A Shrewdness of Apes

An Okie teacher banished to the Midwest. "Education is not the filling a bucket but the lighting of a fire."-- William Butler Yeats

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Are you prepared for an emergency?

I have a medically fragile student this year-- a great kid who tries so hard to overcome insurmountable odds-- but I got him at the last minute, so have been kind of playing catch up (studying up on his illness, reading his very very long IEP, making adaptations since the IEP hasn't kept up with his condition, etc.). The other day he suddenly started bleeding from his nose while I was working with another student. And very quickly we had several problems.

It all ended okay-- one kid let me know what was happening, the kids all stayed calm, he stayed calm, I stayed calm, we all tried to distract him as another kid found paper towels. I called the nurse (thank GOD for nurses!) who came very quickly.

But I just want to say to you, Edusphere friends, it reminded me of a few things.

Please make sure you have the following items in your classroom, even if you DON'T have medically fragile students:
1. Non-latex gloves, several pair
2. Spare trashcan liners in which to dispose of biohazard waste
3. Gauze pads
4. Bleach wipes

Then, here's the first aid for a nosebleed (advice directed to the person who is bleeding):

1. Tilt your head downward toward your chest, NOT back (tilting your head back causes blood to flow down your throat where it could make you throw up or possibly aspirate it into your lungs). Place something beneath your nostrils to absorb the blood-- gauze, but at least a paper towel or a clean cloth if you can get it.

2. Place pressure with the last joint of your thumb and forefinger on both sides of your nose below the bridge-- think of it as a pincer movement rather than a pinch.

3. Breathe through your mouth calmly.

4. Maintain pressure for several minutes. If you feel faint, try to lower your head toward or below your knees and call for help.

You never know when you might need to know this stuff.

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At 2/13/10, 10:49 PM, Blogger kherbert said...

I'm so glad you put the part about leaning forward.

I have had chronic nosebleeds because of allergy meds. So I was taught to bend my head forward to keep the blood from going into my lungs or down my throat.

You have no idea how many times I've had to argue with people about this. To me it is something basic. You want the blood out and you want to lower the head to prevent light headedness.

At 2/14/10, 7:06 AM, Blogger Mrs. Chili said...

Blood I can handle; it's the vomit that gets me...

I don't have any of these things in my room, though; I'm going to remedy that tomorrow. Thanks.

At 2/14/10, 7:14 AM, Anonymous Jen said...

I sure wish our school had a nurse here every day. As it is, a kid with an emergency wants to have it Wednesday mornings, a random afternoon a week, or during the 2 days per year when there are 5 nurses in the building doing physicals for sports.

It's a pretty small window!

At 2/14/10, 9:02 AM, Blogger ~Tim said...

Our district doesn't let us use products with bleach any more.

At 2/14/10, 7:13 PM, Blogger "Ms. Cornelius" said...

k- You get argued with because years ago, the first aid instructions WERE to tilt your head back. I know, because I have been certified in first aid for so long that I was originally taught to splint a broken bone with spare mastodon bones lying around, and the Red Cross was called the Red Cave Paintings.

But this student has an illness in which most of the people who die from it die from aspirational pneumonia, so it is particularly important that we keep his airway clear.

At 2/14/10, 11:27 PM, Blogger Gott Blog? said...

Thank you for the information and I will verify that there are gloves and gauze pads in the emergency bag in my classroom. It is important to know what to do (or not do) in these situaitons.

At 2/19/10, 12:18 PM, Anonymous LS said...

Ice on the back of the neck helps. Or even on the bridge of the nose.


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