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Struggle against pressure sores

Struggle against pressure sores

Bedsores are damage to the skin and subcutaneous tissue that result from the compression of the tissues with a hard surface (bed, chair, orthopedic appliances).

Most often they are formed in people who are obese or, conversely, depleted. Diabetes mellitus, severe heart failure, strokes, craniocerebral trauma are also typical risk factors.

It is known that the nutrition of the tissues of our body is carried out by blood, which comes through vessels and capillaries. Skin compression leads to poor nutrition. Each of us can easily carry out a simple experiment: take a transparent glass and tightly squeeze it with your fingers.Through the glass you will see that the tips of your fingers are white – this is due to their bleeding, because it is the blood that gives the skin a physiological pink color. If the squeezing continues for a long time, necrosis (necrosis) of the tissues can occur. The terms for the formation of bedsores are individual and largely depend on the general state of the organism. It is not uncommon for a bed patient, whose skin has been healthy for many months and even years, was covered with multiple bedsores in 1-2 days. Usually this is due to the attachment of some disease or the deterioration of the current already available.

In January 2015, a 46-year-old patient suffering from myasthenia gravis was brought to the intensive care unit, a serious illness characterized by gradually growing muscle weakness. For several years she practically did not get out of bed, but thanks to good skin care she had no bedsores. As a result of the progression of the disease, a weakness of the respiratory muscles appeared, which led to shortness of breath, which was the reason for hospitalization. Literally on the first day of her stay in the intensive care unit, despite proper skin care, she had deep sores on the rump with the size of two palms. Apparently, the cause of them was hypoxia – an insufficient saturation of the blood with oxygen, which, combined with inactivity, led to a disturbance in the nutrition of the skin and subcutaneous tissue. Against the background of complex treatment, the patient’s condition improved, while the bedsores were gradually cured. Stay in the intensive care unit lasted more than six months, but as a result, the patient was discharged home, now she uses a home apparatus for ventilation.

Excessive squeezing of the skin is the main, but not the only cause of pressure sores. Some contribution can make so-called   shear forces . In order to understand what it is, do the following experiment. Place a bare arm on the table so that the forearm lies on the table, and the elbow hangs a few centimeters. Firmly pressing your forearm against the surface of the table, pull your hand toward you. The skin, adhering to the table, remains immobile, and the elbow will move slightly. This is possible due to the elasticity of the skin and subcutaneous tissues. Stretching the tissues between the bone and the skin causes a worsening of the blood supply, as a result of which bedsores can form in deep tissues with intact skin.

When a sedentary patient tries to move, there may be a situation where the skin remains pressed against the bed, and the bones move slightly.This leads to compression or even rupture of blood vessels, which disrupts the nutrition of deep tissues, causing the appearance of subcutaneous decubitus. The same happens when the patients slide from the bed, pulling the sheets out from under them, and in other similar situations.

By the way, abrasions, provoked by stretching from under the sick bed sheet or bed-board, are easily infected, which ultimately accelerates the development of pressure sores.

All bedridden patients should be examined daily, revealing bedsores at the earliest stages. First of all, assess the condition of the skin above the bony protuberances – in the nape of the neck, scapulas, sacrum, heels. If the patient lies on his side, bedsores can form in the region of pelvic bones, trochanter of the femur, on the knees.

The first stage of development of pressure ulcers is the reddening of the area of ​​the skin, which does not go away when you press a finger on it.Then there are bubbles, reminiscent of those that occur with burns of the second degree. After this, if you do not take the necessary measures, an ulcer opens, which deepens to the bone, gradually destroying them. It is clear that the further the process went, the less chance of recovery, so prevention is very important. Let us dwell on it in detail.

• The main and most simple preventive measure is the use of an anti- decubitus mattress. Details about him are written in the chapter devoted to motor rehabilitation. Its cost is 3-4 thousand rubles (September 2016). By paying this amount, you can avoid large spending on treatment, and most importantly – significantly relieve the patient’s life. To some extent, the mattress can be replaced with rubber underlays under the sacrum and heels, however these devices are much less reliable and quite inconvenient.

• Change the patient’s position as often as possible. The methods of turning in bed are described in detail in the chapter on motor rehabilitation.Ideally, the turn needs to be done every two hours.

• Try to keep the skin clean. Daily 1-2 times treat it with camphor alcohol. It should not be too wet or dry.

• Make sure that there are no wrinkles, crumbs from food and other foreign objects on the sheet.

• Do not pull the sheets and the vessel out of the patients, but take them slowly and carefully.

• Do not allow patients to slip from the bed and a prolonged forced position in bed.

• Do not place heating devices (reflectors, oil heaters) near the patient’s bed. He can get burned because of the inability to change the position of the body.

• Do not use oilcloth to place under the patient’s body. If the patient does not control urination, it is better to put diapers on him, and a moisture -absorbing disposable sheet ( under the body) should be placed under the body . Adhesives cause excessive moisturizing of the skin, which in the future can worsen its protective properties and lead to the development of pressure sores.

