PEDBrochures

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E-HEALTH-BROCHURES

Free education materials developed in-house.

Seizures

What is a seizure?

Seizure is an abnormal and too much electrical and chemical activity in the brain. This can cause a brief, sudden and obvious change in movement or behavior. For some persons having a seizure, they have no symptoms at all. When someone has repeated seizures, this health problem is called epilepsy. But not every person who has had a seizure has epilepsy.

What causes a seizure?

Any health problem that disrupts the normal pattern of electrical and chemical activity in the brain can lead to seizures, such as: Any health problem that disrupts the normal pattern of electrical and chemical activity in the brain can lead to seizures, such as:

• Brain defect present at birth, or brain injury during childbirth
• Drug use
• Electrolyte problems such as low blood sugar or calcium
• Very high blood pressure
• Fever
• Head injury
• Infections
• Stroke
• Tumor
• Unknown

What are the symptoms of a seizure?

Different kinds of seizures cause a different set of symptoms. Seizures often occur without any warning and may include:

1. Changes in Movement

• Repetitive non-purposeful movements

• Repetitive non-purposeful movements

• Staring

• Lip-smacking

• Falling down without cause

• Stiff arms or legs

• Rhythmic shaking of any or all extremities

2. Changes in Sensation

• Feeling nauseous

• Feeling nauseous

• Feeling odd or unusual

• Losing control of bowel or bladder

• Feeling numbness, tingling

• Experiencing odd smells or sounds

3. Changes in Behavior

• Amnesia or mental confusion

• Amnesia or mental confusion

• Fear

• Anxiety

How are seizures diagnosed and managed?

A person who has had a seizure must see their doctor right away. Although most seizure events are temporary, it can cause problems like injuries, brain damage and even death. Your doctor will consider your full health history and physical exam to determine whether a seizure has occurred. You may be asked to do some tests such as:

• Lab tests – blood, spinal fluid, drug screen

• Lab tests – blood, spinal fluid, drug screen

• EEG or electroencephalography or brain wave testing

Imaging scans such as CT scan of the head or MRI of the brain You and your doctor will decide how to treat the seizures as best as possible. You may be prescribed a medicine, or be referred to a specialist for further treatment.

References:
1. “About Epilepsy: The Basics.” Epilepsy Foundation. Web. 15 Sept. 2015.
2. Images:
a. “Living with Epilepsy.” Epilepsy Foundation of Eastern Pennsylvania. Web. 15 Sept. 2015.
b. “Seizures Discharge Instructions.” Lexicomp Online. Web. 14 Sept. 2015.

Seizures: What To Do When It Happens

Seizures can be scary for the person having one, as well as for others. When you witness a seizure, the first line of response is to keep the person safe and comfortable. Basic seizure first aid is mostly all that is needed for you to do, and is listed in this brochure. For more information about Seizures, GRMC can help! Contact our Patient Educators at 645-5500.

First Aid for All Seizure Types

• Prevent injury by moving nearby objects out of the way.
• Stay with the person until fully alert and feeling better.
• Time the seizure with a watch – from beginning to the end of the active seizure.
• Keep calm. Most seizure events are brief and temporary.
•  Make the person as comfortable as possible.
•  Keep onlookers away.
•  Make sure their breathing is okay.
•  Know when to call emergency medical help.
•  Do NOT hold the person down.
•  Do NOT put anything in the person’s mouth; including your hand.
•  Do NOT give water, pills, or food by mouth unless the person is fully alert.

• A seizure lasts 5 minute or longer.
•  One seizure happens right after another without the person regaining consciousness (“coming to”) between seizures.
•  Seizures happen closer together than usual for that person.
•  The person has trouble breathing or appears to be choking.
•  The seizures happen happen in water.
•  The person is injured during the seizure the person has had.
•  The person asks for medical help

What is a stroke?

stroke is a medical emergency also know as brain attack. it happens when blood flow to a part of your brain is cut off and is commonly because:

• A blood clot blocks a vessel in the brain, or|
•  A blood vessel breaks

What happens after a stroke?

