Advanced Professional Healthcare, LLC

Advanced Professional Healthcare Education (APHE) LLC

Group classes available for any course that we offer. We will travel to you at no additional cost. Contact Us! or call 262-233-0133

Drowning Prevention and Water Competency

With beautiful summer rapidly approaching, it is important to remember that summer presents specific threats. With summer upon us, more families will be active around water. Unfortunately, water-related injuries are common. Every day in the U.S., about ten people die from unintentional drowning. Of these, two are children aged 14 or younger. Drowning ranks fifth among the leading causes of unintentional injury death in the U.S.

 

Of course, the most effective way to help potential drowning victims is by drowning prevention. Drowning prevention is founded on water competency. Water competency is the ability to anticipate, avoid, and survive common drowning situations. The components of water competency include water-safety awareness, basic swim skills, and the ability to recognize and respond to a swimmer in trouble. Swim lessons and swim skills alone cannot prevent drowning. Learning how to swim needs to be seen as a component of water competency that also includes knowledge of local hazards and awareness of one’s own limitations. It is also important to know how to wear a life jacket, and to have the ability to recognize and respond to a swimmer in distress, call for help, and perform safe rescue and CPR. 

 

It is imperative to be smart around water. In order to be smart around water, one may seek out swimming lessons from a qualified instructor. Secondarily, it is essential to choose a safe place to swim. Everyone who is going to engage in swimming should learn to recognize hidden obstacles and rip currents. No one should ever go into the water after drinking alcohol and no one should ever swim alone. It is a good decision to assign a water watcher. A water watcher is an adult who will pay constant attention to everyone who is in the water. The water watcher must be sure to put down their cell phone and avoid other activities. The water watcher will supervise even if there are lifeguards present. In order to avoid fatigue, the water watcher will switch off periodically with another appropriate adult for breaks. This helps to avoid passive drowning victims, they can be anywhere in the pool-- at the surface, below the surface, either face up or face down.


Summer’s Here! Time to Complain About the Heat!

Sun-and-big-fist.-Sunstroke-concept-1159326040 727x484We have finally been given a little leeway to exit from the shelter of our homes. Summer breezes and bright sunshine are the signs of summer we have been waiting for! However, it is in our excitement for this short-lived heat and humidity filled wonderland, that we are likely to be a little careless. 

Heat-related illnesses can be a real danger for some during these short, summer months. Understanding the risks and taking precautions will help you enjoy your summer while it lasts.

When we think about temperature related illnesses, we tend to think of frostbite or hypothermia (Midwest, dontcha know). However, these short, hot and humid months could prove to be just as dangerous. According to the CDC, about 600 people die each year from a heat-related illness, with another 65,000 hospitalized.


Defining America, this Independence Day

As we Americans celebrate Independence Day this year, I reflect on our nation’s history and the state of affairs in the United States and the world today. 

 

I decided to visit www.dictionary.com to review some terms that we Americans use on Independence Day and other holidays that celebrate our nation, flag, service men and women, veterans, and those who gave their lives as members of the military. Having a clearer understanding of the terminology that we use helped me to better understand what the people of our nation expect as American citizens. 

 

Recently, there has been much conversation about the definition of “independence.” Independent (an adjective) means “not influenced or controlled by others in matters of opinion, conducts, etc; thinking or acting for oneself.” When the Americans 244 years ago signed a document stating their “independence,” they were referring to the colonies being able to think and act for themselves without control or influence from the British monarchy. That independence has been achieved--we are no longer subject to British rule. That is what we celebrate every year. Is additional independence still something that we desire today or have we had what we want for all of these years and are celebrating its maintenance? 