• Use special skin care products instead of soap. They do not cause skin irritation, since they have a neutral, not an alkaline reaction.

Treatment of bedsores

At the first stage of development of decubitus, when there is no skin defect, it is enough just to ease pressure on the skin, for which the above-mentioned anti- bedsore mattresses and rubber circles are used. Turning in bed once every two hours is already mandatory, not desirable.Slapping the palm over reddened places can also speed recovery.

When a skin defect occurs, a solution of hydrogen peroxide is used – it allows you to clean the wound thoroughly, removing dirt and infected contents from it. Then, the same ointments that are usually prescribed for the treatment of open wounds are selected. Argosulfan is well proven – it contains an antibiotic and silver ions. Ointment allows you to quickly cope with the infection, has an analgesic effect and, as a rule, is well tolerated. Argosulfan is applied abundantly on the wound 2-3 times a day, the course of treatment depends on the speed of healing and can be up to two months. Levomekol and levosin are also shown . These ointments contain an antibiotic and a wound healing component, and levosin is also a local anesthetic trimomein , so the use of this ointment is preferred in cases of severe pain syndrome. The complex effect is sprayed with olazole , which contains sea buckthorn oil, an antibiotic, a topical anesthetic, and boric acid.

Solcoseryl or actovegin may be added to the treatment in the form of ointments, however, their intravenous administration is more effective, which strengthens the defenses of the body and prevents the emergence of new pressure sores.

Severe deep bedsores are an occasion to seek help from a surgeon. The operation consists in removing necrotic tissues, after which ointments are applied, which have already been discussed in this section.

How to use hydrogen peroxide to wash the wound?

On sale there are plastic bottles, when pressed on which a jet of hydrogen peroxide ishes all pathological contents from the decubitus. If you bought hydrogen peroxide in a glass container, you can pour it into a 20-ml syringe, attaching a needle to it from an insulin syringe. The needle should be fixed as best as possible, with adhesive tape or tape. When you press the piston, the jet will be thin, but very powerful, with its help you can separate the purulent masses from healthy tissues. After drying, apply ointment.

Can I use manganese, zebra and other drying substances to treat decubitus?

Yes. Instead of an ointment, the use of such drugs is acceptable. Usually, the bottom of the bed is smeared with potassium permanganate, and the green spot is around it. Treatment should be carried out often, 3-6 times a day. At night, when the patient is sleeping, you can apply a bandage with a spray of olazole or panthenol (apply a very thick layer, to a centimeter thick) and cover with a wide gauze bandage, strengthening its edges with adhesive tape . In the morning remove the bandage, rinse the wound with hydrogen peroxide and continue drying.

How correctly to restore speech at the patient who has transferred a stroke and its lost?

Correct speech can be restored only by a speech therapist. The task of relatives – as soon as possible to turn to such a specialist and not try to do something yourself. Inept attempts to teach the patient to speak bring more harm than good. For example, if you ask the patient to repeat the name of an item for you, you may be able to do it. True, the consequences will become unexpected for you: a so-called echolalia can form – a person will continue to repeat certain words, but he himself can still say nothing.

If a patient is able to pronounce a word and you encourage him to often reproduce this success, a verbal embolus may arise – the patient without any sense and reason will repeat the word, but to teach him to speak other words will be much more difficult. If the patient can repeat after you the name of an object, do not rush to rejoice. Often it happens that he will use these words in his original form, without declension. Such a speech disorder is called agrammatism .

Only an experienced speech therapist will be able to draw up the correct program for restoring speech and combating the violation of her perception.

As a rule, the exercises selected by the speech therapist at the beginning of the recovery cycle are of a non-verbal nature. This is the folding ofpuzzles , drawing, the construction of figures using cubes. You can offer games in cards, dominoes, lotto. In the next stages, patients are given jobs to combine the picture and the signature to it. The restoration of writing skills is carried out by recording dictation of words and numbers.

It should be remembered that classes with a speech therapist should be conducted in silence. Extraneous noises, a working TV or radio interfere with a patient with impaired speech much more than a healthy person. Moreover, it is impossible to talk to two people at the same time with something to the patient – such a flow of information is difficult for him to understand.

There are several more rules for communicating with a patient with a speech disorder.

• Talk more in his presence. He must participate in general conversations, it speeds up recovery and improves the emotional background.

• Classes with a speech therapist should be conducted as early as possible after the discovery of a speech defect. The first three weeks from the moment of the disease are most productive. Then the compensatory capacities of the body gradually decrease. It is conditionally considered that after two years from the beginning of the disease recovery is impossible.

• Try to refer to the patient with short and clear phrases.

• When talking with a patient, speak slowly, pronouncing words well.

• Do not raise your voice when talking to a patient and do not lisp. Aphasia (a violation of understanding and formulating speech) – this is not deafness and not dementia!

• Ask at first such questions, to which you can answer “yes” or “no”.

• Try not to interrupt the patient – the way will express his thought to the end, even if it does not turn out as quickly as we would like.

