Naloxone is a medicine that rapidly reverses an opioid overdose. It is an opioid antagonist. This means that it attaches to opioid receptors and reverses and blocks the effects of other opioids. Naloxone can quickly restore normal breathing to a person if their breathing has slowed or stopped because of an opioid overdose. But, naloxone has no effect on someone who does not have opioids in their system, and it is not a treatment for opioid use disorder. Examples of opioids include heroin, fentanyl, oxycodone (OxyContin®), hydrocodone (Vicodin®), codeine, and morphine.
Naloxone should be given to any person who shows signs of an opioid overdose or when an overdose is suspected. Naloxone can be given as a nasal spray or it can be injected into the muscle, under the skin, or into the veins.
Naloxone comes in three FDA-approved forms: injectable, auto-injectable, and prepackaged nasal spray. These FDA-approved naloxone devices have been shown to produce substantially higher blood levels of naloxone than the improvised nasal spray. These outcomes suggest that the approved nasal spray technology and auto-injector are preferable over non FDA-approved forms. No matter what dosage form you use, it’s important to receive training on how and when to use naloxone. You should also read the product instructions and check the expiration date.
Injecting naloxone with a syringe is primarily carried-out by medical professionals. The autoinjector and nasal spray delivery systems were developed to be easy-to-use by non-medical professionals in an emergency, such as in a home or in the community.
- Injectable brands of naloxone are offered by different companies listed in the FDA Orange Book under “naloxone” (look for “injectable”). The proper dose must be drawn up from a vial. Usually, it is injected with a needle into muscle, although healthcare providers might inject the medicine into the vein or under the skin.
- Note: Some people use an unapproved emergency kit that combines injectable naloxone with an attachment designed to deliver naloxone through the nose. However, this improvised intranasal device is not easy to assemble, especially when under pressure in an emergency, and requires training beforehand. Additionally, this unapproved device might not deliver naloxone at levels equivalent to FDA-approved products.
- Auto-injectable (Evzio®) is a prefilled auto-injection device that makes it easy for non-medical personnel like family members to inject naloxone into the thigh muscle. Once it’s turned on, a recording in the device starts to give instructions to the user on how to work the device, similar to automated defibrillators.
- Prepackaged Nasal Spray (Narcan® generic), developed through NIDA-funded research, is an FDA-approved prefilled, needle-free device that requires no assembly and is sprayed into one nostril while the person lays on their back. This device can also be easier for family members to use.
When naloxone was first approved to reverse opioid overdoses, its brand name was “Narcan.” There are now many more other formulations and brand names for naloxone, but many people continue to call all of these products “Narcan.” However, the proper generic name is “naloxone.”
All systems used by first responders deliver the stated dose of naloxone and can be highly effective in reversing an opioid overdose. Study findings released in March 2019 suggests that the FDA approved naloxone devices deliver higher blood levels of naloxone than the improvised nasal devices.
Yes. Families with loved ones who struggle with opioid addiction should have naloxone nearby; ask their family member to carry it; and let friends know where it is. People should still call 911 immediately in the event of an overdose.
Naloxone is being used more by police officers, emergency medical technicians, and non-emergency first responders than before. In most states, people who are at risk or who know someone at risk for an opioid overdose can be trained on how to give naloxone.
Naloxone works to reverse opioid overdose in the body for only 30 to 90 minutes. But many opioids remain in the body longer than that. Because of this, it is possible for a person to still experience the effects of an overdose after a dose of naloxone wears off. Also, some opioids are stronger and might require multiple doses of naloxone. Therefore, one of the most important steps to take is to call 911 so the individual can receive immediate medical attention. NIDA is supporting research for stronger formulations for use with potent opioids like fentanyl.
People who are given naloxone should be observed constantly until emergency care arrives. They should be monitored for another 2 hours after the last dose of naloxone is given to make sure breathing does not slow or stop.