 

Another word that is used on this holiday is “freedom.” Freedom (a noun) means “a state of being free or at liberty rather than in confinement or under physical restraint.” We recognize that freedom means something different for anyone whose ancestors were not free. My British ancestors came to the Massachusetts Bay colony in 1638, while my German ancestors arrived in Wisconsin in 1851, 1852 and 1894, and my Norwegian ancestors emigrated in 1873 and 1881. My ancestors all arrived in North America as free, white men and women. Fighting to remain free is something that many Americans’ ancestors have done at some time, as some of my ancestors fought for the US in World Wars I and II; however, no Fritsch, Krueger, Pierce, or Larson has ever been “confined” or “restrained.” Simply put, my ancestors were never slaves. If any of my ancestors were slaves, how would that affect my value of freedom? I could never understand. Freedom for all people in the world is imperative.

 

To validate this, recently, due to COVID-19, the majority of Americans and many people around the world have had their freedom restricted. For fear of the virus, many people chose to confine themselves in their homes. Then, stay at home, safer at home or shelter in place orders by various governments--designed to keep people safe--confined many more. This loss of freedom was not the result of people but rather fear and safety. The result: many people having mental and physical health challenges. See this NIH article regarding the Relationship Between Loneliness, Psychiatric Disorders, and Physical Health?

 

A word that I hear and see used often today is “coexist.” Coexist (a verb) means “to exist separately or independently but peacefully, often while remaining rivals or adversaries.” I believe that most people who are encouraging coexistence do not intend people who disagree to remain rivals or adversaries. The word they probably mean is “unity.” Unity (a noun) means “the state of being one; oneness of mind, feeling, etc; as among a number of persons; concord, harmony, or agreement.” As beautiful as this definition is, it is becoming more and more apparent that people in the United States are not united. Many of us have friends and family who we have oneness of mind or feeling with. Even more of us coexist with family members, particularly at holidays (see coexist definition above). 

 

The fact is, our nation’s name is not the United People of America--it is the United States of America. According to dictionary.com, United States of America (a noun) means “a republic in the N Western Hemisphere comprising 48 conterminous states, the District of Columbia, and Alaska in North America, and Hawaii in the N Pacific.” United (an adjective) means “made into or cause to act as a single entity; formed or produced by the uniting of things or persons.” The states together act as a single entity--our nation. The thirteen colonies banded together 244 years ago. The people, even then, were not united. According to this American Revolution article from the Library of Congress: “American opinion was split. Some wanted to declare independence immediately; others hoped for a quick reconciliation. The majority of Americans remained undecided but watching and waiting.”

 

So, we have successfully found independence; freedom is necessary; coexistence is not what we want; unity is likely unachievable. What is something achievable that we all crave? The answer has been recited in schools around our nation every day for the past several decades. I investigated the history of the pledge of allegiance

 

“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” 

Allegiance (noun) - “the loyalty of a citizen.”

Republic (noun) - “a state in which the supreme power rests in the body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by representatives chosen directly or indirectly by them.”

Nation (noun) - “a large body of people, associated with a particular territory, that is sufficiently conscious of its unity to seek or to possess a government peculiarly its own.”

Indivisible (adjective) - “not separable into parts; incapable of being divided.”

Liberty (noun) - “freedom from arbitrary or despotic government or control; freedom from external or foreign rule; independence. Freedom from control, interference, obligation, restriction, hampering conditions, etc. Freedom from captivity, confinement, or physical restraint.”

Justice (noun) - “righteousness, equitableness, or moral rightness.”

 

Much of this pledge is true. We are a republic of loyal citizens--a group of people within our borders with our own elected representatives and government. Our fifty states have not divided into pieces. However, parts of our pledge are still out of reach for many of our fellow citizens. 

Liberty: is every American free from interference, restriction and hampering conditions? 

Justice: is every American treated with righteousness and equitableness?

 

Each of us has a role in liberty and justice. Have you ever called the police because someone looked suspicious? Have you ever left a public place because someone made you feel uncomfortable? Have you ever judged a person as guilty based on how he or she looks? These small examples from each person add up to a large problem that still plagues our society today.

 

We are a great republic with many great people. We are independent. We are free. I do not accept that the rest of the world and future generations of Americans will define America during our generation as subjugate and unjust. We must take steps to ensure that all Americans, regardless of how they look or what they believe, have liberty and justice. Each of us has the power to make small changes in our own life to make this the best time to be an American and to set a new precedent for our children’s futures. 


