Sunday, May 26, 2013

Trek Med Tip #2 - Self Care

Youth Self Care

It is likely that some of the youth in your “family” will be self-administering medications. The conditions that will likely be treated by the youth will include: asthma, allergies, and diabetes. The following reviews of some of the conditions and medications you might see being used, and will try to help you know when and how to intervene, if needed

These youth will have inhalers, perhaps two, and should be allowed to use them, as they see fit. At this age, they will know how to use them. There are a few signs that would indicate a need to notify the medics. Call us if you see:
  • Frequent use [normally should only be using an inhaler up to 4 times/day]
  • Labored breathing [fast shallow breathing, unable to speak in full sentences, sucking in of the skin above the collarbone, or having to brace their chest by leaning their arms on their legs], sweating [more than expected for temp], and confusion
Let them use their inhaler, move to, or make shade, hydrate, loosen clothing, fan to cool, and call medics

Many of the youth may have allergy pills [Zyrtec/Claritin]. Some of the youth will have an “epi-pen”, this is for treatment of severe allergic reactions. If they tell you that they need to use the epi-pen, facilitate their use of the medication. If they start to use it, and become unconscious, give them the medication. The following video discusses the signs and symptoms of a severe allergic reaction, and use of the epi-pen:
[ ] {<3 min of pertinent info]

There will be a few insulin dependent diabetics. These youth may be in families with a medically trained Ma/Pa, but if not, they will be checking their blood sugar and administering insulin. They may need a small cooler for their insulin, and they will need access to snacks. Signs of a low insulin reaction include:
  • Confusion
  • Sweaty
  • Tremulous
  • Loss of coordination
They also may have an injector kit, if they feel that they need it, facilitate their use of the medication, move them to the shade, hydrate, fan-cool, give a carbohydrate snack if still conscious, and call for medics.

If a Ma/Pa takes any pain meds or psych meds, please keep them on your person, or in a locked container!!!

-- Jim Perez

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