Signs and symptoms brought about by a stroke may vary, as no two strokes are the same or affect people in the same way. Location and extent of damage in your brain will help predict symptoms and potential for recovery. Tell your doctor if you have one or more of the following problems caused by stroke:

  • Trouble getting in or out of bed, in or out of a chair, walking up or down the stairs
  • Weakness
  • Pain, numbness, tingling, dull or aching feeling in your arms or legs
  • Your shoulder feels out of its socket, or is painful
  • Balance problems, falls or feeling unsteady
  • Part of your body is stuck in a position (for example: your arm is bent and won’t straighten)
  • You feel very tired all the time
  • Trouble with dressing, bathing, eating, going to the bathroom and other daily task
  • Problem talking or understanding what people are saying to you
  • You cannot swallow well
  • Struggling with memory, thinking, concentration and/ or completing tasks

TIME MATTERS! The sooner you begin rehab the more likely you are to recover from the problems caused by a stroke.

How can GRMC help you recover from stroke?

At Guam Regional Medical City (GRMC), we provide inpatient and outpatient rehab to address your health care needs. At Guam Regional Medical City (GRMC), we provide inpatient and outpatient rehab to address your health care needs.

Our team of therapists from the Rehabilitation Services will work with you and other members of your health care team to help you reach your full potential for recovery. Rehab often focuses on how to:

• Improve your sitting and standing balance

• Improve your sitting and standing balance

• Improve your walking on different surfaces

• Allow you to do more exercise with less  fatigue

• Improve your strength and range of motion

• Decrease your pain

• Improve your functional tasks (for example:  getting in and out of bed, dressing, bathing,  etc.)

• Enable you to be more mobile and  independent

• Improve your swallow and decrease risk of  pneumonia

• Improve your speech and use of language

• Improve your memory, concentration and  attention

• Teach your family/ friends about your  condition and on how to help you safely

References:References:
1. “Stroke.” MedlinePlus NIH US National Library of Medicine. Web. 31 Jul 2015.
2. “Conditions Impacting Physical Abilities After Stroke.” Stroke Association. Web. 31 Jul 2015.
3. “Recovery After Stroke.” Lexicomp Online. Web. 14 Aug 2015.
4. “Stroke Rehab Information.” Lexicomp Online. Web. 17 Aug 2015.

Daily Care

You may be having problems breathing while you are sleeping, also called sleep apnea. A machine called CPAP or continuous positive airway pressure is one kind of treatment used to help you breathe more easily. It uses air pressure to help open your airways.

Talk to your health care provider if you suspect to have sleep apnea and may need to use a CPAP machine. If you are already using a CPAP machine, learn how to care for your equipment. Read your owners’ manual, as the care instructions may be different from what is written here.

If you would like to speak with a health care provider about sleep apnea and CPAP machine, call the Guam Regional Medical City at 645-5500.

CPAP Devices for Sleep Apnea

Daily Care

1. Do NOT place any part of your CPAP or mask in the dishwasher.  It will be too hot.1. Do NOT place any part of your CPAP or mask in the dishwasher.  It will be too hot.

2. Best to wash it in the morning so it has time to dry.

3. Choose a mild dish soap. Ensure the soap does not contain antibacterial agents, bleach, chlorine, alcohol, moisturizers or scents (you don’t want to be BREATHING that stuff).4. The mask, tubing, and humidifier should be washed daily or every other day.  One helpful suggestion is to clean it each time you take a shower since you have warm water and soap available.

4. The mask, tubing, and humidifier should be washed daily or every other day.  One helpful suggestion is to clean it each time you take a shower since you have warm water and soap available.

5. If using a sink, immerse the humidifier, tubing, and mask in warm, soapy water.  Avoid very hot water that can melt the plastic.  Shake the equipment in water for a minute.

6. Rinse off the equipment in warm water until all traces of soap are gone.

7. Hang the tubing over a hanger, towel bar or shower rod and place the mask and humidifier on a towel to dry.  Do not place the equipment out in the sun, since it can melt the plastic.

TIME MATTERS! The sooner you begin rehab the more likely you are to recover from the problems caused by a stroke.

Weekly Care

1. Unplug the CPAP machine and wipe it down with a clean damp cloth.1. Unplug the CPAP machine and wipe it down with a clean damp cloth.

2. Do NOT rinse the white filter – those are meant to be changed out monthly.

3. Remove the black foam filter at the back of the machine and rinse it by running tap water through the filter. Squeeze it to ensure the dust is eliminated and allow it to dry before putting it back into the machine.

