On 25 Sept, 2021, Seniors Today hosted its weekly Health Live Webinar with Dr Santosh Bansode.
Dr Santosh Bansode (MBBS , MRCEM (UK), FACEE, PGDHHM, PGDMLS) is Head of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Wockhardt Hospitals, Mumbai. Dr Bansode has been working in the field of emergency medicine for over two decades and has done specialisation in emergency medicine from Royal College in London.
Dr Santosh Bansode has worked in the field of emergency medicine for over two decades, and this week he spoke about and answered questions about emergency medicine, emergency health and care, what it entails and a lot more.
This can be cardiac related chest pain or one due to a non- cardiac cause.
Here is how you can differentiate a cardiac from a non-cardiac cause for chest pain, at home:
- Ask yourself where exactly is the pain localized? Can you point out the area of pain? If you can point out the pain with a finger/ point, then it is usually a non- cardiac chest pain.
- Cardiac type of chest pain on the other hand makes us very uneasy; you’ll feel like a heavy weight has been placed on your chest. You might also feel like you’re choking or are having difficulty in breathing. It is also associated with breathlessness, profuse sweating and sometimes vomiting as well.
- A non- cardiac chest pain will be localised and will vanish/ become better with time.
Here’s what you should do in case you are experiencing chest pain:
- Try to find the closest hospital/ care centre and get yourself an ECG
- If you have some time from your home to reaching the hospital, dissolve a tablet of disprin/ aspirin in a glass of water and have that. Aspirin has been proven to be very beneficial and helpful in dislodging a clot in the initial stages.
If you are a known case of a cardiac disease, you can also take sorbitrate, but one thing that you need to keep in mind while taking sorbitrate is that it also causes a fall in the blood pressure. And in some cardiac conditions involving the inferior wall there is already a dip in the blood pressure and so, if you take sorbitrate without checking our blood pressure, it might make things worse. So, unless you’re a known case of cardiac disease and have taken sorbitrate before, you can safely take it. But if you’re someone who has never taken it before and are experiencing chest pain, aspirin is safer for you to take.
Here’s how you can recognise a stroke at home- the acronym FAST should help you and come in handy.
F- any facial deviation or facial asymmetry.
A- any arm/ leg/ limb weakness
S- speech difficulty
T- time, because time is of the utmost importance in case of a stroke because if you reach the hospital within the 4.5 hour window period from the onset of symptoms and the patient is thrombolysed within this window period, the chances of reversing the symptoms are very high. But there is still a chance that there might not be 100% recovery.
Thus when you start experiencing any of the above symptoms, you should note the time of onset of symptoms and try reaching a hospital within the window period.
In case of a stroke or suspicion of one, NEVER take any medicine before getting a CT/ MRI imaging of the brain. This is because there are 2 main causes for stroke, one can be due to a clot or it can be because of a hemorrhage.
Falls and subsequent injury due to falls is a very common cause for concern especially in the geriatric age group.
In case of fall/ injury due to fall, if you’re experiencing pain, make sure that you avoid excessive movement of the joint/ area.
Nose bleed/ epistaxis
There are a lot of factors that cause or result in a nose bleed. One of the common causes for it is dry nasal mucosa which can be aggravated by sitting in the A/C for long durations.
In case of a sudden onset in nose bleed, do check your blood pressure, since that can too be a cause for epistaxis.
Here’s what you do in case you have a nose bleed- lie down on your back and keep an ice pack on your nose. You can also alternatively pinch your nose for 3-5 mins
Most seniors though might themselves need help in certain situations, but they are also caregivers, for their grandchildren and great grandchildren. One major cause for concern is febrile convulsions. In such situation, the first thing that you should do, if the child is convulsing is remove the child’s clothes and fully wipe his body with a wet towel because the most common cause for convulsions is high temperature in children, the moment you wipe his body with a wet towel the convulsion should stop.
Make sure you turn the child lying on his side, and that he is not lying on his back/ stomach.
Another piece of information that might come in handy is knowing what to do in situations where a foreign body ingestion, dislodgement or inhalation is involved. In such a situation, try to see if you can see the foreign body with your naked eye and if you can remove it. If you’re sure you can only then try to remove it, if not, it might lead to impacting the object further down creating more trouble. You can also do so by patting them on the back by placing them in a prone position.
Some machines/ gadgets you can keep at home that will come in handy are:
- Glucometer to check your blood sugar levels. A glucometer usually gives the blood sugar levels 10-20% higher than the venous blood sugar levels because the glucometer tells you the blood sugar levels in your capillaries.
- Digital sphygmomanometer to check your blood pressure
- Pulse oximeter will help you with measuring the pulse and the oxygen saturation level especially with covid-19 still around.
You can take calcium and vitamin D3 supplementation once a week for 8 weeks at a stretch in a year.
In case of loose stools, you can take econorm sachets which are probiotics and are used to treat acute diarrhea, you can take this a maximum of 3 times a day.