Adam C. Fritsch is a Veteran Firefighter (18 years) and Nationally Registered- (16 years) and Critical Care-Paramedic (14 years). He is a Lieutenant/Critical Care Paramedic with the Western Lakes Fire District in Wisconsin. Mr. Fritsch founded Advanced Professional Healthcare Education LLC in March 2007. He serves as President & Chief Financial Officer, as well as American Heart Association BLS, ACLS, and PALS Instructor and Training Center Coordinator. Under his leadership, the company has grown to 15 full time employees, 55 part time employee instructors, and 100 contracted instructors. Email: [email protected]


PTSD: A Firefighters Experience

I am a firefighter in the Milwaukee area and have been a part of codes and calls that have ended up going well. And there have been times when the codes and calls have not turned out so well.

It's those calls that make you wonder if there was anything you could have improved on to help your patient. Guilt, sadness and depression can set in. Could I have responded quicker? Reacted faster? Assessed better? Is there something I could have done or forgot to do? Did the patient survive? Or did they not make it?

Such a significant number of questions and a number of those can go unanswered on a consistent basis. Figuring how you could have improved your patient's condition on scene can torment a firefighter’s psyche after the call. The struggle and vulnerability over time can be the start of an individual going down a path that nobody needs to see.

PTSD can be affected by the severity and the amount of calls one endures on a consistent basis over one's career.

Numerous individuals may encounter an awful incident in their life. In any case, if you have encountered an awful incident, that does not imply that you will experience PTSD.

 First responders who have encountered different horrible situations increase their risk of experiencing PTSD. The nature of being a firefighter exposes one to seeing and dealing with things that can provoke the illness of PTSD.

One investigation took a look at the sort of horrible incidents firefighters experienced.

For instance, firefighters see things most people would never see or would want to see throughout their career.  And their job is to either rescue them from their situation or recover the body from that situation.

Suicides, car accidents, house fires, commercial fires, building collapses, burns, patients who are PNB (pulseless, not breathing), children-involved incidents, and many other types of calls can cause firefighters to struggle in dealing with what they have seen, smelled, done, and heard.

Studies have discovered between around 7 percent and 37 percent of those in the fire service meet the rules for a current determination of PTSD.

It is obvious from these examinations that there is a major scope of PTSD rates among men and women in the fire service. This is likely because of various reasons, including how PTSD was evaluated (through a poll or meeting),  whether these brave men and women were volunteer or not, and where they are stationed.

A couple of  firefighter studies have additionally seen what components may put  them at risk for a more serious hazard for the advancement of PTSD. Various hazard factors for PTSD among those in the fire service have been recognized. These include: 

 

-Previous history of PTSD

-Starting in the fire service at a more youthful age

-Being unmarried

-Holding an administrative position in the fire administration

-Nearness to death during a horrendous incident

-Encountering sentiments of dread and frightfulness during a horrendous accident

-Encountering another tragic occasion (for instance, loss of a friend or family member) after an awful mishap

-Holding negative convictions about oneself (for instance, feeling as if you are deficient or feeble)

-Feeling as if you have lost control over your life/ downward spiral/ "rabbit hole"

-Antagonistic vibe

Despite the fact that our brave men and women may be at a higher risk because of their dedication to the fire service, it is essential to bring up that most will not develop PTSD. Truth be told, a few variables have been distinguished that may lessen the probability of creating PTSD after the experience of various horrible events.

One of the most significant defensive components discovered was having healthy social balance to help deal with the overwhelming stressors either at home or through work. It has been discovered that having successful adapting techniques accessible may diminish the effect of encountering various horrendous mishaps.

This isn't unexpected in that, among individuals as a rule, the accessibility of social help and viable adapting methodologies have reliably been found to diminish the danger of creating PTSD following an overwhelming critical incident.