4. Disinfect your mask, tubing and humidifier after you wash them by filling a sink with 1 part vinegar to 3-5 parts water. Soak it in the sink for 30 minutes. Rinse thoroughly by allowing the water to run through and over the equipment for a few minutes.4. Disinfect your mask, tubing and humidifier after you wash them by filling a sink with 1 part vinegar to 3-5 parts water. Soak it in the sink for 30 minutes. Rinse thoroughly by allowing the water to run through and over the equipment for a few minutes.

5. Allow the equipment to dry before reconnecting it to the machine.

Monthly Care

1. Replace the white filter monthly, if your machine has one.  If you notice it getting dirty sooner, change it more frequently.

References:
1. “About Epilepsy: The Basics.” Epilepsy Foundation. Web. 15 Sept. 2015.
2. Images:
a. “Living with Epilepsy.” Epilepsy Foundation of Eastern Pennsylvania. Web. 15 Sept. 2015.
b. “Seizures Discharge Instructions.” Lexicomp Online. Web. 14 Sept. 2015.

What you can do to avoid problems related to the medicines you take?

• Before you take a medication, READ THE LABEL on the container including directions, warnings and precautions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you do not understand them, or you feel you need more information. o Before you take a medication, READ THE LABEL on the container including directions, warnings and precautions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you do not understand them, or you feel you need more information.

• Check with your doctor or pharmacist if there are foods or beverages you should avoid with your medications.

• Some medicines must be taken before meals, some after eating. Always follow the directions given by your doctor or pharmacist.

• Share with your doctor or pharmacist every medication, vitamins, or dietary supplements that you are taking. Vitamins and dietary supplements can either lower or increase the effects of some drugs.

• Avoid alcoholic drinks while under medication. Alcohol changes the way your medicine works.

• Do not mix medications with hot beverages or into your food. This can alter the drug’s effectiveness.

• Take medication with a glass of water unless told otherwise by your pharmacist or doctor.

• Do not crush or halve pills, or take capsules apart unless told by your doctor or pharmacist.

• Tell your doctor of any unusual feeling you have experienced while taking medications.

This brochure is about how common medications can be affected by the food that you can eat. It will help you make the most of your medicines and nutrients in the safest and most effective way possible.

Here are some interactions between some of our common medicines and foods. Do not hesitate to ASK your health care provider and questions issues, and concerns you may have regarding your medicine regimen.

What You Can Do To Avoid Problems Related To The Medicines You Take

At Guam Regional Medical City, your safety comes first.

Make sure that your primary doctor, or any health care provider who writes a prescription for you knows about ALL of the medicines you take. Always keep a list of you current and past medications handy.

You can also take charge of your health by preparing a chart like the one below for your medicines.

What are the signs and symptoms of low blood sugar?

Low blood sugar, which is also called hypoglycemia, happens when the level of sugar in a person’s blood gets too low – usually less than 70 mg/dl. It happens most often in people with diabetes. If low blood sugar is not detected early on, it can cause serious health problems. This brochure helps you learn the signs and symptoms of low blood sugar. It also gives you information on what to do to treat low blood sugar, and when to call for emergency help.

• Feeling shaky

• Sweating or clamminess

• Being nervous or anxious

• Irritable

• Confusion

• Feeling lightheaded or dizzy

• Fast heartbeat

• Hunger

• Pale

• Feeling sleepy

• Weakness, or having no energy

• Blurred vision

• Headache

• Clumsiness

• Seizures

• Passing out

• Take too much medicine, including insulin or certain diabetes pills.

• Do not eat enough food, or wait too long between meals.

• Exercise too much without eating a snack or cutting back their insulin dose.

• Drink too much alcohol.

Each person’s response to low blood sugar is different, and can change over time. Very low blood sugar has the potential to cause accidents, injuries, coma, and death The only sure way to know whether a person with diabetes has low blood sugar is to check it then treat the problem right away.

If the person with diabetes is awake and can swallow, treat low blood sugar with one of the following sources of sugar:

• 1/2 cup regular juice or sugary soda• 1/2 cup regular juice or sugary soda

• 4 glucose tablets• 1 tablespoon sugar or honey

• 6 to 8 pieces of hard candy

Stay with the person and recheck the blood sugar after every 15 minutes. The person may need more sources of sugar to eat or drink.

Call 911, or get the person to nearest hospital, if blood sugar level does not rise above 70 mg/dl, or the person does not get better.

