Archive for the ‘Allergic Reaction’ category

Certificate III in Childcare – HLTAID004 Provide an Emergency First Aid Response in an Education and Care Setting

October 23rd, 2018

Providing First Aid and CPR certificates for the childcare industry on the Northern Beaches is our pleasure. The HLTAID004 Provide an Emergency First Aid Response in an Education and Care Setting is for Certificate III students to complete their Childcare course. Book in online today to secure your spot in a first aid or CPR course at the Dee Why RSL on the Northern Beaches.

Food allergy occurs in around 1 in 20 children and in about 2 in 100 adults. The most common triggers are egg, cow’s milk, peanut, tree nuts, seafood, sesame, soy, fish and wheat. The majority of food allergies in children are not severe, and may be ‘outgrown’ with time. However, peanut, tree nut, seed and seafood allergies are less likely to be outgrown and tend to be lifelong allergies. Some food allergies can be severe, causing life-threatening reactions known as anaphylaxis.

What is allergy?
An allergy is when the immune system reacts to a substance (allergen) in the environment which is usually harmless (e.g. food, pollen, animal dander and dust mite) or bites, stings and medications. This results in the production of allergy antibodies which are proteins in the immune system which identify and react with foreign substances.

An allergic reaction is when someone develops symptoms following exposure to an allergen, such as hives, swelling of the lips, eyes or face, vomiting or wheeze. It is important to note that only some people with allergy antibodies will develop symptoms following exposure to the allergen, hence confirmation of allergy by a clinical immunology/allergy specialist is required.

Allergic reactions range from mild to severe. Anaphylaxis is the most severe form of allergic reaction.

Symptoms of food allergy
Mild to moderate symptoms of food allergy include:

Swelling of face, lips and/or eyes
Hives or welts on the skin
Abdominal pain, vomiting
Signs of a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) to foods include:

Difficult/noisy breathing
Swelling of tongue
Swelling/tightness in throat
Difficulty talking and/or hoarse voice
Wheeze or persistent cough
Persistent dizziness and/or collapse
Pale and floppy (in young children)
Food allergy can sometimes be dangerous
Although Mild, moderate and even severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) to foods are common in Australia and New Zealand. However, deaths from anaphylaxis due to food allergy are rare in Australia and New Zealand. Most deaths can be prevented by careful allergen avoidance measures and immediate administration of an adrenaline autoinjector.

The most common foods causing life-threatening anaphylaxis are peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish, milk and egg. Symptoms of anaphylaxis affect our breathing and/or our heart.

Sometimes food allergy may be less obvious
Less common symptoms of food allergy include infantile colic, reflux of stomach contents, eczema, chronic diarrhoea and failure to thrive in infants.

Not all adverse reactions to foods are due to allergy
The term allergy is often misused to describe any adverse reaction to foods which results in annoying (but ultimately harmless) symptoms such as headaches after overindulging in chocolate or red wine, or bloating after drinking a milkshake or eating too much pasta. While these reactions are not allergic, the result is a widespread impression that all adverse reactions to foods are trivial.

Adverse reactions to foods that are not allergy include food intolerances, toxic reactions, food poisoning, enzyme deficiencies, food aversion or irritation from skin contact with certain foods. These adverse reactions are often mistaken for food allergy.

How common is food allergy and is it increasing?
Studies have shown that food allergy affects 10% of children up to 1 year of age; between 4-8% of children aged up to 5 years of age and approximately 2% of adults.

Hospital admissions for severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) have doubled over the last decade in Australia, USA and UK. In Australia, admissions for anaphylaxis due to food allergy in children aged 0 to 4 years are even higher, having increased five-fold over the same period.

Why the rise in food allergy?
We currently do not have clear information as to why food allergy seems to have increased so rapidly in recent years, particularly in young children. This area requires additional research studies, several of which are already underway.

Proposed explanations (which have not yet been proven in studies) include:

Hygiene hypothesis, which proposes that less exposure to infections in early childhood, is associated with an increased risk of allergy. A more recent version of the hygiene hypothesis proposes that the make-up and type of the micro-organisms to which the mother, baby and infant is exposed and colonised with may alter allergic risk.
Delayed introduction of allergenic foods such as egg, peanut or tree nuts.
Methods of food processing, such as roasted versus boiled peanuts.
Development of allergy to food by skin exposure such as the use of unrefined nut oil based moisturisers.
These areas require additional research studies, several of which are underway.

Allergies to cow’s milk, eggs and peanuts are the most common in children
Nine foods cause 90% of food allergic reactions, including cow’s milk, egg, peanut, tree nuts, sesame, soy, fish, shellfish and wheat. Peanut, tree nuts, shellfish, fish, sesame and egg are the most common food allergens in older children and adults. Other triggers such as herbal medicines, fruits and vegetables have been described and almost any food can cause an allergic reaction.

