Author: John Furst

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What is Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS)?

In this first aid blog post we’ll look at an uncommon, but important, cause of back pain – Ankylosing Spondylitis.  Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is a painful, progressive, rheumatic disease. It mainly affects the spine...

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First aid for finger fractures and dislocations

Fractures and dislocated fingers are common injuries, especially in contact and ball sports.  Injuries to the fingers can result in significant loss of hand function. Even the simple ‘trapped’ finger, if not diagnosed and treated...

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What is Cheyne-Stokes respiration?

In this first aid blog post we discuss a pattern of breathing known as ‘Cheyne-Stokes breathing’. Cheyne-Stokes respiration is characterised by a few seconds of apnoea (not breathing) followed by respirations that gradually increase...

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What are the causes of Hypothermia?

Hypothermia is the lowering of core body temperature to 35°C (95°F) or below. This is an important medical emergency for first aiders and first responders to recognise.  Commonly encountered causes of hypothermia include: overwhelming...

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What is a Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA)?

A Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA), also called a ‘mini-stroke’, occurs when the blood supply to the brain is disrupted. Unlike a full-blown stroke, the symptoms of a TIA, which are very similar to a...

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What is a Stroke and who is at risk?

A stroke happens when the blood supply to the brain is disrupted, either by a blood clot blocking an artery or bleeding due to a burst blood vessel, and the brain cells are deprived...

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What are NSAIDs and how do they reduce inflammation?

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are used to relieve the pain, stiffness and inflammation of painful conditions affecting the muscles, bones and joints. Some first aiders may be trained to admininster NSAIDs such as Iburpofen...

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How to use a SAM sling for pelvic fractures

Fractures of the pelvis often cause life threatening internal blood loss are one of the most serious musculoskeletal injuries. The SAM Sling is a non-invasive, easy to use, single-use device, which can be applied...

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The first aid management of fractures

Fractures (broken bones) are common injuries for first aiders to have to deal with.  The correct first aid management of fractures is important as this will reduce pain and promote fracture healing.  When treating all...