The IAFF (International Association of Firefighters) has established a rehab facility in Maryland which is called the Center of Excellence.  It is an exceptional fixation treatment center serving and helping IAFF individuals who are battling PTSD or other issues.  The goal is to get the members mentally and emotionally healthy and back to a place that they ar e able to handle life with coping mechanisms that can apply to the work as well as at home. It is a place of refuge for individuals to converse with different individuals who have confronted difficulties and can relate to what the member is experiencing.

In closing, PTSD is a real illness that we need to be more aware of. Everyone handles things differently, and we need to be hyper-vigilant when someone we love is struggling.  The goal is early detection and early treatment.  Helping those who help us is not just our responsibility, it is our duty.


COVID-19 MASKS AND FACE COVERS

Beginning in April, the World Health Organization (WHO) and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and PRevention (CDC) created guidance for the use of masks or face covers to cover a person’s mouth and nose, in an attempt to slow COVID-19 spread and to help prevent people without symptoms from transmitting the virus to others. The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. The wearing of these coverings is especially important in areas of significant community-based viral transmission. It is important to remember that the cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators. Surgical masks are fluid resistant and provide the wearer with protection against large droplets, splashes, or sprays of bodily or other hazardous fluids. These masks protect others from the wearer’s respiratory emissions. N-95 respirators reduce the wearer’s exposure to particles including small particle aerosols and large droplets. These specialized masks are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders. 

 

Wearing cloth face coverings is an additional public health measure that people should take to reduce the spread of virus. The CDC still recommends that everyone maintain at least a six-foot distance from others (social distancing). Frequent hand cleaning and other everyday preventive actions are also imperative. The CDC has given step by step instructions concerning hand washing at this link: https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/index.html.

 

It may be comforting to know that cloth face coverings can be made from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost. Cloth face coverings should fit snugly but comfortable against the side of the face. Cloth face coverings should be secured with ties or ear loops. These coverings should include multiple layers of fabric but allow for breathing without restriction. Finally, cloth face coverings should be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to the shape. There are several printer-friendly instructions concerning how to make a cloth face covering at home available at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html

 

It is best practice to practice hand hygiene before putting on a face covering. The face covering should go over the nose and mouth and be secured under the chin. If possible, the covering should fit snugly against the side of the face. When wearing the face covering, it should be easy to breathe. Cloth face coverings should not be placed on a child younger than two years old. Wearing a face covering can offer some protection to others in case someone is infected but does not have symptoms. The covering should remain on the entire time that one is in public. The covering should not be dropped around the neck or slid up on the forehead. The face covering should not be touched, but if it must be adjusted, hand hygiene should be performed first. 

 

Once home, the cloth face covering can carefully be removed by untying the strings behind the head or stretching the ear loops. The cloth face covering should be handled only by the ear loops or ties. It is safest to then fold the outside corners together and place the mask in the washing machine. The use of a washing machine has been deemed sufficient in properly washing a cloth face covering and coverings should be routinely washed depending on the frequency of use. Once these steps are complete, hand hygiene should be performed again. 

 

Together, we can make huge strides in slowing viral transmission. Stay home when possible, wear a face covering in public, and always take care of one another.   


Letter to APHE Clients, Instructors and Team

Dear APHE Clients, Instructors and Team Members,

Tonight and for the past few days, millions of Americans are in pain. The pandemic has tested humanity around the world. The pandemic has caused illness, death, stress and economic difficulty. Many Americans were already near a "breaking point." The death of George Floyd has pushed many people past that breaking point.

First, I am a member of the public safety community. I have been protected by or even had my life saved on multiple occasions by law enforcement officers. Working side-by-side with police officers, sheriff's deputies, state troopers and federal law enforcement, many of these brave men and women have earned my respect. The vast majority of officers are incredible people, with families and personal lives, too. PLEASE do not judge an entire group of people based on the actions of a few.


Gloves

A few days ago, I went out to pick up a few things at a store.  Until then, I had been scheduling pick up service; there is no better social distancing!