After a stroke, there was swelling of the hand. How to deal with this?

Edema of the extremities is a natural complication of stroke. More often it occurs in people who do not use the affected limb – do not try to move it, do not perform restorative exercises. The cause of edema is the excessive tone of the flexor muscles, as a result of which the outflow on the veins clamped by these muscles suffers. Ways to combat swelling are as follows:

• Try to do exercises more often. The contractions of the muscles of the sick arm, alternating with relaxations, contribute to the improvement of venous outflow from the diseased limb, hence, reduce puffiness.

• If the hand does not move at all, try to at least passively change its position. Lie with arms outstretched (or put a pillow between your arm and body) is most effective for eliminating edema.

• During waking and walking, you can put a small cushion between the arm and the body so that the hand is not pressed.

• There is a therapeutic massage that helps to reduce swelling of paralyzed limbs.

• Medical treatment of edema is usually ineffective. Nevertheless, in conjunction with the above measures, taking medication can sometimes be helpful. As a rule, in such cases, prescribe detraleks and / or homeopathic drug lymphomyositis .

• If the hand swells very strongly, cyanotic staining of the affected limb appears, you can think of venous thrombosis. In this situation, ultrasound of the veins of the arm and consultation of the vascular surgeon are necessary.

How to deal with swelling of the legs?

You can use the recommendations above. In addition, you can use elastic bandages or, much more effectively, compression underwear – knee-highs, stockings, tights. To improve venous outflow it is useful to dilute legs to the sides during sleep and rest. For this purpose, a pillow can be placed between the knees.

After a stroke, the stool happens every 3-4 days. How to deal with this?

Usually, laxatives are prescribed to solve this problem, for example dufalak . There are microclycers microlux , their application is very effective. If medications do not help, the enema should be staged. Normally, the chair should be 1 time per day, a delay for a longer period is always bad.

Do not forget about the increase in the amount of fiber in the patient’s diet – give him prunes, food bran, drug ryacen RD. This can increase intestinal motility and help achieve a regular stool.

After suffering a stroke, the patient suffers from solid food. What to feed him?

In such cases, special nutritional mixtures are usually prescribed – Nutridrink / Nutrikomp or baby food (preferably meat, it has more nutrients).You can diversify the diet with jelly, yogurt.

For more than three years I have been watching a patient who is 92 years old at the moment. After a stroke, she practically does not move around the apartment and can not swallow solid food. About 90% of its diet is a nutrient mix ” Nutridrink “, sometimes it adds a little baby food or jelly. Despite the monotonous and relatively meager diet, the patient is alive and feels good, as far as possible in her condition. All the needs of the body in nutrients are covered by Nutridrink .

After feeding, you must sit for half an hour, if it is not possible, then at least raise the head end of the bed.

What if the patient has difficulty swallowing fluids after a stroke – water, tea, juice?

In such cases it is necessary to offer semi-liquid products – jelly, kefir, yoghurt. Sometimes you can try to give 1-2 sips of water, and then seize it with something hard, it will improve the swallowing of the liquid.

There is an exercise that sometimes helps to stimulate the restoration of a swallowing reflex. After each sip of something liquid, a soft, damp toothbrush without paste is needed to pat the lower wisdom teeth (or the gums in their place, if they are removed) on both sides. It is enough to perform several massage movements, but it should be done often.

How to deal with muscular spasm in the affected arm?

Measures to eliminate muscle spasm are as follows:

• Change the patient’s position regularly;

• as often as possible, perform slow, passive movements in the joints of the affected hand with the help of an assistant or with a healthy hand;

• The hand should not be on weight – during rest, always place it on the pedestal, the position of the limb should be the middle between the extreme flexion and extension;

• prescribed by a doctor may use drugs or sirdalud Mydocalmum. They help to cope with spasm, but experience shows that their reception leads to muscle weakness, which makes rehabilitation difficult and worsens the quality of life.

What droppers should I put for the prevention of a stroke?

This question is so important that I consider it necessary to dwell on it in more detail. Unfortunately, the prophylactic appointment of droppers to patients who have suffered a stroke is very common. In the offices of the day hospital, polyclinics are administered solutions containing euphyllin, piracetam , cavinton and other similar preparations. Patients stand in line, and droppers are prescribed from a certain date, which are prepared in advance, often for 2-3 months …

However, the effectiveness of such methods of therapy is low. The fact that the treatment with droppers should be prescribed only in case of worsening of the course of diseases! In particular, with a repeated stroke, exacerbation of cerebral circulatory insufficiency with clear symptoms (for example, increased dizziness) or in other similar situations. The prophylactic effect of a repeated stroke does not have a dropper. It is not uncommon for patients to have a stroke immediately after the completion of the dropper course. Not from droppers, of course, but as a result of the progression of a chronic disease. No droppers can prevent this.

Remember: the treatment of any disease has only two goals – improving the prognosis and improving the quality of life. No others. If a drug does not improve the prognosis and well-being, it is not needed. To the fullest extent, this refers to “preventive” droppers with caviton or pyracetam .