When does food allergy develop?
Food allergy can develop at any age, but is most common in young children aged less than 5 years. Even young babies can develop symptoms of food allergy.

Reliable diagnosis of food allergy is important
Your doctor will normally ask a series of questions that may help to narrow down the list of likely causes such as foods or medicines consumed that day, or exposure to stinging insects. This approach will also help to exclude conditions that can sometimes be confused with food allergy and anaphylaxis.
Skin prick allergy tests or allergy blood tests help to confirm or exclude potential triggers. Sometimes a temporary elimination diet under close medical and dietetic supervision will be needed, followed by food challenges to identify the cause. Long term unsupervised restricted diets should not be undertaken, as this can lead to malnutrition and other complications such as food aversion.

While the results of allergy testing are a useful guide in determining whether the person is allergic, they do not provide a reliable guide to whether the reaction will be mild or severe. Information on allergy tests is available on the ASCIA website: www.allergy.org.au/patients/allergy-testing/allergy-testing

Food allergy does not run in the family
Most of the time, children with food allergy do not have parents with food allergy. However, if a family has one child with food allergy, their brothers and sisters are at a slightly higher risk of having food allergy themselves, although that risk is still relatively low.

Some parents want to have their other children screened for food allergy. If the test is negative, that may be reassuring, but does not mean that the other child will never develop an allergy in the future. If their screening test is positive, it is not always clear whether it definitely represents allergy. In this situation, a food challenge (under medical supervision) may be required to confirm the allergy.

A positive allergy test is not the same as being food allergic
It is important to know that a positive skin prick allergy test or allergy blood test means that the body’s immune system has produced a response to a food, but sometimes these are false positives. In other words, the test may be positive yet the person can actually eat the food without any symptoms. For this reason, it is important to confirm the significance of a positive allergy test (in some circumstances) with a supervised food challenge. In a child with a positive test of uncertain meaning, this is often done around school entry age under medical supervision. Interpretation of test results (and whether challenge should be undertaken) should be discussed with your doctor.

Unorthodox so called allergy tests are unproven
There are several methods of unorthodox so called tests for food allergy. Examples include cytotoxic food testing, Vega testing, kinesiology, allergy elimination techniques, iridology, pulse testing, Alcat testing, Rinkel’s intradermal skin testing, reflexology, hair analysis and IgG food antibody testing. These have no scientific basis, are unreliable and have no useful role in the assessment of allergy. These techniques have not been shown to be reliable or reproducible when subjected to formal study. ASCIA advises against the use of these tests for diagnosis or to guide medical treatment. No Medicare rebate is available in Australia for these tests, and their use is also not supported in New Zealand.

Adverse consequences may also arise from unorthodox testing and treatments. Treatment based on inaccurate, false positive or clinically irrelevant results is not only misleading, but can lead to ineffective and at times expensive treatments, and delay more effective therapy. Sometimes harmful therapy may result, such as unnecessary dietary avoidance and risk of malnutrition, particularly in children. Information on these methods is available on the ASCIA website:
www.allergy.org.au/patients/allergy-testing/unorthodox-testing-and-treatment

Most children grow out of their food allergy
Most children allergic to cow’s milk, soy, wheat or egg will ‘outgrow’ their food allergy. By contrast, allergic reactions to peanut, tree nuts, sesame and seafood persist in the majority (~ 75%) of children affected. When food allergy develops for the first time in adults, it usually persists.

Allergic reactions may be mild, moderate or severe, and can be influenced by a number of factors
These factors include:

the severity of the allergy
the amount eaten
the form of the food (liquid may sometimes be absorbed faster)
whether it is eaten on its own or mixed in with other foods
exercise around the same time as the meal, as this may worsen severity
whether the food is cooked, as cooked food is sometimes better tolerated
the presence or absence of asthma
menstrual cycle in females
intake of alcohol
Can food allergies be prevented?
Information about allergy prevention is available on the ASCIA website:
www.allergy.org.au/patients/allergy-prevention

Research into food allergy is ongoing
The increased frequency of food allergy is driving research into areas such as prevention, treatment and why it has become more common. Current areas of research include allergen immunotherapy (also referred to as desensitisation) to switch off the allergy once it has developed. Initial results are encouraging but it is not yet ready for routine clinical use. Research continues to explore new ways of more effectively treating this condition.

ASCIA Action Plans are essential
Many people with food allergies will have an accidental exposure every few years, even when they are very careful to avoid the foods they are allergic to. The difficulties of avoiding some foods completely make it essential to have an ASCIA Action Plan for Anaphylaxis if an adrenaline autoinjector has been prescribed.