- Naloxone is a medicine that rapidly reverses an opioid overdose. It attaches to opioid receptors and reverses and blocks the effects of other opioids.
- Naloxone is a safe medicine. It only reverses overdoses in people with opioids in their systems.
- There are three FDA-approved formulations of naloxone: injectable, auto-injectable, and prepackaged nasal spray.
- Police officers, emergency medical technicians, and first responders are trained on how to give naloxone.
- In some states, friends and family members can be trained on how to give naloxone. It is safer for people without medical training to use the auto-injectable or nasal devices.
- Naloxone only works in the body for 30 to 90 minutes. It is possible for a person to still experience the effects of an overdose after naloxone wears off or need multiple doses if a potent opioid is in a person’s system.
- You can get naloxone from pharmacies with or without a personal prescription, from community-based distribution programs, or local health departments. The cost varies depending on where and how you get it as well as what type you get.
We provide the professional and appropriate training in the administration of Naloxone to public and community care services.
Contact MCP First Aid Training for details
A urinary tract infection is an infection of your bladder, kidneys or the tubes connected to them.
Symptoms of a urinary tract infection include a sudden need to pee and pain or a burning sensation when peeing.
You can usually treat a urinary tract infection with things like painkillers and drinking plenty of fluids. A GP may prescribe antibiotics.
Urinary tract infections are usually caused by bacteria from poo entering the urinary tract.
Symptoms of a UTI include:
needing to pee suddenly or more often than usual
pain or a burning sensation when peeing
in older people, changes in behaviour such as severe confusion or agitation
UTI symptoms may be difficult to spot in people with dementia.
Children with UTIs may also:
appear generally unwell – babies may be irritable, not feed properly and have a high temperature of 37.5C or above
wet the bed or wet themselves
deliberately hold in their pee because it stings
Mild urinary tract infections (UTIs) often pass within a few days. To help ease pain while your symptoms clear up:
take paracetamol – you can give children liquid paracetamol
place a hot water bottle on your tummy, back or between your thighs
rest and drink plenty of fluids – this helps your body to flush out the bacteria
It may also help to avoid having sex until you feel better.
You cannot pass a UTI on to your partner, but sex may be uncomfortable.
Avoid taking NSAIDs like ibuprofen or aspirin if you have a kidney infection. This may increase the risk of kidney problems.
Speak to your doctor before you stop taking any prescribed medication.
Your doctor or nurse may prescribe antibiotics to treat a UTI.
Once you start treatment, the symptoms should start to clear up within 5 days in adults and 2 days in children.
It’s important to finish the whole course of antibiotics, even if you start to feel better.
Some people with a severe UTI may be referred to hospital for treatment and tests. You may need to stay for a few days.
Hospital treatment is more likely for men and children with a UTI.
If your UTI comes back any time after treatment, you’ll usually be prescribed a longer course of antibiotics.
If you keep getting UTIs and regularly need treatment, your GP may give you a repeat prescription for antibiotics.
We continue to provide professional training to all in First Aid, Medical and Trauma Emergencies. Learn with MCP First Aid Training.
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.
The Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) has created a leaflet which shows how blind cord safety devices should be used and provides further advice.
This film from Make It Safe campaign by the British Blind and Shutter Association shows you how to fit a safety device for your blinds.
MCP First Aid Training provides a full range of training courses in paediatric emergencies. Learn from professional, qualified training instructors.
Contact 07523723142 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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 is often used alongside other tests to help diagnose and monitor conditions affecting the heart.
It can be used to investigate symptoms of a possible heart problem, such as chest pain, palpitations (suddenly noticeable heartbeats), dizziness and shortness of breath.
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.
There are several different ways an ECG can be carried out. Generally, the test involves attaching a number of small, sticky sensors called electrodes to your arms, legs and chest. These are connected by wires to an ECG recording machine.
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.