As I entered the store, the first thing I did is sanitizing my entire cart down.  Then, I used hand sanitizer before entering the store. As I travelled through the store, I was observing and thinking about all the people wearing gloves.  Most people were touching products, some people were touching their faces, other people were touching their phones and many would touch products again.

When I made it back outside, I noticed a person who had just finished shopping. This person was wearing the same gloves she had been wearing in the store.  She put her groceries in her car and got into her car. She then applied make up and lipstick, touching her face and lips, while still wearing the gloves she wore in the store!

Most people do not understand how to properly use and dispose of gloves. The people who I saw were ineffectively using gloves and likely spreading any germs the same way they would be if they were not wearing gloves.

During this pandemic, most experts have said that a pair of disposable gloves will not lower your risk of contracting COVID-19. This is because wearing gloves provides a false sense of security that bare hands do not.  If you are wearing gloves while shopping and you touch your face, it completely defeats the purpose of wearing the gloves.

Let me do some myth busting for you.

Myth #1: You do not need to change gloves after putting them on

Truth #1: Wearing gloves does not prevent contamination by itself.   Gloves can become contaminated after touching any item or surface. After you touch something that is contaminated, you must safely remove gloves and wash your hands or use sanitizer for the gloves to work effectively.

Myth #2: Any disposable glove can be used for any project.

Truth #2: You would not want to use the same gloves that you use to grab a donut out of the pastry case that you use to draw someone blood or control bleeding.  There are different grades, materials and sizes. It is very important to always choose the correct size glove.  A glove too small can rip and a glove too large can slip off--both potentially putting you at risk for contamination or exposure.

Myth #3: All gloves are the same.

Truth #3: Gloves come in latex, nitrile, plastic and vinyl.  Each of these have different characteristics and do not perform equally in all situations. Latex is used least often, due to people's allergies to the material. Plastic is most commonly used in food preparation. Vinyl and nitrile are most often used in healthcare.

Myth #4: You do not have to wash your hands when wearing gloves.

Truth #4: You MUST wash your hands when you take your gloves off.  At minimum, use hand sanitizer until you can get to a sink to wash your hands.  It is also recommended you wash your hands before you put your gloves, just in case the glove tears. Remember that hand hygiene and gloves work two ways--you will reduce the risk of germs and contamination getting on your skin and you reduce the risk of spreading germs to others. Without hand washing, this risk still exists.

When I started my EMS career in 1991, gloves were promoted but not required for patient care in many places. During my first EMS classes, we were required to wear gloves for everything.  Outside of the classroom, it was not the norm--it was almost frowned upon to don gloves! On one of the first EMS calls I responded to, a young woman fell through a window.  She had hundreds of little cuts, including on her scalp.  The EMT with me was not wearing gloves while caring for her injuries.   I was the "odd" one because wearing gloves was not "necessary" or "cool.” It was not until 1993 that OSHA mandated glove use for healthcare providers.

Today, we have come a long way with our knowledge of diseases, what can be transmitted and how important disposable gloves really are.  It is crucial for healthcare workers and members of the public to be aware that gloves reduce contamination but are not absolute barriers.

In my First Aid classes, I always teach students that they should imagine that their gloves are completely covered with something no one would want to touch with bare hands.  It gets you thinking about contamination, cross contamination, how often to change gloves and how to proper remove them if you imagine this.

Please do not wear medical gloves unless you need them and are going to use them correctly. Please change your gloves often, avoid touching your face while wearing them and remember that gloves are not an absolute barrier.  


COVID-19: How You Can Help

Here are a few ways to support Emergency Responders, Healthcare Professionals, and members of the military who are working on the front lines to keep people safe and healthy during the COVID-19 and others who are caring for people who have contracted COVID-19.

#ThankYouHeroes

As a member of our communities and the emergency response and healthcare systems that we partner with and serve, we appreciate your encouragement to the frontline emergency responders, healthcare professionals, and members of our military. We have created Thank You Signs that you can print to place outside your home or share on social media. We encourage everyone to go onto one of our social media pages (Facebook  Twitter  Instagram  LinkedIn) to recognize emergency responders, healthcare professionals, and members of our armed forces who are on the front lines, fighting COVID-19, keeping us safe and healthy or helping others recover. Your positive words and encouragement will boost the spirits of the men and women on the front lines and keep spirits up for those sheltering at home. 