For those who are not thought to be at high risk of anaphylaxis and therefore have not been prescribed an adrenaline autoinjector, an ASCIA Action Plan for Allergic Reactions should be completed and provided by your medical doctor. ASCIA Action Plans must be completed by a doctor and are available from the ASCIA website: www.allergy.org.au/hp/anaphylaxis-resources/ascia-action-plan-for-anaphylaxis

Living with your food allergy
As there is currently no cure for food allergy, strict avoidance is essential in the management of food allergy. It is important for individuals with food allergy to:

Carry their adrenaline (epinephrine) autoinjector (if prescribed) and ASCIA Action Plan with them at all times;
Know the signs and symptoms of mild to moderate and severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) and what to do when a reaction occurs;
Read and understand food labels for food allergy;
Tell wait staff that they have a food allergy when eating out;
Be aware of cross contamination of food allergens when preparing food.
Food allergy can be effectively managed
The good news is that people with food allergy can learn to live with their condition with the guidance of their clinical immunology/allergy specialist and a network of supportive contacts. Having an ASCIA Action Plan for Anaphylaxis and adrenaline autoinjector offers reassurance, but this is not a substitute for strategies to minimise the risk of exposure.

Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia (www.allergyfacts.org.au/) and Allergy New Zealand (www.allergy.org.nz) are community support organisations that offer valuable updates and tips for living with food allergies.

Further information on food allergy and anaphylaxis is provided on the ASCIA website:
www.allergy.org.au/patients/food-allergy
www.allergy.org.au/hp/anaphylaxis-resources

Cheaper than St John’s, online course work, free manual, free CPR mask, free CPR chart

July 16th, 2018

Simple Instruction is based in Sydney’s Northern region (North Shore and Northern Beaches) but is willing to travel all over Sydney to complete nationally accredited training courses. We provide public training courses at The Dee Why RSL and are more than happy to come to your workplace, home, child care facility etc.

Provide First Aid HLTAID003 is a comprehensive course that will give you the knowledge, skills and confidence to help an ill or injured person until emergency help arrives. You will learn the DRSABCD action plan as well as Provide Cardiopulmonary resuscitation HLTAID001 (Including defibrillation), asthma, anaphylaxis and the management of various injuries and illnesses. Provide an emergency first aid response in an education and care setting HLTAID004 is required by ACECQA for anyone working with children including those completing their certificate 3 at TAFE in child services.

The First Aid training course has essential free online pre-work to be completed before you attend the course. Payment is easy and cheap. All course bookings receive a free manual, free CPR face shield, free CPR chart and a Dee Why RSL pen.

All courses are conducted under the auspices of Allen’s Training Pty Ltd RTO 90909 and are Nationally recognised and accredited.

Asthma and Anaphylaxis Course – HLTAID004 Provide an emergency first aid response in an education and care setting

June 11th, 2018

Northern Beaches HLTAID004 Provide an emergency first aid response in an education and care setting training course is available at the Dee Why RSL weekly. This course is ideal for Child Care workers and anyone in the child services industry. Simple Instruction offers online easy of use training before sitting the course. Please contact our team for HLTAID003 Provide First Aid and HLTAID001 Provide CPR certified and Nationally Recognised Training courses.

Who uses an EpiPen?
EpiPens are first aid treatment for anaphylaxis, a potentially life threatening allergic reaction that affects a person’s breathing and blood pressure.

EpiPens deliver a single shot of adrenaline to reverse the symptoms of anaphylaxis. Allergy sufferers who experience an anaphylactic allergic reaction need to call an ambulance immediately and go to hospital, both for further treatment and to be under observation for at least four hours.

Why is there a shortage?
Australian supplier Mylan says the US manufacturer Pfizer is responsible for the supply shortage. Pfizer puts the delay down to a problem with the autoinjector’s components – one that’s caused production delays for months.

Pfizer tells CHOICE the shortage has to do with a third-party component, as well as changes made to its manufacturing facility. “At this time, we cannot commit to a specific time for when the supply constraint will be fully resolved,” a spokesperson says.

The company is advising people to fill their prescriptions closer to expiration dates to help them manage EpiPen supply over the next few months.

What happens if I have an attack?
If you don’t have an EpiPen on hand, immediately call 000 – or better yet, have someone with you make the call.

Follow your ASCIA action plan that you’ve developed with your doctor, and either sit or lay down on the ground with your feet outstretched in front of you. Don’t stand up or sit on a chair, as this could cause a sudden drop in blood pressure.

If you’re having a severe allergic reaction, Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia recommends that you follow your ASCIA action plan:

sit or lie down on the ground
use the EpiPen on your outer mid-thigh
call for an ambulance
(if the symptoms persist and it’s needed) take a second EpiPen five minutes after the first.
You’ll need to go to hospital for further treatment and remain under observation for at least four hours.

