Stridor: Types, Causes and Treatment

Stridor: Types, Causes and Treatment

Stridor is a loud, abnormal, high-pitched wheezing sound caused by a disruption in the larynx (voice box) or trachea (windpipe). It mainly occurs in children during inspiration (inhalation) but may also be heard during expiration (exhalation). It is more common in children due to their narrower, softer airways as compared to adults. Stridor may either be present at birth (congenital), from an infection or due to trauma. Stridor in itself is not a diagnosis or disease but a sign of a blockage in the airway. Immediate treatment of the cause is necessary to avoid complete obstruction of airway. Complete blockage of airway may result to inability to breathe. Stridor is also called “abnormal breathing sounds,” “musical breathing,” or “extrathoracic airway obstruction.” Types of Stridor The timing and the sound heard during the child’s respiration can help determine the underlying cause or airway problem: Inspiratory stridor Occurs during inhalation Indicative of a collapse in the tissue above the vocal cords Expiratory stridor Occurs during exhalation Indicative of a problem below the trachea (located under the larynx) Biphasic stridor Occurs during both inhalation and expiration Causes of Stridor The blockage in the airway may be caused by the swelling of the tissues in the throat,upper airway muscle or vocal cord spasm, or blockage of an object. The following are the more specific causes of stridor: Congenital causes: Laryngomalacia (most common cause in infants) Subglottic stenosis Subglottic hemangomia Vascular rings Infectious causes Croup Epiglottis Bronchitis Severe tonsillitis Tracheitis Abscess in the back of the throat Traumatic causes: Presence of foreign bodies in the ear, nose or anywhere along the airway tract Fractures...
First Aid Management: Depression

First Aid Management: Depression

Depression is a serious medical disorder involving the brain. It is commonly characterized by constant sadness, loss of interest in activities, energy loss, and suicidal thoughts, among others. Depression is more than feeling “blue” or the sadness over everyday matters. Depression symptoms do not disappear easily. There are intense feelings of sadness and worthlessness that interfere with daily life. Genetic,environmental, psychological and biochemical factors are attributed to the variety of causes. Eight percent of Canadians will experience a major depression in their lifetime (Canadian Mental Health Association (ND). This does not count the people who will experience bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders and other mental disorders that may lead to depression.It is more common in women and typically begins sometime between ages 15 and 30. Forms of Depression There are several different forms of depressive disorders than an individual can suffer: Major Depression or Major Depressive Disorder Affects everyday functions that may disable a person May be experienced once only but often occurs multiple times Dysthymic Disorder or Dysthymia Chronic symptoms (lasting for more than two years) Not disabling a person but may prevent normal functioning May experience one or more episodes of major depression during their lifetime Minor Depression Symptoms may last for two weeks or more but not severe enough to meet full criteria for major depression Forms of Minor Depression: Psychotic depression: severe depression accompanied by a form of psychosis (e.g. having delusions or hallucinations) Postpartum depression: occurs in mothers who have recently given birth due to hormonal and physical changes in the body Seasonal affective disorder (SAD): onset of depression occurs during the winter months,...
First Aid Management: Suicidal Thoughts

First Aid Management: Suicidal Thoughts

Suicidal thoughts are troubling thoughts that involve killing oneself. Suicidal thoughts are usually due to feelings of hopelessness in one’s life often from stressful life situations, which may be extra disturbing if accompanies by mental illnesses, depression, alcohol or substance abuse, or suicidal plans. When one or a friend has suicidal thoughts, call National Suicide Prevention Lifeline as soon as possible. The number is 1-800-273-TALK (8255). It is necessary to learn of the warning signs of suicidal thoughts and suicide, as one can save a life. Doctors classify suicidal thoughts as either active or passive. Active suicidal thoughts involve a present desire and plan to die. On the other hand, suicidal thoughts can be passive when they involve a desire to die but has not made plans on how to take own life. It is common for people to have passive suicidal thoughts at one point in their lives. People with history of suicidal thoughts or attempts are likely to have suicidal thoughts. Suicidal thoughts are also called suicidal ideation. According to Statistics Canada (2012), 3,890 were recorded to have committed suicide in 2009, as slight increase from the 3,705 the previous year. There has been a small increase, percentage-wise, in the number of people committing suicide from 2006-2009. However, statistics may be inaccurate as suicide is sometimes difficult to classify. Men are more likely to take their lives as compared to women. Causes of Suicidal Thoughts Suicidal thoughts often stem from feelings of hopelessness in one’s life. Common causes of suicidal thoughts include: Depression Sudden, unanticipatedand overwhelming change in life, usually negative Mental disorders such as bipolar disorders,...