden hearing loss (Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss) is considered as a medical emergency as the treatment is more efficient if ...
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  • 2,250
8 votes
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Why does breathing stop during cardiac arrest?

During approximately 50% of cardiac arrests, the patient continues to breathe for a time. However, this breathing is known as agonal respiration and is essentially gasping for air. This gasping is ...
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  • 864
8 votes
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Is it safe to drink urine when you have nothing else to drink?

If you are in a no-other-liquid situation then not, it's not safe to drink. The problem is that your urine is a way to remove superfluous minerals and other stuff from the body. The body's job, ...
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  • 2,770
7 votes
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Can a otherwise healthy person request a "do not resuscitate" order?

The MOLST (Medical Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment) form is an update to the non-hospital DNR, which as you saw in a previous answer has very stringent (and frankly unrealistic) requirements. ...
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  • 1,251
7 votes
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Can Manual External Defibrillators "restart" a heart?

Your technical understanding is correct and television is fiction. In fact, watching shows involving CPR and defibrillation is a source of both amusement and frustration for most medical professionals ...
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  • 9,324
6 votes
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How safe are backboards?

The only studies I'm aware of come from the Emergency Medicine Journal, but other should exist for sure. Some say it has drawbacks (discomfort, pressure sore) and that alternatives such as the vacuum ...
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  • 2,250
6 votes

Why is defibrillation commenced before CPR in ventricular fibrillation?

The timing of the first defibrillation attempts depends mostly on when defibrillation is detected. If it is witnessed - that is, the patient is being monitored and the alarm goes off, you're right ...
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6 votes
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In an emergency situation, how does the medical doctor determine that an unconscious patient is pregnant?

While the blood pregnancy test is one option, urine pregnancy tests are still possible in an unconscious patient via a Foley catheter, which is a tube inserted up the urethra into the bladder. These ...
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  • 1,251
6 votes
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Emergent gastric ischemia

Cocaine use is known to cause gastric ischemia or even perforation (in a 19 year old female student with epigastric pain PubMed, 2010) and in another 5 relatively young people (PubMed, 1991), or ...
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5 votes

What to do if someone breaks a bone?

So let's assume you're speaking of a large bone, like the arm (humerus, radius or ulna) or leg (femur, tibia or fibula), but not the skull, spine or pelvis. A good rule of thumb: the larger the bone, ...
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5 votes
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Mechanical cardio resuscitation for asystole

"Giving" electrical current to the heart does not necessarily translate to mechanical contractions. The excitation-contraction coupling (as the sequence of electrical activation an muscle contraction ...
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5 votes
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What to do if someone on video chat needs medical help

Answer for the US and Canada: Call 911 and explain the situation. They will be able to either forward your call or give you a number to call faster than you can find it on your own. Dispatch centers ...
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  • 9,324
5 votes

Can a radiology technician spot an emergency?

It is impossible to state yes or no for any specific circumstance, so I will answer generally. Radiology Technicians have extensive training that is mostly specific to the testing they perform, and ...
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  • 5,693
4 votes

Why are backboards no longer used as spinal immobilization devices?

I took a quick look at the National Registry site, and their practice tests still show protocols and usage questions for backboard application, so if it is a new national EMS policy, then it isn't ...
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  • 6,524
4 votes

What to do if someone breaks a bone?

It all depends on the bone that is (or might be) broken, and on the overall condition of the patient. Call an ambulance for a fractured skull, vertebra or hip. Call an ambulance for open fractures (...
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3 votes

Contraindications for administrating oxygen

In addition to circumstances where an oxygen source would itself be a hazard for external reasons, and in those with chronic type 2 respiratory failure as pointed out in Graham Chie's answer; there is ...
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  • 701
3 votes
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Contraindications for administrating oxygen

Clearly if there's a risk of fire, then giving oxygen outside the hospital risks fire. And in neonates, high flow oxygen can cause oxygen toxicity. If there is no such risk, then the main objection ...
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  • 13.2k
3 votes

What to do if someone breaks a bone?

If both legs are OK and there is no way they could have a spinal injury, you may well find it is quicker to get them to hospital in your car. Drive very slowly over bumps and around corners, do not ...
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  • 139
3 votes

Crystalloid infusion during anaphylactic shock

Your assumption that there is no fluid loss is wrong. In addition to the vasodilation Jan mentioned in his answer, there's significant fluid loss caused by increased permeability of the vasculature. ...
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  • 9,324
3 votes
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Emergency defibrillation

Although you might cobble something together that can deliver the appropriate levels of shock, the problem is what @Graham Chiu has been hinting at in his comments. Not all forms of cardiac arrest are ...
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  • 9,324
3 votes

Alternative sources of iodine for radiation emergency

Here is a potential option that should at least be better than nothing and not particularly risky. Required supplies: Iodized salt High concentration ethanol (>90%) Filter Principle: Iodized salt ...
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  • 201
3 votes

Can iodine purification tablets be used to prevent absorption of radioactive iodine (tetraglycine hydroperiodide, potassium iodide)

The answer is yes. I found a couple of studies looking at hydroperiodide function in the thyroid. Both of them were from the same group of authors and from the military, where use of these sorts of ...
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  • 1,758
2 votes

Is there any medical value when a care provider talk to his trauma patient?

No, I don't think keeping a patient awake has any treatment value in trauma cases. I'm skeptical there even are situations where you could override the effects of traumatic injury by simply talking. ...
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  • 9,324
2 votes

Is there any medical value when a care provider talk to his trauma patient?

Just because there may exist some patients who are going to lose consciousness (or die) no matter what doesn't mean this technique has no value. Imagine this. It's the middle of the night. You're in ...
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  • 3,744
2 votes

Why is treating hepatic vein injuries so difficult?

The part of the question about passive euthanasia is an ethical question, which in my opinion does not fit for Health.SE. From INJURY SEVERITY SCORING: a Hepatic avulsion, which is given with ...
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  • 354
2 votes

What to do if someone breaks a bone?

If you are untrained on this subject matter, the best practise is to do nothing about the fracture.* Even most certified first aiders are not trained to handle broken bones. *By nothing I don't ...
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2 votes

Can a otherwise healthy person request a "do not resuscitate" order?

If an otherwise healthy person has a do not resuscitate order and has a heart attack and the ambulance comes, will they just let him die like that? Or is do not resuscitate only applicable to ...
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  • 690
2 votes
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How does fluid temp impact glucose uptake in hypoglycemia?

Effect of meal temperature on gastric emptying of liquids in man (Gut, 1988): The initial rate of gastric emptying of the cold drink was significantly slower than the control drink… The slower ...
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