Can I use an expired EpiPen?
Most allergy sufferers will have an EpiPen on hand, even if it’s an expired one.

EpiPens have a one- to two-year shelf life before they expire. It’s not ideal, but consumer allergy groups and pharmacists recommend people use their expired EpiPens if necessary during the shortage.

These adrenaline autoinjectors do become less effective over time, but the consensus is an expired EpiPen is better than not having one to use at the time of an attack.

If all of your EpiPens have expired, use the most recent one. Be sure to check the expiration date on the EpiPen itself and not on the box as they may differ.

You can gauge the quality of an EpiPen by checking the clear window near its tip. The adrenaline should be transparent – free from sediment and discolouration – for it to be most effective.

How long do I have to wait for a replacement EpiPen?
After leaving your prescription with a pharmacist, it takes between a couple of days to two weeks for an EpiPen to arrive.

The pharmacists we spoke to say they haven’t had EpiPens in stock for months. Before the shortage, pharmacies would typically stock two EpiPens at any time, with replacement stock being delivered daily.

The shortage has been going on for how long?
The government’s Therapeutics Goods Administration (TGA) says EpiPens have been in short supply since January 2018.

Initially orders were not being fulfilled at all, forcing people to visit different pharmacies in the hope they could find untapped stock. Supply has marginally improved, with an ordering system delivering EpiPens to the people who need an EpiPen the most.

Has the shortage been linked to any deaths or serious injuries?
The shortage has not been linked to any deaths or serious injuries in Australia, a Department of Health spokesperson told CHOICE.

We asked manufacturer Pfizer if it has contributed to any deaths or injuries globally, but the company chose not to address the question.

Can I reuse an EpiPen?

EpiPens can only be used once – even if there’s some adrenaline still in the device. After use, they should be placed in a container, marked with the time it was administered and handed over to ambulance staff.

Does the shortage affect EpiPen Junior autoinjectors?
EpiPen Junior autoinjectors are not experiencing a stock shortage.

Are there any alternatives to an EpiPen?
We’re one of the few countries that don’t have an alternative adrenaline autoinjector, along with Canada, which makes us more vulnerable to the ongoing shortage as people don’t have a substitute.

First Aid and CPR Training available on the Northern Beaches

April 3rd, 2018

First aid: Australia has lowest rate of training, says Australian Red Cross
ABC Radio Sydney By Amanda Hoh
Posted 13 Sep 2017, 7:00am

Girls arms doing CPR on man lying on his back
PHOTO: Performing CPR involves repeating 30 chest compressions followed by two breaths. (ABC RN/Cathy Johnson)
RELATED STORY: Firefighters armed with new CPR skills to help save each other’s livesRELATED STORY: Snakes out in Sydney due to warm weather and urban sprawl
Do you know what to do if someone burns themselves with hot water at home?

What about if your child drinks something poisonous or stops breathing?

Australia has the lowest rates of first-aid training in the world, according to the Australian Red Cross, with less than 5 per cent of people trained in how to handle an emergency situation.

Almost 500,000 Australians are admitted to hospitals every year as a result of injury, with around 12,000 dying from their injuries, primarily from falls.

Most injuries occur in the home, followed by the workplace.

“Workplaces offering first aid is low,” Red Cross spokeswoman Amanda Lindsay said.

“They might encourage their staff to do first-aid training, but paying for first-aid training, only 50 per cent of Australian workplaces [do so].

“Giving someone the confidence to perform first-aid duties in the workplace is important.”

Know how to perform CPR
Learning how to tend to someone who has suffered a cardiac arrest is one of the key skills in an emergency situation.

More than 33,000 Australians suffer cardiac arrest each year, and only 5 to 7 per cent survive.

First aid sign
PHOTO: Keep a first-aid kit at home and in the your vehicle and replace expired items. (ABC News: Freya Michie)
The longer you delay cardiopulmonary resuscitation, the less chance of survival.

After 10 minutes, the survival rate drops substantially.

“Keeping the blood flow to the vital organs and the brain is so important,” Ms Lindsay said.

“You’re there as a first responder, you’re not a paramedic, you’re not a doctor, but you’re there to respond to the incident straight away to give them the best chance of survival.”

Not just about treating a person
For ABC Radio Sydney caller Stephen, knowing first aid was a big help when he witnessed a car accident in the 1970s and the skills have stuck with him since.

First-aid training was offered as part of his job.

“There was a pregnant lady sitting on the side of the road. I thought, ‘be calm, assure everyone’. I called the ambulance and got the medics. Calmness was one of the aspects [of first aid].”