MCP First Aid Training has training instructors with actual healthcare knowledge and experience. M: 07523723142 or Email: email@example.com
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
- If you’re worried about your child’s symptoms It’s extremely important to call 999 / 112 and advise covid concern.
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.
First aid can treat all sorts of minor bumps and scrapes, but you should see a doctor for more serious accidents. You may want to think about getting a first aid kit for your house or training in first aid so that you are prepared to deal with minor accidents.
First aid kits
Your first aid kit could include:
- safety pins or tape
- pain relievers (paracetamol or aspirin) – always read the label and follow the instructions for use very carefully – there are special child versions available
- medical spoon/syringe for giving babies and children their medicines – these are more accurate and much safer than a teaspoon
- antiseptic lotion or saline for cleaning wounds
- sterile gauze
- tweezers (for splinters)
- sharp scissors
- triangular bandage
- eye dressing
Here are some situations where it is vital to call an ambulance, although knowing first aid could also help:
At MCP First Aid Training we provide a full range of regulated training courses. Always make sure that your training provider has the correct teaching qualifications.
Absence seizures involve brief, sudden lapses of consciousness. They’re more common in children than in adults.
Someone having an absence seizure may look like he or she is staring blankly into space for a few seconds. Then, there is a quick return to a normal level of alertness. This type of seizure usually doesn’t lead to physical injury.
Absence seizures usually can be controlled with anti-seizure medications. Some children who have them also develop other seizures. Many children outgrow absence seizures in their teens.
An indication of simple absence seizure is a vacant stare, which may be mistaken for a lapse in attention that lasts about 10 seconds, though it may last as long as 20 seconds, without any confusion, headache or drowsiness afterward. Signs and symptoms of absence seizures include:
- Sudden stop in motion without falling
- Lip smacking
- Eyelid flutters
- Chewing motions
- Finger rubbing
- Small movements of both hands
Afterward, there’s no memory of the incident. Some people have many episodes daily, which interfere with school or daily activities.
A child may have absence seizures for some time before an adult notices the seizures, because they’re so brief. A decline in a child’s learning ability may be the first sign of this disorder. Teachers may comment about a child’s inability to pay attention or that a child is often daydreaming.
Contact your doctor.
- The first time you notice a seizure
- If this is a new type of seizure
- If the seizures continue to occur despite taking anti-seizure medication
Contact 999 / 112 emergency services.
- If you observe prolonged automatic behaviors lasting minutes to hours — activities such as eating or moving without awareness — or prolonged confusion, possible symptoms of a condition called absence status epilepticus
- After any seizure lasting more than five minutes
Many children appear to have a genetic predisposition to absence seizures.
In general, seizures are caused by abnormal electrical impulses from nerve cells (neurons) in the brain. The brain’s nerve cells normally send electrical and chemical signals across the synapses that connect them.
In people who have seizures, the brain’s usual electrical activity is altered. During an absence seizure, these electrical signals repeat themselves over and over in a three-second pattern.
People who have seizures may also have altered levels of the chemical messengers that help the nerve cells communicate with one another (neurotransmitters).
Certain factors are common to children who have absence seizures, including:
- Age. Absence seizures are more common in children between the ages of 4 and 14.
- Sex. Absence seizures are more common in girls.
- Family members who have seizures. Nearly half of children with absence seizures have a close relative who has seizures.
While most children outgrow absence seizures, some:
- Must take anti-seizure medications throughout life to prevent seizures
- Eventually have full convulsions, such as generalized tonic-clonic seizures
Other complications can include:
- Learning difficulties
- Behavior problems
- Social isolation
A slipped disc, also called a prolapsed or herniated disc, is where a soft cushion of tissue between the bones in your spine pushes out of place.
Symptoms of a slipped disc include lower back pain, neck pain and difficulty bending your back.
The pain from a slipped disc usually gets better if you stay active and take painkillers. A GP may prescribe stronger painkillers if you need them.
A slipped disc can be caused by things like ageing, exercising too hard or lifting heavy objects the wrong way.