As many APHE instructors and team members are current and retired employees of fire and police departments, EMS agencies, hospitals, and the military, we would like to thank you all for your service. We are proud of each of you and your contributions to the health and safety of the members of our communities.

Supply donations

As COVID-19 continues to impact our communities, we are committed to keeping our heroes - emergency responders, healthcare professionals, and members of the military - safe. Public safety and hospitals and other healthcare throughout the nation are at risk of running low on personal protective equipment (PPE). Our first responders and healthcare professionals need safety items on the frontline of this pandemic to safely and effectively provide care and prevent infectious disease transmission to themselves. We are currently accepting the following items:

  • New masks – N95 and procedural masks will be accepted. These masks are used in many industries; the CDC has deemed them appropriate to use in healthcare.

  • Handmade face covers – sewn face covers will be accepted, as long as they follow these instructions.

  • Hand sanitizer – CDC guidelines encourage sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol composition.

  • Eye protection – Any new or unused goggles, safety glasses or face shields. 

  • Disinfectant wipes – All brands of unopened, premoistened wipes.

If you have questions, please contact [email protected] Please call 262-233-0133 to set up an appointment to drop off items at your local APHE office in either Wauwatosa or Delafield.

Thank you for playing an important part in keeping our instructors, team members and community safe.   

Food donations

Emergency Responders, Healthcare Professionals, and members of our military on the front lines are working tirelessly to provide safety and quality healthcare.  Thank you for inquiries about how you can help feed these workers. Food donations are accepted at most fire and police departments, EMS agencies, and hospitals but must follow very specific guidelines and processes. Thank you for your generosity and thoughtfulness. 

Food donation guidelines

  • Food must be individually packaged.

  • Food must be donated from a restaurant/caterer/food company that is monitored by local health inspectors and has passed a health inspection in the last 12 months.

  • No homemade food.

  • Beverages must be in single serve packages.

  • All flatware needs to be individually wrapped.

  • All condiments need to be in portion control packets.

How to donate: Use a search or telephone directory to find your local fire or police department, EMS agency, or hospital. If you are not able to find one, please call our Client Relations at 262-233-0133, and we would be happy to help direct you to a local agency who can use your support.

Donating blood

Our communities need our help to replenish the blood centers that serve our hospitals. In response to COVID-19, more than 80% of community blood drives have been cancelled; however, all blood types are in demand now--and will likely be the weeks and months ahead. Blood centers have established a COVID-19 screening process, social distancing precautions and cleaning protocols to keep donors safe. Safety and precautions

To donate, please contact:

Versiti Blood Center - 877-232-4376

 

Schedule an appointment near you

 


COVID-19: What is the BIG DEAL?!

We are all tired of hearing about COVID-19, Coronavirus, and consistent messages like “maintain social distancing” and “wash your hands.” A distrust of the media, use of social media, and lack of understanding means some people are not taking this seriously and misinformation is being disseminated. 

First, scientists, physicians, and other medical experts from the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), and state and location public health agencies--experts who have education, experience, and understanding far beyond what the average person does--are telling us that this is a BIG DEAL. Let’s ALL be sensible and listen to what they are saying. This is a BIG DEAL.

