Nasal Aspirators: What are they?
A nasopharyngeal airway (NAE) is a narrow passage through which one may breathe. There are two types of NAEs:
The upper airways (or trachea). These include the larynges, bronchi, and small passages leading from them to the lungs. They contain many branches called bronchioles. The lower airways (or bronchi). These include the alveoli, which are large openings in the wall of each lung where oxygenated blood passes out of the body.
Aspiration of air into these passages occurs when one inhales or exhales forcefully, usually with a cough. A person may use either a tube or a balloon to inflate such tubes.
How do they work?
The main function of the respiratory system is to move air from the lungs to other parts of the body. When one inhales, it moves air from the lungs into the chest cavity. One may then breathe in and out of this space several times during a normal day. However, if one does not have enough room in their lungs, breathing will become difficult or impossible.
In this case, a person may use a tube to inhale and exhale air. This is called “self-aspiration” because one is using their own force to breathe. Another option is “assisted-aspiration.” In this method, another person helps one to breathe in and out. If this does not work, then the only option is an “external-aspirator.” In this method, a machine helps one to breathe.
There are several types of respiratory devices. They are the following:
The Physio-Control Lifepack is an ultra-lightweight ventilator with a strong battery. It is used during emergencies and at locations where it is easy to transport oxygen tanks or large power supplies.
It is much like a pocket watch. It opens by pressing down on the top button, which causes the dials to pop up. It is used for counting the number of breaths per minute.
This device helps to keep one’s heart beating when one is unconscious. It is also known as an “external pacemaker.” It gives a shock to the chest to get the heart beating again.
This is a tube that allows one to breathe during CPR. One end of the tube is put into the mouth, and the other end is attached to a machine that breathes for the patient. The advantage of the tube is that it can save energy for the rescuer. This can be used instead of mouth-to-mouth breathing.
This is a machine that helps the heart beat. It is also known as a “defibrillator.” It gives an electric shock to a patient’s chest if their heart stops beating. The shock gets the heart beating again. During CPR, one should check if someone’s heart has stopped.
This can be done by listening to see if there is a heartbeat, and then placing your hands on top of the chest. If the heart is beating, then one should push down on the chest about 100 times per minute.
You have found an unconscious person lying on the floor. You should:
Turn them onto their side. Call an ambulance. Put your finger in their mouth.
One should perform CPR on an unconscious person. This stands for cardiopulmonary resuscitation, which is a method of helping people who are unconscious or having a heart attack. It involves chest compressions, and two rescue breaths. If you do not know how to perform CPR, then you should take a class on it or get help from someone who does.
CPR can be done by following these steps:
Lay the person on their back. Make sure that their head is supported. Place the heel of one hand in the middle of the person’s chest (just above the belly button). Place your other hand on top of the first hand. Interlock your fingers.
Keep your elbows straight but not locked. Without bending your elbows, push down on the chest about 2 inches. Count the number of chest compressions you are doing (repeat steps 3-5). Give 2 rescue breaths.
A “rescue breath” is when you put your mouth over the person’s mouth and give two slow breaths (repeat steps 3-6). Give 30 chest compressions. Repeat this until the person starts breathing on their own or help arrives.
Q: What should one do if there is an electrical shock?
Ways to prevent:
If you are using an appliance, make sure that it is off, unplugged, or otherwise disconnected from its power source. Check for frayed or damaged cords.
Ways to treat:
Move victim away from the current source of the shock. Turn the person on their side so that they do not choke on their own saliva. Massage their shoulder and chest to improve heart rate and breathing.
Do NOT give the person anything to eat or drink. Do NOT apply ointments, sprays, or creams to the burn. Do NOT try to remove clothing stuck to the burn.
Do NOT place the burn under cool running water. Do not break any blisters that may have formed as this could lead to infection.
As you know, a burn is damage to the skin caused by heat or chemicals. It can be minor or life-threatening. In general, the sooner a burn is treated, the better.
Burns can be classified in degrees from first to fourth degree.
First-degree burns cause the skin to turn red and feel very hot to the touch. These are usually caused by heat but can also be caused by sunlight.
Second-degree burns cause the skin to turn red and white. These burns destroy the outer layer of skin and some of the middle layer of skin. These burns usually cause pain, but only last a short time.
Third-degree burns cause the skin to turn brown and white, and appear dry. This type of burn destroys all the layers of skin. It can cause all senses to be numb. These burns are extremely painful and will likely require skin grafts.
Fourth-degree burns go past the skin all the way to the fat or muscle. These burns will appear black or gray and can be caused by heat or electricity. These burns will be extremely painful, and may result in scarring or even death.
A burn can also be classified by how serious it is. A minor burn can be anything from first-degree burn that does not cause any pain or a sunburn. A major burn can be anything from a deep partial-thickness burn (second-degree) to a full thickness burn that covers more than 10% of the body (third-degree).
Q: How is the person with the burn injury assessed?
A: Cover the burn with a sterile bandage. Elevate the burned area. If the burn is on the hand or foot, do not elevate it as this will prevent blood from flowing to the area.
If the burn is on the face, neck, or chest, do not cover it as this could interfere with breathing.
If the burn is on the arm or leg, wrap it in a elastic bandage (but not so tight that it interferes with blood flow).
Q: What is major burn?
A: A major burn is any burn that covers more than 10% of the victim’s total body surface area.
Q: What is minor burn?
A: A minor burn is any burn that is less than 10% of the victim’s total body surface area.
Q: Is it safe to move a person with a burn injury?
A: If the person has minor burn, then it is safe to move them. If the person has a major burn, then do not move them as this can cause pain and potentially add more injuries.