References: “Hypoglycemia.” NIH. NIH Publication No. 09-3926, Oct. 2008. Web. 11 Aug. 2015.

A fall is loss of balance causing you to make contact with the floor. It can happen anytime and anyplace. Some falls lead to injuries that can be minor such as a small cut or bruise. Other injuries can be life-threatening such as a head injury or broken bone.

How can GRMC help you prevent a fall?

Consult your doctor if you are worried about falling, or if you are having falls or near falls. Your doctor may refer you for physical therapy. At GRMC, we have physical therapists that will help you improve your walking, balance and strength. Our physical therapists can also work with your doctor in making an exercise program that will meet your needs

Who is at risk for falling

Your risk for falling is higher as you age. If you or someone you know have been told to use a cane or walker, you may already be more likely to fall. A number of things can put you at higher risk for a fall such as a medical conditions (weakness, balance and walking problems, poor vision or hearing, impaired memory), medication side effects, and unsafe surrounding.

What can you do to prevent a fall?

•  Stay active. Exercise regularly to help improve and maintain strength and balance

•  Wear the right shoes: properly-fitting, non-skid sole with good support. Avoid wearing high-heeled shoes or shoes that are loose.

 

• See your doctor for a yearly physical including an eye exam. When advised by your doctor, use a walker, cane and other devices to help you avoid falling. Your doctor may need to refer you to a physical therapy to teach you how to use it safely.

Fall proof you home.

•  Keep hallways clear
•  Pick up or secure throw rugs as they can be tripping hazard
•  Clean up spills right away
•  Increase and use lighting around the house
•  Keep commonly used items within easy reach

 

The use of any form of tobacco puts you at severe health risks. All forms of tobacco contain nicotine and can cause addiction and health problems. Common forms of tobacco include:

What are your health risks of smoking and second-hand smoke?

Smoking can lead to a number of deadly health effects, which include cancer, heart disease, stroke, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), and complications of pregnancy and birth defects. They all have chemicals that cause cancer of the mouth, nose, larynx, throat, esophagus, stomach, pancreas, lung, kidney, and bladder. Smoking can lead to a number of deadly health effects, which include cancer, heart disease, stroke, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), and complications of pregnancy and birth defects. They all have chemicals that cause cancer of the mouth, nose, larynx, throat, esophagus, stomach, pancreas, lung, kidney, and bladder.

Oral and smokeless tobacco can also cause gum disease and tooth loss.
Secondhand smoke is a mixture of smoke from the burning end of a cigarette and the smoke breathed out by smokers. There is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke, its dangers include:

• Cancer in adults who have never smoked
• Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), or the sudden and unexplained death of an infant in the first year of life
• Serious health problems in children such as bron- chitis, pneumonia, asthma, wheezing, coughing,  and ear infections

Tobacco kills at least one person on Guam every day. Guam’s smoking rate is higher than most U.S. States. Smokeless tobacco use, including dip and betel nut, is rising for both adults and youth. The most vital health choice you can make is to quit smoking! Here at GRMC, we can give you free educational materials and information on classes to help you quit.

What Are Your Benefits of Quitting?

• Quitting smoking at any age has benefits. The sooner you quit, the sooner your body can begin to heal and quitting smoking is the single best way to protect your family from secondhand smoke.

• If you smoke a pack a day quitting smoking will save you more than $5,000 a year on cigarettes.

How do you quit smoking?

1. Don’t use ANY tobacco products.. Don’t use ANY tobacco products.

2. Write down why you want to quit.

3. Set your quit date and commit to it. Know that it will take commitment and effort to quit smoking.

4. Remember that more than half of all adult smokers have quit and you can too!
Even if you fail a few times, keep trying. You can learn from your mistakes so that you’ll be ready for those pitfalls next time.

5. Get help if you want it.
Talk to your health care provider to find out which method works best for you. Contact us at Patient Education: (671) 645-5500 Ext. 3685

References:
1. "Smoking & Tobacco Use." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, n.d. Web. 3 Sept. 2015.
2. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. A Report of the Surgeon General: How Tobacco Smoke Causes Disease: What it Means to You. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2010.
3. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Smoking: What it Means to You. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2004.
4. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. A Report of the Surgeon General: Secondhand Smoke: What it Means to You. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Coordinating Center for Health Promotion, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2006.