Second, there is a difference between being prepared and being scared. If you watch, read, or hear the news from a media source, make sure those sources are using reputable resources for information. Your “friends” or “followers” on social media are likely not subject-matter experts. The most accurate, up-to-date information is available on WHO and CDC websites. Fact check resources or skip them altogether. Information for this article was mostly found at: https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/q-a-coronaviruses  

A common statement that I am hearing and reading is: “The flu infects millions and only kills thousands every year.” Please understand, the only thing that Coronavirus has in common with Influenza is that both are respiratory viruses. Like Influenza, Coronavirus refers to a large family of viruses. These virus families have different genetic structures; while our bodies may have some immunity to a slightly mutated Influenza, most of humanity has no immunity to Coronavirus, as almost none of humanity has ever been exposed to any type of Coronavirus. Compare Influenza and Coronavirus here:  https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/q-a-similarities-and-differences-covid-19-and-influenza 

Understanding the terms used may help with understanding the differences. The definition of a virus is an infective agent that is able to multiply within the living cells of a host. This virus is called the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The definition of a disease is a disorder of structure or function that produces specific signs or symptoms. This disease was originally called “2019 Novel (New) Coronavirus” but is now “Coronavirus Disease COVID-19.” The WHO uses “COVID-19” to identify the disease and “the COVID-19 virus” when discussing with the public. More information about naming viruses and diseases: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/technical-guidance/naming-the-coronavirus-disease-(covid-2019)-and-the-virus-that-causes-it 

The COVID-19 virus has recently mutated to be able to infect human lung cells. The virus invades the victim’s live lung cells to replicate and invade more live lung cells. After the virus replicates and moves on, the lung cell dies. When cells die, the victim’s immune system causes an inflammatory response to trap and remove the dead cells. This inflammatory response is what can kill the victim. Enough inflammation and fluid accumulating in the lungs can lead to pneumonia, which can lead to Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS). Typically, a victim with pneumonia or ARDS will have difficulty breathing; eventually, some victims may have ineffective breathing, which will require a breathing tube (called an Endotracheal Tube) and mechanical ventilation.

What are the symptoms? Most common symptoms are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Some victims may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea. Some victims are infected but have no symptoms. and don't feel unwell. Around 1 out of every 6 COVID-19 victims becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing. 

Who is at the greatest risk? Older people, smokers, people with high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes or people with decreased immunity are more likely to develop serious illness. A person with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention. On April 2, 2020, the regional director for WHO Europe announced that 95% of deceased COVID-19 victims in Europe were age 60 or older; greater than 50% were age 80 or older. At least 80% of victims who died had at least one underlying condition, including heart disease, hypertension, or diabetes. However, people 59 or younger are still at risk and can still die from this or be carriers of the virus to others who are at risk, even if those “carriers” do not have symptoms.

The probability is that many humans will become infected with this virus. A large percentage will become seriously ill; a significant number may die. The real risk: if many people become infected at the same time, there may not be enough personal protective equipment (PPE),  medical equipment, medical providers, and life-sustaining equipment (i.e. ventilators) to care for the patients. This is why world, national, state, and local public health officials are asking us to help “flatten the curve,” which refers to the rate at which additional people become infected. 

Example 1: If 1 person becomes infected and infects 10 more people who each infect 10 more people who each infect 10 more people, there are now 1,000 people infected from one. 

Example 2: If the transmission prevention techniques are implemented and the single infected person only infects 5 people who infect 5 people who infect 5 people, there are now only 125 infected people. 

Could a local hospital care for the average 167 victims who become seriously ill (⅙ of 1000 people in Example 1)? Definitely “no.” In fact, most large urban hospitals would be unable to care for that many patients with difficulty breathing. Remember that hospitals are still caring for the usual numbers of patients with usual injuries and diseases. 

Could a local hospital care for the average 21 victims who become seriously ill (⅙ of 125 people in Example 2)? Likely “no.” However, if the hospital is over capacity to care for victims who cannot be transferred to other hospitals, a far smaller number of victims will die if fewer have been infected.

 

WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER. 

PLEASE! Follow the WHO suggestions for slowing the spread of the virus:

  • Stay at your home and away from others as much as possible,

  • Wash your hands frequently (or use hand sanitizing until you can),

  • Maintain social distancing,

  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, or mouth, 

  • Practice cough & sneeze hygiene,

  • NEW: Wear a face cover in public, and

  • Stay informed & follow advice given by your medical provider.