For Phil, receiving infant first-aid training when he had his children was invaluable.

“Something that stuck with me was that you may not be able to resuscitate a child or an adult, but it’s about keeping it going until emergency services get there, because you can keep blood flowing to their brain by keeping the oxygen going. You might not see the results but there’s still something going on in there that is saving their life.”

Ms Lindsay encouraged all parents and carers to undertake a first-aid course.

The Red Cross also recommends keeping your first-aid training certificate up to date and to keep a well-stocked first-aid kit at home and in your vehicle and regularly replace expired items.

How do you treat:
Cardiac arrest
If possible use a defibrillator, which many workplaces make available. Otherwise start CPR, which involves 30 chest compressions followed by two rescue breaths. Repeat at a rate of 100 to 120 compressions per minute.

Burns
The Red Cross recommends putting the burn area under cool running water for 20 minutes. If there is an open wound, apply a non-adhesive dressing; if it’s larger than the palm of the person’s hand, get them to hospital straight away.

Choking
The Heimlich manoeuvre which thrusts the person from around the abdomen is no longer recommended. Perform five back thrusts in between the shoulder blades. If the item hasn’t been dislodged, five chest thrusts. Encourage the person to cough if they can still breathe.

Poisons
Don’t encourage the person to vomit. Call the poison hotline straight away on 13 11 26. Each poison will have a standard way of proceeding.

Snake bites
Apply the pressure immobilisation technique by bandaging below the snake bite to the top of the snake bite as tight as you can. Keep the affected body part still.

Book a course on the Northern Beaches of Sydney. We can increase the rate of training and keep our Northern Beaches a safe place. Simple Instruction first aid and CPR training is offering Nationally Recognised Training at the Dee Why RSL 10 to 15 times per month at a time that suits you.

Book a First Aid or CPR course on the Northern Beaches to get the accredited training course that suits your needs. HLTAID003 Provide First Aid – for all industries, Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation CPR HLTAID001 in high risk industries and Provide an emergency response in an education and care setting HLTAID004 for Child care workers or those studying a Certificate 3 at TAFE.

www.simpleinstruction.com.au

Recognised by Allen’s Training PTY LTD RTO 90909

BIG Freeze – Northern Beaches Ticks

November 21st, 2017

Simple Instruction loves promoting a great product and wants all Northern Beaches people to know about the recommended way to use First Aid and remove ticks. Please remember that child care workers HLTAID004 are not able to remove ticks or splinter in child care centres.

Scientist and gardener invents product to snap freeze ticks
Julie Cross, Manly Daily
November 19, 2017 12:30am
New research backs ‘freeze, don’t squeeze’
Mum almost dies after eating meat pie
A WOMAN who has suffered multiple tick bites while visiting the northern beaches believes she has invented a product which can freeze and kill them safely.

Peggy Douglass, 61, said her experience with ticks drove her to create a product to deal with the potentially life-threatening parasite.

Having trained in microbiology and chemistry, working for the Australian National University and then in food regulation bodies in the Commonwealth Government, she devised a pocket-sized solution, called Tick Tox.

It’s a simple aerosol can the size of a small deodorant tube. With one squirt it can snap freeze the tick.

Peggy Douglass has found herself covered in ticks after visits to family living on the northern beaches. Now she has produced a product called Tick Tox to kill them. Picture: Adam Yip
“In the old days I used to just pull them out,” Ms Douglass said.

“Sometimes I’d have 20 or more after working in my aunt’s garden in Palm Beach.

“Once I went home with 43.

“But having heard the advice that we should ‘freeze it, not squeeze it’, I looked around but found nothing that was specifically for ticks.”

At the moment tick experts advise people to use a freezing agent from the chemist.

The only ones available are for other conditions such as warts or tags.

Ms Douglass, who lives in Canberra, said hers is essentially the same product as those, but the applicator is smaller and more precise.

Dr Andy Ratchford, emergency director at Mona Vale Hospital, recently revealed results from a study looking at the best way to remove a tick.

He said results showed killing the tick by freezing it while it was still embedded in the skin was the best course of action and could potentially save a life.

Dr Andy Ratchford at Mona Vale Hospital Emergency department. Picture: Adam Yip
He said the research proves it was safer than using other methods such as pulling it out while still alive with tweezers or your fingertips.

“In general, we found that four out of five people who removed the ticks without killing them first suffered an allergic reaction, mostly it was a local reaction, but in some cases it was life threatening,” Dr Ratchford said.

He said in comparison, only one out of ten patients who killed ticks in place by freezing them first, suffered a reaction.

Allergy expert professor Sheryl van Nunen, who first linked ticks to meat allergies, estimates that more than 1000 people on the northern beaches have developed a meat allergy caused by a tick bite, while others have developed an allergy to ticks themselves.

