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Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Can You Recognise the Symptoms of a Mini Stroke?

Posted on: January 23rd, 2014 by Gemma

 

Doctors call it the ‘warning stroke’ – a terrifying episode that nonetheless gives people time to take action before a fatal emergency occurs.

 

Gary Kubiak is an athletic guy. Aged just 52, the Houston Texans head coach, a former player himself, is in pretty good shape.

 

And yet, at a major NFL game in November  – with millions watching live on TV – he suddenly dropped to his knees, held his head in his hands, then collapsed.

 

Kubiak had suffered a mini stroke – or ‘transient ischemic attack’ (TIA), to use its proper, medical name.

 

Sudden attack

 

What actually happened to the coach was that a tiny clot temporarily blocked the blood flow in part of his brain, starving it of oxygen.

 

Just as during a full stroke, he very likely experienced numbness, weakness, visual disturbances, speech problems or confusion. The key difference is that TIA episodes usually only last a few minutes.

 

And here’s the important bit: crucially, they don’t generally cause permanent brain damage or loss of motor function. Most people make a full recovery.

 

Warning sign

 

In short, a mini stroke is a warning: a big, blue-lights-flashing alert that someone is at serious risk. (A recent study found 10 to 15 per cent of TIA patients will go on to have a full stroke within a month.)

 

But it’s not all doom and gloom. Such a warning gives a patient a good chance to get some medical treatment that will hopefully prevent a future stroke from occurring.

 

It also helps if people know what to look for. Both a stroke and a TIA manifest the same initial symptoms, which anyone can easily recognise by using the simple FAST test.

 

F – Facial weakness. Can the person smile? Has their mouth or eye drooped?
– Arm weakness. Can the person raise both arms?
S – Speech disturbance. Can the person speak clearly or understand what you say?
T – Time to call 999.

 

‘Healthy’ victims

 

It’s especially important to recognise stroke symptoms because – unlike conditions such as heart disease, where there is often a causal relationship with factors such as lifestyle or weight – a mini stroke attacks indiscriminately. Lifestyle offers no clue.

 

Stood out there on the football field in front of scores of flashing cameras, there’s no way Gary Kubiak could have known he was seconds away from a medical emergency.

 

As one American doctor told CBS News: “It can certainly happen to people who otherwise appear to be completely healthy. That’s the irony of it.”

 

Be Prepared This Winter

Posted on: October 23rd, 2013 by Gemma

 

You’d think we didn't have a settled routine of seasons here in Blighty, with our relatively fixed patterns of weather at any given time of year. How else do you explain the fact that, every winter when the snow and ice arrives, thousands of motorists are left high and dry because their cars aren't prepared for the cold weather?

It was a gloriously warm start to October for many of us, but that may soon fade into a fond memory as the cold weather begins to bite. Given how volatile the UK weather has become in recent years, who’s to say we won’t be trudging through snow in a week’s time, with our cars stranded in the drive or by the side of the road?

But a little preparation can ensure you stay safe on the roads this winter. And if the worst does happen and you run into trouble, you’ll still be able to keep safe and warm.

Here’s what motorists need to do to winter-proof their cars…

 

Check your tyres

 

If you live in an area prone to lots of snow, then it makes sense to invest in winter tyres for your car so you can get around when weather conditions are poor. In fact, this is something any of us might consider, given how unpredictable the weather seems to be across the UK these days.

If you are fitting winter tyres, always let your insurer know, as some will consider these a modification and it may have an impact on your premiums. A phone call is all it will take.

Even if you live in a built-up area, it’s still a good idea to give your tyres a thorough once-over before winter to ensure the tread isn’t worn and that they are properly inflated. The tread should be at least 1.6mm all round to satisfy legal requirements. Check the oil level, anti-freeze and hazard lights too.

Get your drive ready

A surprising number of winter accidents happen before you’ve even left home, so if cold weather is on the cards, get out there and grit your driveway. Cat litter can work well if you haven’t got anything else to hand, and have a shovel at the ready in case of heavy snow.

De-ice your car

It’s always sensible to have a can of de-icer and a windscreen scraper in your car so that you can clear your windscreen and windows from ice. Don’t, however, be tempted to leave the engine running in order to de-frost everything while you go back into the house and wait. If a thief sees the car unattended and scarpers with it, your insurer isn’t likely to be very sympathetic.

 

Carry an emergency pack

 

If you’re embarking on a long journey in wintry conditions, make sure you take a thermos of hot drink, blankets, torch, jump leads, first aid kit and food, as well as a fully charged mobile phone. Have some high visibility clothing too, so you can be spotted if you have to wait outside your car, as well as a warning triangle so that other motorists can see you have got into difficulty and can get round you safely.

 

THE END OF HSE APPROVAL

Posted on: October 2nd, 2013 by Gemma

 

Nearly two years after Professor Loftstedt’s report was first published, the HSE approval system for first aid training providers has now come to an end.

Here at A1 Training Solutions we have been a registered Qualsafe centre since January 2013 in readiness for this change.  A1 Training Solutions are delighted with the transformation and we can offer a wide range of Ofqual Regulated (QCF) and Qualsafe Awards Recognised (QAR) Qualifications.

Fabrice Muamba

Posted on: April 3rd, 2012 by Gemma

On Saturday 17th March 2012 during the FA cup match between Tottenham Hotspurs and Bolton Wanderers, Fabrice collapsed after just 41 minutes of play.

 

Fabrice was not involved in any challenge and he walked to the side of the pitch and collapsed face down.  He was not breathing and CPR immediately commenced before the defibrillator arrived. 

 

Fabrice was given 15 defibrillator shocks and was in effect dead for 78 minutes, but what saved his life was immediate CPR and having trained personal ready to give early defibrillation.  Initial CPR is crucial even before the defibrillator arrives and charges.  For every one minute a casualty’s heart is not beating 10% of their life is lost. 

 

We wish Fabrice a speedy recovery and already he has made remarkable progress.

 

Please let’s keep this success rate high and book onto our Emergency CPR and First Aid course now, this will teach you the basics of saving somebody’s life.  If you mention this blog we will include FREE defibrillator training on your course!  Please contact us at info@a1trainingsolutions.com