Are there tablets that prevent re-stroke?

Yes, of course, for the prevention of stroke are used pills, which have already been discussed in this book. I think it will be useful to repeat their groups and names.

First, it is necessary to prevent the progression of atherosclerosis. For this purpose there statins ( Crestor , Lipitor and others), ezetrol as a possible addition to these, as well as fibrates ( traykor , lipantil ) as an alternative to statins in some cases. Drugs are prescribed for life, require blood test control – lipidograms , transaminases ALT and AST, creatine phosphokinase .

Secondly, we must achieve a reduction in blood clotting – for this purpose, aspirin is used. The dose of 100 mg or more per day has a proven effect. Usually appoint thrombotic ACC 100 mg 1 time per day immediately before meals or cardiomagnesium 150 mg once a day, regardless of food. Stronger drugs are prescribed at the discretion of the attending physician, they require monitoring of blood coagulability and close observation.

Thirdly, it is necessary to lower blood pressure if the patient suffers from hypertension. Preparations are described in detail in the chapter devoted to this disease.

Fourthly, in the presence of atrial fibrillation or heart aneurysm, drugs from the group of anticoagulants must be taken. Usually it is warfarin , pradaxa , xarelto . Read more about this in the chapter, which deals with the treatment of the permanent form of atrial fibrillation.

No other drug groups can prevent stroke. They have either a symptomatic effect – ease the course of the disease, eliminating symptoms, or simply useless.

To me of 60 years, anything serious never hurted or was ill; was sick. Do I need to take aspirin to prevent stroke and heart attack?

No. Possible benefits for a person who did not suffer from a heart attack and stroke are less than the harm that regular aspirin can cause. The most undesirable consequence of this is the formation of a stomach ulcer with a risk of bleeding. In patients who have suffered a stroke, this risk has to be tolerated – the benefits of aspirin are very high for them.

The patient after the stroke was aggressive, could without any apparent reason to hit others, tried to open his veins. What to do?

If the patient has become dangerous to others or for himself, it is impossible to do without the help of a psychiatrist. The psychiatrist is called to the house through the ambulance service 03. Hospitalization is possible , where patients will be prescribed medications that have a calming effect, usually sonapaks or any drugs of a group of neuroleptics.

The night from 1 to 2 February 2001 I remembered well not only because she was my last night as an ambulance doctor, but also because she could be the last in my life. I received a call to a patient whose relatives reported that the patient who had suffered a stroke “became ill.” Walking up to the fifth floor, I saw a 55-year-old strong man who was standing in the stairwell at the door of his apartment, hiding his hands behind his back, to which I did not pay attention at first. Instead of greeting, he uttered words that terrified me. He asked: “And who is this behind you and smiles so creepy?” I did not suspect any treachery, so I was frightened by this phrase, and slowly began to turn around. Behind my back, of course, there was no one, but with a sidelong glance I caught that the patient made a quick move in my direction.I dashed in the opposite direction and managed – his hand, with the sharpening in it, passed by. The relatives who had come to the rescue grabbed the patient from behind, and we were able to immobilize him and take away his weapons. The specialized psychiatric brigade that I summoned to help brought him to a psychiatric hospital. While we waited for the brigade, my relatives told me that after a stroke a few months ago in the frontal lobe of the brain, the patient completely recovered his motor functions, but the psyche changed seriously. From a relatively quiet (though abused alcohol) person, he turned into an aggressive psychopath – more than once threatened to kill his wife and children, once chased with an ax over a small grandson, frightening him to stutter. When I asked why they did not go to a psychiatrist, the answer was:”And we did not know how to get him out of the house to the psychoneurological dispensary, he did not want to go there.” The fact that an aggressive person should be called a psychiatrist at home, they for some reason did not think.

After the stroke, the patient ceased to recognize relatives, does not remember that it was half an hour ago, in general sharply “passed” in terms of the psyche; is there any way to help?

In such situations, too, need the help of a psychiatrist. There are psychotropic drugs, such as exelon , reminil , which in some cases help to cope with dementia (this is the name of the condition in question).

The 88-year-old patient, whom I observe about the constant form of atrial fibrillation, suffered a stroke, after which he ceased to recognize relatives, often “talked”, talked with non-existent interlocutors, for example, with a long-dead brother. Relatives have already lost hope for an improvement in his condition, but after consulting a psychiatrist and starting a remineral, it has improved significantly. He himself leaves the house, does shopping in the store, reads books and newspapers, watches TV, and can tell in detail what was going on.

Self-medication in this situation is unacceptable, since the drugs have serious side effects, psychiatrist consultation is mandatory.

The patient regularly trained in walking, but in recent days there was pain in the leg with prolonged training. Do I need to train further or can I rest until the pain passes?

There is a rule: you have to train before the pain and a little more. Therefore, to continue training is necessary, albeit less than before. You can spend a few short workouts instead of one long. You do not need to break precisely.

Why does a healthy leg hurt when walking?