Prof van Nunen said she could not comment on the product Tick Tox, but would be looking at it with other members of Tick Induced Allergies Research and Awareness, TIARA, at their next meeting.

Tick Tox is currently on sale online at ticktox.com.au or from chemists in Avalon and Mona Vale.

Peggy Douglass with her product Tick Tox. Picture: Adam Yip.
HOW TO REMOVE A TICK
1. For adult ticks, use a freezing agent, containing ether, such as WART-Off. Apply five presses of the treatment half a centimetre above the tick and wait for the tick to fall off.

If it doesn’t, reapply. Seek medical help if a tick, dead or alive, doesn’t drop off.

2. For tiny ticks, such as larvae and nymphs, use a permethrin-based cream such as Lyeclear. Leave on for one to three hours and they should fall off.

3. For more information on how to prevent and remove ticks go to tiara.org.au.

Book in for a Simple Instruction First Aid or CPR course for November, December, and January 2018. We have Provide First Aid HLTAID003, Provide CPR HLTAID001 at the Dee Why RSL. Book online

Northern Beaches Hospital – Mona Vale Tick First Aid

November 5th, 2017

IN a world first, a northern beaches hospital has conducted research into the safest way to remove a tick.

First Aid for Tick removal provided in Simple Instruction First Aid training courses at the Dee Why RSL.

Dr Andy Ratchford, emergency director at Mona Vale Hospital who was involved in the study, said results showed killing the tick by freezing it while it was still embedded in the skin was the best course of action and could potentially save a life.

He said the research proves it was safer than using other methods such as pulling it out while still alive with tweezers or your fingertips.

“In general, we found that four out of five people who removed the ticks without killing them first suffered an allergic reaction, mostly it was a local reaction, but in some cases it was life-threatening,” Dr Ratchford said.

He said in comparison, only one out of ten patients who killed ticks in place by freezing them first, suffered a reaction.

“Anaphylaxis is potentially fatal. If you can remove the tick and decrease your chances of getting a reaction then that is important,” Dr Ratchford said.

Dr Ratchford said the advice was critical for those living on the northern beaches which was a known tick hotspot.

He said at Mona Vale Hospital they were seeing a year-on-year rise in tick related emergencies.

As well as dealing with minor reactions to tick bites, they were also seeing patients with cellulitis, tick typhus and those with life-threatening anaphylaxis caused by an allergy to a tick or to meat, brought on by a tick bite.

Allergy expert professor Sheryl van Nunen, who first linked ticks to meat allergies, estimates that more than 1000 people on the northern beaches have developed a meat allergy caused by a tick bite, while others have developed an allergy to ticks themselves.

Last December an Avalon dad told the Manly Daily how he was left fearing for his life when his throat started to close up and his eyes and tongue turned black, after his wife pulled out a tick in his neck with her fingertips.

Mona Vale doctors had to give 53-year-old wool trader Michael Kiernan three emergency shots of adrenaline to help him breathe in the terrifying ordeal. Despite being bitten many times by ticks, he had never had a reaction before. Now he has to carry an lifesaving Epipen in case he gets another tick.

Michael Kiernan was left fearing for his life after a tick bite turned his eyes and tongue black.
Dr Ratchford said they saw most of their tick patients between July and December, as that was when the adult female needs its last blood meal before producing offspring.

He said during this period around two per cent of all cases at Mona Vale’s emergency department were tick-related, which was high.

The study looked at 124 patients between July and December in 2016. He said that didn’t include everyone who came to emergency with a tick bite, but a large sample of patients with tick issues.

Dr Ratchford said those on the frontline of tick emergencies had been advising people to freeze not squeeze ticks for some time.

One of the ticks removed from patients at Mona Vale Hospital. Picture: Adam Yip
However, without research to back it up health authorities have been reluctant to promote the method.

“There’s so much conflicting evidence out there on how to remove ticks, it’s a minefield,” he said.

“This is the first research looking at the best way to remove ticks.”

He said he would be submitting his research to journals in the hope of getting the information out there.

HOW TO REMOVE A TICK:
1. For adult ticks, use a freezing agent, containing ether, such as WART-Off. Apply five presses of the treatment half a centimetre above the tick and wait for the tick to fall off. If it doesn’t, reapply. Seek medical help if a tick, dead or alive, doesn’t drop off.

2. For tiny ticks, such as larvae and nymphs, use a permethrin-based cream such as Lyeclear. Leave on for one to three hours and they should fall off.