Q: Does the burn injury need to be covered?
A: Any burn injury needs to be covered with a clean, dry material.
Q: Should burn injury be covered with a non- sticking bandage?
A: No, it should not. Bandages that stop the skin sticking to fabrics are designed for minor burns, and can make major burns even worse. They are also not necessary as the skin will not be losing moisture through the burn.
Q: Does the burn injury need to be submerged in water?
A: No, submerging the burn in cool water will cause the skin to suffer hypothermia, which is a dangerous lowering of the body temperature. This will then cause the victim’s body to divert energy from repairing the burn to maintaining its own temperature, and could ultimately lead to death.
A clean, wet cloth should just be placed over the burn and then a clean, dry cloth on top of that.
Q: Is burn injury requires a medical treatment?
A: All burn injury requires medical treatment. Even the smallest of burns should be treated by a doctor and it is important that the victim is seek immediate attention for all burn injury. The size of the burn is not the only factor, where the burn is located on the body is also important. The hand and the face are two of the most important parts of the body, as without them most jobs are impossible. A burn on either of these parts of the body will require medical attention.
Q: Can a person recover from a major burn injury?
A: Yes, but it takes a long time. It will be several weeks before the burn injury heals and even longer before the skin regains its full function. In some cases, a person may never regain full use of the affected body part.
The most important factors in recovery are:
Tight bandages to keep the wound clean.
Bed rest so that the body can focus its energy on healing the wound.
Low-intensity work once the wound has healed, to help rebuild strength in the area.
Time. It will take as long as it takes.
Q: What is a first-degree burn?
A: A first-degree burn isn’t really a burn at all. It’s the misnomer that doctors and hospitals use to describe a burn that has healed. The skin will appear red but not blistered, and it will not feel sore. It should have healed completely after about a week.
Q: What is a second-degree burn?
A: A second-degree burn causes blisters on the skin, and it will be extremely sore to touch. The skin will likely turn red and then whitish as the burn deepens. It should have healed completely after about two weeks.
Q: What is a third-degree burn?
A: A third-degree burn will cause all layers of the skin to peel off and will appear black. It should be wrapped in bandages and kept clean to prevent infection. It can take months to heal completely.
Q: Should I immerse my burned body part into water?
A: No, never immerse a burn into water as it will worsen the burn injury.
Q: What is a scald burn?
A: A scald burn is caused by boiling liquid that has come into contact with the skin. The skin will be red and swollen and blisters may develop. These burns are extremely painful.
Q: What is a flame burn?
A: Flame burns are caused by direct contact with an open flame or very hot object, such as a stove. These burns are very deep with the appearance of the skin turning black.
Q: What is a chemical burn?
A: Chemical burns occur when the skin comes into contact with certain chemicals or dry ice. It will cause severe pain, swelling, and redness.
Q: What is a electrical burn?
A: Electrical burns occur when the skin comes into contact with certain kinds of electric current. It will cause severe pain, swelling, and tissue death.
Q: What is a radiation burn?
A: Radiation burns are rare, but they can cause serious illness and death. These burns occur when the skin absorbs high levels of radiation.
Q: What is a sunburn?
A: A sunburn occurs when the skin is exposed to direct sunlight or other sources of ultraviolet light for an extended period of time. It can cause blistering and swelling of the skin.
Q: How can I treat a sunburn at home?
A: Applying a cool compress of vinegar and water (equal parts) will help alleviate some of the pain and swelling. It is also recommended that the victim keep their skin covered with loose clothing or a light blanket while they are in pain. A burn casualty should never be exposed to further sun exposure, but rather kept away from it and hydrated.
Q: What is hypothermia?
A: This occurs when the body loses heat faster than it can produce it. It can be caused by prolonged exposure to cold or immersion in cold water. The naked body can lose heat much faster than one that is clothed, so the best protection against the elements is clothing.
Q: What are the symptoms of hypothermia?
A: The first signs of moderate hypothermia include shivering, exhaustion, and mental confusion. The sufferer may also complain of numb fingers and toes. In more severe cases, the person becomes semi-conscious and may appear to be drunk, with unstable balance and incoherent speech.
Q: What should I do if I think someone has hypothermia?
A: If you believe that someone has mild hypothermia, then you should rewarm them slowly. Get them into dry clothing and warm surroundings. Alcohol and other depressants should be avoided.
Q: What should I do if I think someone has severe hypothermia?
A: Severe hypothermia can be a life-threatening condition. The person is at high risk of entering a state of suspended animation called frostbite, during which the heart may even stop. You should seek immediate medical attention.
Q: What is frostbite?
A: Frostbite occurs when body tissue freezes. The skin becomes white, hard, and numb. Although it is cold to the touch, it is not classified as a burn.
Q: What should I do if I think someone has frostbite?
A: You should rewarm the area gently. This may be achieved by wrapping it in warm cloths or towels. You should also seek medical attention.
Q: What is a tension headache caused by?
A: Unusual strenuous movement of the scalp may cause the muscles in the back of the head to contract and tighten, resulting in pain. This is also known as a “brain freeze”.
Q: How do I treat a tension headache?
A: Massage and stretching are effective ways to relieve the pain and discomfort caused by a tension headache.
Q: What is swimmer’s ear?
Sources & references used in this article:
Automatic nasal aspirators by RJ DeLeonardis – US Patent 5,800,425, 1998 – Google Patents
Aspirator tube by J Hodge – US Patent App. 05/859,964, 1981 – Google Patents
Nasal aspirator for infants by NV Arteaga – US Patent App. 29/570,666, 2018 – Google Patents