Because most of the load falls on it. When restoring the function of a paralyzed leg, this will pass.

How to restore the function of the fingers of a paralyzed hand?

In addition to those exercises, which have already been discussed in this book, there is a relatively simple restorative technique. It consists in the following. The patient is given baby cubes, which he must take with a sick hand and shift to another place. When this exercise starts to work out, they switch to smaller objects, for example, pencils, counting sticks, paper clips. At the final stage, 1 kg of buckwheat and 1 kg of rice are mixed, and the patient spreads these cereals in different containers. Usually the successful completion of the final stage brings great moral satisfaction.

Additional information If the patient is unconscious

In the literature on the problem of stroke, there are recommendations for providing first aid to the sick. I must say that our capabilities are not great. So, it is necessary:

• put the patient on the bed;

• Ensure the flow of fresh air by opening the window;

• Turn your head to one side when you start vomiting, so that the patient does not choke.

In general, a set of simple and obvious actions.

In my opinion, the main problem is to distinguish a patient with suspected stroke from a person suffering from another disease that has similar symptoms.

If the patient is conscious, then everything is simple. We perform the above actions, call an ambulance on the mobile 911 and calmly wait. If a person is conscious, then in the short run he is not in danger.

It is quite another matter if the patient is unconscious. Delay can cost him his life, even a timely call of an ambulance will not always allow him to save, although, of course, this is the best thing you can do. The dispatcher must be informed that the patient is unconscious, the brigade is sent to such patients first of all. If the dispatcher will ask additional questions, try to answer them clearly and without unnecessary details. Well, for now the team is on the road, you can try to help yourself.


The most dangerous condition that can suddenly occur with diabetes is hypoglycemia. Other types of diabetic coma progress gradually and do not have such severe consequences. Therefore, all relatives of diabetics should know its symptoms and be able to provide assistance to such patients.

Hypoglycemia can develop almost exclusively in diabetics, its main cause is an overdose of sugar – reducing drugs, especially against the background of insufficient food intake or increased emotional or physical stress. Sometimes an alcoholic intoxication can provoke a moment.

Symptoms of hypoglycemia – irritability, a strong sense of anger, trembling in the hands, profuse sweating, insuperable hunger, then loss of consciousness, cramps are possible. If there is no treatment, death may occur.

One night, my patient called me. With an alarmed voice, he told me that his 85-year-old mother suddenly lost consciousness. Do not call an ambulance – they are in a village, divorced from civilization, to the nearest village of kilometers 30 on a bad road, even cellular communications work intermittently.

With detailed questioning it turned out that she was taking all the medications prescribed to her, including for reducing blood sugar, but because of intestinal frustration she practically did not eat anything all day. During the evening she felt weak, lay in bed, sweating profusely (this attracted attention most of all – clothes and bed linen could literally be squeezed), and in the evening there were attacks of loss of consciousness. The patient “disconnected”, then briefly came to, not complaining about hunger, did not show aggression. After a short “light” gap, she finally lost consciousness.

I advised urgently to measure the blood sugar level, it was 2.3 mmol / l, which is a bit even for a healthy person, and for a diabetic patient it is catastrophically small. Fortunately, the patient did not lose the ability to swallow, and her son was able to give her a large amount of sweet tea. Consciousness quickly recovered, sweating was literally before our eyes. It is interesting that the mood of the patient was smooth and calm, unlike most people who suffer from hypoglycemia, which are usually at least irritated, and more often fall into aggression. Observing the patient for more than ten years, I repeatedly noted her extremely kind and non-conflicting character, which manifested itself at such a critical moment.

It should be added that loss of consciousness during hypoglycemia may be accompanied by symptoms very resembling a stroke, that often even confusing experienced neurologists. Patients may have asymmetry of the face, reduced tone of one of the arms or legs, turning the eyeballs aside. All this happens with strokes. The only difference is that with the timely administration of glucose to a patient with a low level of sugar, these symptoms completely and quickly pass.

Do not be afraid to increase blood sugar if you suspect hypoglycemia. Doctors often have to see diabetics who normally feel at a glucose concentration of up to 30mmol / l and even higher. In the long term, such figures, of course, will cause considerable harm to the body, but short-term hyperglycemia is much safer than hypoglycemia.

Remember: if a patient with diabetes is unconscious, he needs to measure blood sugar; if this is not possible, treat this as hypoglycemia, when there is no convincing reason to think about something else. The first help in this condition is to give a sweet tea. Before you give a drink to a sick person, make sure that he is able to swallow. To do this, let him drink a teaspoonful of water and make sure that the water is swallowed. If the patient does not swallow, the only way to help is to inject glucose intravenously, which the ambulance team can do, which must be called as soon as possible.

Can hypoglycemia occur in people who do not suffer from diabetes? Yes. True, this happens relatively rarely.