3. For more information on how to prevent and remove ticks go to tiara.org.au.

Provide First Aid – Top Ten Tips

March 19th, 2017

First aid is the life saving, critical help given to an injured or a sick person before medical aid arrives. This timely assistance, comprising of simple medical techniques, is most critical to the victims and is, often, life saving. Any layperson can be trained to administer first aid, which can be carried out using minimal equipments.

Bleeding nose
A nosebleed occurs when blood vessels inside the nose break. Because they’re delicate, this can happen easily. When this happens, lean slightly forward and pinch your nose just below the bridge, where the cartilage and the bone come together. Maintain the pressure for 5 to 15 minutes. Pressing an ice pack against the bridge can also help. Do not tilt your head back if your nose bleeds as you may swallow blood which can potentially go in your lungs. If the bleeding doesn’t stop after 20 minutes or if it accompanies a headache, dizziness, ringing in the ears, or vision problems, please consult a health expert.

A Sprain
Sprains occur when the ligaments surrounding a joint are pulled beyond their normal range. Sprains are often accompanied by bruising and swelling. Alternately apply and remove ice every 20 minutes throughout the first day. Wrapping the joint with an elastic compression bandage and elevating the limb may also help. Stay off the injury for at least 24 hours. After that, apply heat to promote blood flow to the area. If the injury doesn’t improve in a few days, you may have a fracture or a muscle or ligament tear so call a doctor.

A Burn
If there’s a burn place it under cool (not cold) running water, submerge it in a bath and loosely bandage a first- or second-degree burn for protection. Do not put an ice pack on major burns. Ice can damage the skin and worsen the injury. Don’t pop blisters. Don’t apply an antibiotic or butter to burns as this can breed infection. First-degree burns produce redness while second-degree burns cause blisters and third-degree burns result in broken or blackened skin. Rush to doctor if the victim is
coughing, has watery eyes, or is having trouble breathing.

Choking
True choking is rare but when a person is really choking, he can’t cough strongly, speak, or breathe, and his face may turn red or blue. For a victim of age one or older have the person lean forward and, using the palm of your hand, strike his back between the shoulder blades five times. If that doesn’t work, stand behind the victim, place one fist above the belly button, cup the fist with your other hand, and push in and up toward the ribs five times. If you’re alone, press your abdomen against something firm or use your hands. Do not give water or anything else to someone who is coughing.

Poisoning
Potential household hazards include cleaning supplies, carbon monoxide and pesticides. Bites and stings can also be poisonous to some people. If a person is unconscious or having trouble breathing, call the doctor. Do not wait until symptoms appear to call for help. And don’t try to induce vomiting. The poison could cause additional damage when it comes back up. The victim shouldn’t eat or drink anything in case of suspected poisoning.

Animal Bites
In case of an animal bite, stop the bleeding by applying direct pressure until it stops. Gently clean with soap and warm water. Rinse for several minutes after cleaning. Apply antibiotic cream to reduce risk of infection, and cover with a sterile bandage. Get medical help if the animal bite is more than a superficial scratch or if the animal was a wild or stray one, regardless of the severity of the injury.

Bruises
Ice the area on and off for the first 24-48 hours. Apply ice for about 15 minutes at a time, and always put something like a towel or wash cloth between the ice and your skin. Take a painkiller if there is pain. Visit your doctor if the bruise is accompanied with extreme pain, swelling or redness; if the person is taking a blood-thinning medication or if he /she cannot move a joint or may have a broken bone.

Diarrhea
During diarrhea its essential to treat dehydration. Give an adult plenty of clear fluid, like fruit juices, soda, sports drinks and clear broth. Avoid milk or milk-based products and caffeine while you have diarrhea and for 3 to 5 days after you get better. Milk can make diarrhea worse. Give a child or infant frequent sips of a rehydration solution. Make sure the person drinks more fluids than they are losing through diarrhea. Have the person rest as needed and avoid strenuous exercise. Keep a sick child home from school and give banana, rice, apple and toast. For an adult, add semisolid and low-fiber foods gradually as diarrhea stops. Avoid spicy, greasy, or fatty foods.

Eye Injury
If there is chemical exposure, don’t rub your eyes. Immediately wash out the eye with lots of water and get medical help while you are doing this. Do not bandage the eye. If there has been a blow to the eye apply a cold compress, but don’t put pressure on the eye. If there is any bruising, bleeding, change in vision, or if it hurts when the eye moves, see a doctor right away. For a foreign particle in the eye – don’t rub the eye, pull the upper lid down and blink repeatedly. If particle is still there, rinse with eyewash. If this too doesn’t help, see your doctor.

Northern Beaches First Aid Course – Allergy and Anaphylaxis

March 7th, 2017

Simple Instruction – Provide First Aid and CPR courses that cover the management of allergies and anaphylaxis. The HLTAID004 Provide an emergency first aid response in an education and care setting and HLTAID003 Provide First Aid courses develop ones knowledge and understanding of common allergies and what to do next. Come along to one of our first aid or CPR training courses at the Dee Why RSL on the Northern Beaches, Sydney to help promote safe practices.