Symptoms of a slipped disc include lower back pain, neck pain and difficulty bending your back.
A slipped disc (also called a prolapsed or herniated disc) can cause:
numbness or tingling in your shoulders, back, arms, hands, legs or feet
problems bending or straightening your back
pain in the buttocks, hips or legs if the disc is pressing on the sciatic nerve (sciatica)
Not all slipped discs cause symptoms. Many people will never know they have slipped a disc.
Nosebleeds can be frightening, but they aren’t usually a sign of anything serious and can often be treated at home.
The medical name for a nosebleed is epistaxis.
During a nosebleed, blood flows from one or both nostrils. It can be heavy or light and last from a few seconds to 15 minutes or more.
What to do
To stop a nosebleed:
- sit down and firmly pinch the soft part of your nose, just above your nostrils, for at least 10-15 minutes
- lean forward and breathe through your mouth – this will drain blood into your nose instead of down the back of your throat
- place an ice pack or bag of frozen vegetables covered by a towel on the bridge of your nose
- stay upright, rather than lying down, as this reduces the blood pressure in the blood vessels of your nose and will discourage further bleeding
If the bleeding eventually stops, you won’t usually need to seek medical advice. However, in some cases you may need further treatment from your GP or in hospital.
When to seek medical advice
Contact your GP or call 999 / 112 if:
- you’re taking a blood-thinning medicine (anticoagulant) such as warfarin or have a clotting disorder such as haemophilia and the bleeding doesn’t stop
- you have symptoms of anaemia such as heart palpitations, shortness of breath and a pale complexion
- a child under two years of age has a nosebleed
- you have nosebleeds that come and go regularly
Ask someone to drive you to your nearest accident and emergency (A&E) department or call 999 for an ambulance if:
- the bleeding continues for longer than 20 minutes
- the bleeding is heavy and you’ve lost a lot of blood
- you’re having difficulty breathing
- you swallow a large amount of blood that makes you vomit
- the nosebleed developed after a serious injury, such as a car crash
What causes nosebleeds?
The inside of your nose is full of tiny, delicate blood vessels that can become damaged and bleed relatively easily.
Common causes of nosebleeds include:
- picking your nose
- blowing your nose very hard
- a minor injury to your nose
- changes in humidity or temperature causing the inside of the nose to become dry and cracked
Occasionally, bleeding can come from the blood vessels deeper within the nose. This can be caused by a blow to the head, recent nasal surgery and hardened arteries (atherosclerosis).
Who gets nosebleeds?
Nosebleeds are fairly common and most people will experience them every now and again. Anyone can get a nosebleed, but they most often affect:
- children between two and 10 years of age
- elderly people
- pregnant women
- people who take blood thinning medication such as aspirin or anticoagulants, such as warfarin
- people with blood clotting disorders, such as haemophilia
Bleeding may also be heavier or last longer if you take anticoagulants, have a blood clotting disorder, or have high blood pressure (hypertension).
Are nosebleeds serious?
Nosebleeds aren’t usually serious. However, frequent or heavy nosebleeds may indicate more serious health problems, such as high blood pressure or a blood clotting disorder, and should be checked.
Excessive bleeding over a prolonged period of time can also lead to further problems such as anaemia.
If your GP suspects a more serious problem is causing your nosebleeds, they may refer you to an ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist for further tests.
Things you can do to prevent nosebleeds include:
- avoid picking your nose and keep your fingernails short
- blow your nose as little as possible and only very gently
- keep your home humidified
- wear a head guard during activities in which your nose or head could get injured
- always follow the instructions that come with nasal decongestants – overusing these can cause nosebleeds
Talk to your GP if you experience nosebleeds frequently and aren’t able to prevent them. They may refer you to an ENT specialist for an assessment.
At MCP First Aid Training we provide a comprehensive range of training courses suitable for all learning. Contact 07523723142 or firstname.lastname@example.org