One day during the ambulance I got a call to the gym. The 34-year-old woman fell unconscious right in the gym. When I arrived at the scene of the incident (fortunately, it happened literally in 5-7 minutes from the moment of loss of consciousness – our team was passing just next to the sports complex), I saw a young, plump woman without external signs of trauma. Surrounding could not say anything about what she had been sick before, only noted that in the past 2-3 months she was actively engaged in sports and noticeably lost weight. After the administration of 60 ml of 40% glucose, the patient recovered to her senses. It turned out that after giving birth and breast-feeding, she gained weight and began to go to the gym constantly to restore her physical form. During the first month she lost 4 kg. This seemed to her little, so the patient reduced the calorie intake. On the day of the disease, she came to an empty stomach for the first time in her life.Fighting hunger, and then with “not clear” from where the feeling of indignation arose, she continued to do the exercises, but at some point she suddenly lost consciousness for herself.

Treatment of hypoglycemia in healthy people is the same as in diabetics – fast introduction of sugar or something sweet through the mouth or glucose intravenously if the patient does not swallow. The effect should occur quickly, literally within the first minute, otherwise doubtfulness will arise in the reliability of the diagnosis.Harm from glucose is not present – possible or probable advantage always above, than its erroneous reception.

Alcoholic coma

Alcoholic coma is a condition that arises from the abuse of alcohol. On different people, it acts differently, it is not uncommon for cases when the same dose of one person will cause only intoxication, and the other will enter from it into a state of coma.

One day during the ambulance, I arrived at a 21-year-old patient who had lost consciousness. The call came from her fellow classmates who told me that they went to the park during the day to ski, after which they drank a 0.5 liter bottle of vodka with a meager snack. Everyone’s mood was good until they noticed that their friend was lying on the bed in an unnatural position. She did not react to attempts to wake up, only moaned softly. There was a two-fold vomiting of unchanged gastric contents, fortunately, the patient’s head managed to turn sideways, otherwise it would choke.

On examination, there was a smell of alcohol from the mouth, a rapid pulse. Blood pressure was normal. The patient was taken to the acute poisoning treatment center, where my diagnosis was confirmed – “alcoholic coma”. Against the background of treatment there was a rapid improvement, the next day the girl was discharged home.

None of the patient’s friends looked poisoned, 100 grams of vodka for their organisms remained almost unnoticed. True, they told me that she had never used alcohol before. Perhaps she had some genetically determined defect in the splitting of alcohol, which led to such a severe reaction.

So, the symptoms of alcohol coma – loss of consciousness, rapid heartbeat, reddening of the face can be observed. There is necessarily a smell of alcohol in the exhaled air. Often in the room where the patient is, you can see empty bottles of alcoholic beverages, however, they can be hidden.Often patients have a characteristic appearance – the so-called stigma of alcoholism. These include the enlargement of the vessels of the nose and its swelling. Remember, in the tale of “Pinocchio” there was a character called Giuseppe Sisi Nos – it is likely that he liked to drink. In addition, the faces of alcoholics usually have a cyanotic-red color. Women often look masculine (remember the “Lovers of absinthe” Pablo Picasso), and men, on the contrary, effeminate, with hypertrophied mammary glands. Perhaps the emergence of the so-called contracture Dupuytren – sclerosis of the tendon of the palm, as a result of which the fingers “crook”, the tendon of the ring finger is especially affected. And, finally, in the last stages of the patients, salivary glands hypertrophy, forming enlarged cheeks, which can often be seen in people with a far-gone process of alcoholism.

Despite the apparent evidence of the diagnosis, alcoholic coma is not recognized by others. I want to bring one more case from my practice.

Once I came to a 40-year-old patient who worked as a nanny to a 2-year-old girl. Her parents went to the theater in the evening, leaving her daughter for the first time in her care. Returning home about 22 hours, they saw a crying child and a unconscious nurse. The girl, fortunately, quickly calmed down, and the nurse could not be brought to life, and therefore an ambulance was called. Arriving at the apartment, I saw a woman lying unconscious with traces of involuntary urination. Empty bottles were not in the apartment (they were not found afterwards), but the smell of alcohol was clearly present in the exhaled air. There was a certain bewilderment of such an obvious disregard for my duties – neither I, nor the parents of the child could believe that the nurse simply “touched” the alcohol. Therefore, I hospitalized the patient, putting her not only an alcoholic coma, but also in any case a traumatic brain injury as a second diagnosis, although in favor of the injury did not say anything – the skin was not damaged. All questions were resolved in the hospital after taking blood and urine tests for alcohol. The results showed that there is a conventionally lethal dose in the blood. The fact that the patient did not die (and she was discharged in a day), says that this dose was familiar to her.

When alcoholic coma, as with any loss of consciousness, we must try not to let vomiting into the respiratory tract. For this, the patient should be laid on his side, especially when vomiting begins. Calling for ambulance is mandatory – in the hospital it is possible to save virtually all patients.Hospitalization is also necessary in order to exclude other diseases, most often the alcoholic coma is combined with the craniocerebral trauma.