Please see the post below originally published on: https://allergyfacts.org.au/allergy-anaphylaxis

An allergy, is an overreaction by the body’s immune system to a normally harmless substance. Substances that can trigger an allergic reaction are called allergens. Allergens may be in medication, in the environment (eg. pollens, grasses, moulds, dogs and cats), or proteins (most often) in the foods we eat. Individuals can have mild/moderate or severe allergies.

Allergies should not to be confused with an intolerance, which does not involve the immune system – see Food Intolerance.

In Australia allergies are very common. Around one in three people will develop allergies at some time during their life. The most common allergic conditions are food allergies, eczema, asthma and hay fever. Food allergy occurs in around ten percent of children¹ and approximately two percent of adults.

Having a food allergy means that when you eat a food containing that protein (allergen), the immune system releases massive amounts of chemicals, triggering symptoms that can affect a person’s breathing, stomach and gut, skin and/ or heart and blood pressure.

The same immune response occurs in drug allergy when a drug is ingested or injected and in insect allergy when a sting or bite occurs. There are also less common allergens that can also cause such an immune response.

For someone with a severe allergy, exposure to the allergen can cause a life-threatening reaction called anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis affects the whole body, often within minutes of exposure.

Signs of a mild to moderate allergic reaction are:

Swelling of the lips, face, eyes

Hives or welts

Tingling mouth

Abdominal pain, vomiting (these are signs of anaphylaxis for insect allergy)

Signs of anaphylaxis (severe allergic reaction) are:

Difficult/noisy breathing

Swelling of tongue

Swelling/tightness in throat

Wheeze/persistent cough

Difficulty talking and/or hoarse voice

Persistent dizziness or collapse

Pale and floppy (young children)

¹Osborne et al. Prevalence of challenge-proven IgE-mediated food allergy using population-based sampling and predetermined challenge criteria in infants. J Allergy Clin Immunolol 2011; 127: 668-676

Content updated January 2017

HLTAID004 – Provide an emergency first aid response in an education and care setting

December 30th, 2014

If you are completing the TAFE Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care then this is the ideal course for you. This is conducted locally on the Northern Beaches of Sydney, however, we do come to your Child Care Centre for private courses.

The HLTAID004  unit of competency describes the skills and knowledge required to provide a first aid response to infants, children and adults.

The HLTAID004 unit applies to educators and support staff working within an education and care setting who are required to respond to a first aid emergency, including asthmatic and anaphylactic emergencies. This unit of competency will contribute towards approved first aid, asthma and anaphylaxis training under the Education and Care Services National Law, and the Education and Care Services National Regulation (2011).

This HLTAID004 unit of competency has been approved by ACECQA and meets the requirements of “First Aid, Asthma & Anaphylaxis”.

http://www.acecqa.gov.au/

You will learn about:

  • Legal Issues and Infection control
  • DRSABCD action plan
  • The principles of first aid and its applications
  • Recognition and management of emergency situations
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and Defibrillation
  • Treatment of shock, infection, fractures, bleeding and burns
  • Emergencies due to lack of oxygen, excess heat or cold
  • Recognition and management of medical conditions that may need emergency care, including heart attack, stroke, asthma, diabetes and epilepsy
  • Management of common medical emergencies
  • Treatment of poisoning including venomous bites and stings
  • Anaphylaxis and Asthma

Belrose, Narraweena, Frenchs Forest, Narrabeen, Manly, CBD, Brookvale, Cromer, Dee Why, Avalon, Pittwater, Mona Vale, Warringah, Curl Curl, Allambie, Balgowlah,  Long Reef, QueensCliff.

Complete your white card online TODAY – www.onlinewhitecardaustralia.com.au

BlueBottles – Bondi and Northern Beaches Affected

January 13th, 2011

After a dramatic weekend with Bluebottles up and down the Northern Beaches from Manly to Palm Beach it is important to refresh ourselves in how to treat such stings.

What to do:

Keep the patient calm and at rest.
Reassure and monitor.
Remove the tenatacle with your fingers tips (you won’t get stung on the finger tips).
Rinse with seawater.
Place stung area in HOT water for 20 minutes (as hot as patient can stand – we do not want to burn them).
If pain is unrelievable or not available by heat then apply a cold pack.
If pain persists call and ambulance and seek attention from the lifeguard.

Remember to update your First Aid skills at one of Simple Instruction’s Apply First Aid or Perform CPR training courses which are held at the Brookvale Hotel. 2011 course dates are now on the website.

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