Urinary tract infections are usually caused by bacteria from poo entering the urinary tract.
Window blind cords can be a risk to babies, small children and vulnerable people. They could injure or strangle themselves on looped cords and chains. You should take steps to keep your child safe because they could lose their life on a window blind cord in a few seconds.
Shockingly, around two children every year are strangled to death after becoming entangled with a corded blind.
It can take just 15 seconds for a toddler to lose consciousness if a blind cord is caught around their neck – and they can die in just two to three minutes.
Toddlers and young children are at the greatest risk of being killed or injured by window blind pull cords. This is because:
- They may love to climb but not understand they’re at risk of a fall when they climb onto furniture
- If they wobble, they may not have learned how to steady themselves
- Proportionally their heads weigh more than their bodies – and their muscle control isn’t fully developed. This means it’s hard for them to free themselves if they’re caught in a blind cord
- A young child’s windpipe is narrow and soft so they can suffocate very quickly when their necks are constricted.
As children develop, they can climb onto furniture and might be able to reach higher than you might expect.
How to make blind cords safe
- For peace of mind, you might consider buying blinds without cords or chains, particularly for children’s bedrooms
- If you already have blinds with cords in your home, you can check they’re fitted with a tensioner or cleat hook to keep cords out reach. New blinds come with these included
- Cords should be tied so they can’t be reached by children every time you open or close the blinds
- The back of a Roman blind should be connected with a safety device for blind cords that will break under pressure.
It’s a good idea to move cots, beds, highchairs and playpens away from looped blind cords – and if there’s space, try to move other furniture away from them as young children love to climb.
Also be mindful of window blind cord dangers in other places where your children spend time, such as the homes of childminders and grandparents, friends or family.
How to fix blind cords safety devices
- Tidies and tensioners should be firmly fixed to an adjoining surface so the cord or chain are permanently held tight
- Cleats should be positioned out of children’s reach on an adjacent surface, at least 1.5m from the floor
- Cords should be fastened in a figure of eight after every use of the blind, making sure all the spare cord is secured on the cleat.
MCP First Aid Training provides a full range of training courses in paediatric emergencies. Learn from professional, qualified training instructors.
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An electrocardiogram (ECG) is a simple test that can be used to check your heart’s rhythm and electrical activity. Sensors attached to the skin are used to detect the electrical signals produced by your heart each time it beats.
An ECG can help detect:
- arrhythmias – where the heart beats too slowly, too quickly, or irregularly
- coronary heart disease – where the heart’s blood supply is blocked or interrupted by a build-up of fatty substances
- heart attacks – where the supply of blood to the heart is suddenly blocked
- cardiomyopathy – where the heart walls become thickened or enlarged
A series of ECGs can also be taken over time to monitor a person already diagnosed with a heart condition or taking medication known to potentially affect the heart.
You don’t need to do anything special to prepare for the test. You can eat and drink as normal beforehand.
Before the electrodes are attached, you’ll usually need to remove your upper clothing, and your chest may need to be shaved or cleaned. Once the electrodes are in place, you may be offered a hospital gown to cover yourself.
The test itself usually only lasts a few minutes, and you should be able to go home soon afterwards or return to the ward if you’re already staying in hospital.
There are 3 main types of ECG:
- a resting ECG – carried out while you’re lying down in a comfortable position
- a stress or exercise ECG – carried out while you’re using an exercise bike or treadmill
- an ambulatory ECG – the electrodes are connected to a small portable machine worn at your waist so your heart can be monitored at home for 1 or more days
The type of ECG you have will depend on your symptoms and the heart problem suspected.
For example, an exercise ECG may be recommended if your symptoms are triggered by physical activity, whereas an ambulatory ECG may be more suitable if your symptoms are unpredictable and occur in random, short episodes.
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For some people, coronavirus (COVID-19) can cause symptoms that last weeks or months after the infection has gone. This is sometimes called post-COVID-19 syndrome or “long COVID”.
How long it takes to recover from coronavirus is different for everybody.
Many people feel better in a few days or weeks and most will make a full recovery within 12 weeks. But for some people, symptoms can last longer.
The chances of having long-term symptoms does not seem to be linked to how ill you are when you first get coronavirus.
People who had mild symptoms at first can still have long-term problems.
There are lots of symptoms you can have after a coronavirus infection.
Common long COVID symptoms include:
- extreme tiredness (fatigue)
- shortness of breath
- chest pain or tightness
- problems with memory and concentration (“brain fog”)
- difficulty sleeping (insomnia)
- heart palpitations
- pins and needles
- joint pain
- depression and anxiety
- tinnitus, earaches
- feeling sick, diarrhoea, stomach aches, loss of appetite
- a high temperature, cough, headaches, sore throat, changes to sense of smell or taste
Heroin is an opioid drug made from morphine, a natural substance taken from the seed pod of the various opium poppy plants grown in Southeast and Southwest Asia, Mexico, and Colombia. Heroin can be a white or brown powder, or a black sticky substance known as black tar heroin. Other common names for heroin include big H, horse, hell dust, and smack.
People inject, sniff, snort, or smoke heroin. Some people mix heroin with crack cocaine, a practice called speedballing.
Heroin enters the brain rapidly and binds to opioid receptors on cells located in many areas, especially those involved in feelings of pain and pleasure and in controlling heart rate, sleeping, and breathing.
People who use heroin report feeling a “rush” (a surge of pleasure, or euphoria). However, there are other common effects, including:
- dry mouth
- warm flushing of the skin
- heavy feeling in the arms and legs
- nausea and vomiting
- severe itching
- clouded mental functioning
- going “on the nod,” a back-and-forth state of being conscious and semiconscious
People who use heroin over the long term may develop:
- collapsed veins for people who inject the drug
- damaged tissue inside the nose for people who sniff or snort it
- infection of the heart lining and valves
- abscesses (swollen tissue filled with pus)
- constipation and stomach cramping
- liver and kidney disease
- lung complications, including pneumonia
- mental disorders such as depression and antisocial personality disorder
- sexual dysfunction for men
- irregular menstrual cycles for women
Heroin often contains additives, such as sugar, starch, or powdered milk, that can clog blood vessels leading to the lungs, liver, kidneys, or brain, causing permanent damage. Also, sharing drug injection equipment and having impaired judgment from drug use can increase the risk of contracting infectious diseases such as HIV and hepatitis (see “Injection Drug Use, HIV, and Hepatitis”).
Yes, a person can overdose on heroin. A heroin overdose occurs when a person uses enough of the drug to produce a life-threatening reaction or death. Heroin overdoses have increased in recent years.
When people overdose on heroin, their breathing often slows or stops. This can decrease the amount of oxygen that reaches the brain, a condition called hypoxia. Hypoxia can have short- and long-term mental effects and effects on the nervous system, including coma and permanent brain damage.