Overdose of drugs from the group of opiates

Until the 1990s, the drug overdose was so rare that most doctors in their practice did not face this disease. Drug addicts were a few units, and there were no overdoses for them because of the lack of sufficient quantities of narcotic substances. My older colleagues in the work at the ambulance told me that, for example, in the Moscow district of Leningrad in the 80s of the XX century only 3 people with opiate addiction were registered. Now it seems incredible, but these patients were registered not only in the narcological dispensary, but also at the City Emergency Station, and had the right to call a team … so that she could inject morphine into them. Net drugs were not on sale, and drug addicts often had to interrupt themselves with a homemade straw poppy extract.

Unfortunately, those times are left behind. An overdose of opiates is so common that at least once in the life of such a patient can see any person, not just a doctor. Symptoms can resemble a stroke, so I decided to put in this book a section dedicated to this state. The methods of helping with ” overdose ” are simple, and each of us can try to save the life of the victim … Three times unnecessary life, according to Dr. Livesey from the “Treasure Island”.

In the mid-1990s, when drug addiction in Russia was already widespread, I worked as an ambulance doctor in the Nevsky district of St. Petersburg. This area was famous for the Right Bank market, which, according to some estimates, ranked second in terms of drug trafficking in Europe (!). To see a drug addict preparing a drug at night in the entrance was an ordinary phenomenon, empty insulin syringes (which were used by drug addicts) were lying on every corner. I had to go to patients who had overdosed the drug.

I remember the incident that occurred at one of the gas stations. On the way from the call to the station, we decided to refuel the car. Near one of the columns, a cabriolet with an open top stopped. In the car sat two young guys of Caucasian appearance. The driver of the cabriolet came out to pay for gasoline, and suddenly he saw that his companion, sitting in the front seat, suddenly lost consciousness. More than twenty years have passed, but I still remember his desperate cry: ” Adgur ! Oro ! “Without waiting for him to run up to me, I jumped out of the car and asked:” Drugs? “Delaying a split second, he answered in the affirmative. “Strongly beat him on the cheeks ,” I said, “now we will help.” While I was getting out of the car a set for carrying out artificial ventilation, the help was already provided. The driver of the car, fortunately, literally took my recommendation to beat the patient on the cheeks. After several very strong blows, the addict opened his eyes and inhaled. The ventilation was not even required. He refused categorically from hospitalization, and I do not know how this story ended. Saying goodbye to them, I recommended not to let the victim fall asleep – to prevent repeated loss of consciousness, this is the most important preventive measure.

The patient, who is unconscious due to drug overdose, is usually young (drug addicts rarely live up to 40-50 years). Pupils must be narrow, “point”. If the pupils are wide or normal, the diagnosis of an opiate overdose is excluded. On the hands are usually visible “paths” – traces ofintravenous drug use. Skin can have a yellowish tinge due to chronic hepatitis, a constant companion of people who abuse drugs.

The first thing you can do for such a patient is to cause him severe pain. You can pinch the lobe of the ear, squeeze your fingernail with a fingernail or simply apply a few strokes on the cheeks with your palm.

In the famous film “Pulp Fiction” there is an episode in which the character John Travolta played tried to save the heroine, who lost consciousness after using drugs. When he stuck a syringe into her chest (this is very painful, the chest cage is equipped with sensitive nerve endings), she suddenly screamed and recovered, no other action was needed.

By the way, I repeatedly noticed that drug addicts leave the coma almost instantly. He just looked so “put in a coffin in a coffin”, then he opened his eyes and literally in a split second he was already fully conscious. Not from any other coma does the patient come out so suddenly.

If the infliction of pain did not help and signs of independent breathing are not observed, artificial respiration will have to be done according to the procedure detailed in the section on clinical death.

Any patient with an overdose of drugs should be treated as infected with hepatitis and AIDS viruses. Therefore, to protect yourself from these diseases, you must try to ensure that the patient’s blood does not get on your skin, especially if it has abrasions.

After the patient regains consciousness, he must be hospitalized, because often after the restoration of breathing comes a second wave of deterioration. The threat to life can be considered missing no earlier than two hours after the introduction of the drug.

I tried to write this article so that it was easily perceived and contained a lot of useful information. Did it work – to judge you.

In the process of work, I read not only modern literature, but also the works of outstanding doctors of the 20th century. It was impossible not to admire their thoughtful, scrupulous approach to diagnosis and treatment. They were multifaceted specialists with deep knowledge in various fields of medicine. Nevertheless, it must be admitted that their patients had much less chance of recovering or at least a slight relief of their suffering than any of the readers of this book. The fact is that over the past few decades, medicine has gone far ahead. Modern diagnostic methods – ultrasound, computer and magnetic resonance imaging – make it possible to diagnose diagnoses in a timely and correct manner in the most complicated cases. There are medicines that help many years to maintain a full life for patients who were previously considered incurable. The newest surgical methods of treatment, such as stenting of blood vessels, can help patients, whom physicians could only passively watch at the beginning of the XXI century , seeing their suffering and premature death.

In general, medicine now has opportunities that would seem fantastic in the middle of the 20th century. Of course, not all problems are solved.Outstanding hematologist IA Kassirsky has an aphorism: “Treatment has always been a lagging field of medicine.” This is true even now.Nevertheless, incurable diseases are becoming less and less.

I wrote these lines not only because I feel proud for the achievements of medicine. First of all, I want to tell my readers that a timely call to a doctor can save lives and keep health.

What is meant by timely treatment? When you have to go to the doctor or even call him at home, and in which cases can you wait? In my opinion, the cause for medical advice should be any worsening of health, especially arising for the first time, if it has no obvious reasons . Often, the pre-infarction condition is masked for a small cold, gastric bleeding – for indigestion, transient ischemic attack (precursor of a stroke) – for easy fainting. As a rule, it is not difficult for a doctor to correctly assess the degree of danger and provide assistance .



ischemic IMC due to atherosclerotic plaque

Circulatory disturbance ischemic is most often caused by atherosclerosis. Its development can provoke strong excitement (stress, etc.) or excessive physical activity. May occur during nighttime sleep or immediately after waking. Often accompanies pre-infarction or myocardial infarction.

May occur suddenly or increase gradually. They are manifested in the form of headaches, hemiparesis on the side opposite the lesion. Violation of the coordination of movement, as well as visual and speech disorders.

An ischemic disorder occurs when an insufficient amount of blood is supplied to a separate area of ​​the brain. In this case, a focus of hypoxia, in which necrotic formations develop. This process is accompanied by a violation of the basic brain functions.




Hemorrhage (hemorrhagic disorder of blood flow) can be caused by various arterial hypertension, vascular aneurysms, congenital angiomas, etc.


As a result of the increase in arterial pressure, the plasma and proteins in it are released, which leads to plasma saturation of the walls of the vessels, causing their destruction. A peculiar hyaline-like specific substance is deposited on the vascular walls (a protein that resembles cartilage in its structure), which leads to the development of hyalinosis. The vessels resemble glass tubes, lose their elasticity and the ability to retain blood pressure. In addition, the permeability of the vascular wall is increased and the blood can freely pass through it, impregnating nerve fibers (diapedesis bleeding). The result of such a transformation can be the formation of microaneurysms and rupture of the vessel with hemorrhage and the ingress of blood into the white brain substance. Thus, hemorrhage occurs as a result of:

Plasmatic impregnation of the walls of vessels of the white brain substance or visual tubercles;

Diapedesis bleeding;

The formation of microaneurysms.

Hemorrhage in the acute period is characterized by the development of hematomas with wedging and deformation of the brainstem into the tentorial opening. At the same time, the brain swells and extensive swelling develops. There are secondary hemorrhages, smaller.

Clinical manifestations

Usually occurs during the day, during physical activity. Suddenly, the head starts to ache, there are sickening desires. Consciousness – confused, a person breathes often and with a whistle, there is a tachycardia accompanied by hemiplegia (unilateral limb paralysis) or hemiparesis (weakening of motor functions). The main reflexes are lost. The view becomes fixed (paresis), anisocoria (pupils of different sizes) or strabismus of divergent type occurs.

What is the disorder of cerebral circulation

The cerebral vessels have a unique, perfect structure that perfectly regulates blood flow, ensuring the stability of blood circulation. They are arranged in such a way that when the blood flow to the coronary vessels increases approximately 10-fold during physical activity, the amount of circulating blood in the brain, with increasing mental activity, remains at the same level. That is, there is a redistribution of blood flow. Part of the blood from the brain regions with less stress is redirected to areas with enhanced brain activity.

However, this perfect process of blood circulation is disturbed if the amount of blood entering the brain does not satisfy its need for it. It should be noted that its redistribution across the brain regions is necessary not only for its normal functionality. It occurs also in the occurrence of various pathologies, for example, stenosis of the lumen of the vessel (constriction) or obturation (closure). As a result of impaired self-regulation, the rate of movement of blood in certain parts of the brain and their ischemia slow down.



Atherosclerosis – the defeat of the arteries, accompanied by cholesterol deposits in the inner shells of the vessels, narrowing their lumen and disrupting the supply of the blood supply to the body. Atherosclerosis of the heart vessels is manifested mainly by attacks of angina pectoris. It leads to the development of coronary heart disease (IHD), myocardial infarction, cardiosclerosis, vascular aneurysms. Atherosclerosis can lead to disability and premature death.

When atherosclerosis occurs, the arteries of medium and large caliber, the elastic (large arteries, aorta) and the musculo-elastic (mixed: carotid, brain and heart arteries) types are affected. Therefore, atherosclerosis is the most common cause of myocardial infarction, ischemic heart disease, cerebral stroke, circulatory disorders of the lower extremities, abdominal aorta, mesenteric and renal arteries.

In recent years, the incidence of atherosclerosis has reached an alarming scale, ahead of the risk of development of loss of efficiency, disability and mortality, such causes as trauma, infectious and oncological diseases. With the greatest frequency, atherosclerosis affects men older than 45-50 years (3-4 times more often than women), but occurs in younger patients.