  • https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public 

WHO has launched the #HealthyatHome campaign: 

  • Stay physically active,

  • Quit tobacco,

  • Keep ourselves & our families’ physically & mentally healthy.

Even if you are not at risk, we are all responsible to slow the spread or “flatten the curse.”

Stay safe & healthy. This too shall pass.

 

WHO Myth Busters: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/myth-busters 

 

Adam C. Fritsch is a Veteran Firefighter (18 years) and Nationally Registered- (16 years) and Critical Care-Paramedic (14 years). He is a Lieutenant/Critical Care Paramedic with the Western Lakes Fire District in Wisconsin. Mr. Fritsch founded Advanced Professional Healthcare Education LLC in March 2007. He serves as President & Chief Financial Officer, as well as American Heart Association BLS, ACLS, and PALS Instructor and Training Center Faculty. Under his leadership, the company has grown to 15 full time employees, 55 part time employee instructors, and 100 contracted instructors. Email: [email protected] 


COVID-19 vs Your Household

Introduction

Are you keeping your household clean and disinfected to the standards of the CDC during a COVID-19 outbreak? I’m sure most of you reading this know how to clean, but this virus needs a lot more than some spring cleaning! I wanted to share with you what I discovered from the CDC, on how to keep your house clean with an infected member. Let’s learn how to keep your family safe from the spread of the virus.

Cleaning and Disinfecting

Let’s start with the fact that cleaning and disinfecting are NOT the same thing. Cleaning removes dirt and impurities but does not kill germs. Disinfecting uses chemicals to kill surface germs but does not always clean dirty surfaces. If you clean the infected area first and then disinfect, which is highly recommended, it lowers risk of spreading. Disposable gloves should be worn while cleaning and disinfecting. Upon removal of gloves, hands should be washed immediately.

Disinfection

The CDC specifically states, ”For disinfection, diluted household bleach solutions, alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol, and most common EPA-registered household disinfectants should be effective. Diluted household bleach solutions can be used if appropriate for the surface. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for application and proper ventilation. Unexpired household bleach will be effective against coronaviruses when properly diluted. Prepare a bleach solution by mixing: 5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of water or 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water.” Make sure you are regularly disinfecting high traffic areas such as door handles, counter tops, sinks, toilets, light switches, etc. 

Laundry and Linens

When handling infected laundry, ensure disposable gloves are worn. If those aren’t available, wash your hands immediately after. Do not shake laundry when soiled, this will minimize it’s travel through the air. Wash and dry clothes on highest temperature, if possible. This would be a good time to take a peak at your manufacturer’s tag on any clothing, comforters, drapes etc. Don’t forget to disinfect the hamper or dispose of it.

Other Preventatives 

If you weren’t washing your hands before… judging… now is the time to start! Make sure you are washing your hands for at least 20 seconds (this may be obvious but with soap and water). When using hand sanitizer, make sure it’s at least 60% alcohol. Avoid touching eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands. Blowing your nose? Wash your hands. Just used the restroom? Wash your hands. Preparing food or about to eat? Wash. Your. Hands.

Conclusion

Educating yourself on the virus is important in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. I hope you feel better prepared on how to clean and disinfect your household while caring for someone infected. Now, spread the word, not the virus! Help everyone understand how to prevent the spread of this virus.


Super foods to help battle 2016 cold/flu season

  1. Berries. Research shows a strong connection between high polyphenol content and an antiviral effect in addition to antioxidant properties. raspberries, blueberries, black currants and cranberries can be added to your diet arsenal against a cold or flu.

  2. Cabbage. Is an excellent source of vitamin C and contains over half a days value in just one cup. It also is said to an aid for gastrointestinal ailments. Vitamin C levels have shown to decrease when the body is fighting infection, therefore, boost up!

  3. Elderberry. Studies have shown a reduction in the ability for viruses to replicate when extracts of elderberry are present. Used in a lot of vitamins and supplements as a natural deterrent for colds.

  4. Garlic. Has been shown to have antiviral, antibacterial AND anti-fungal properties! Just might need some extra toothpaste or mouthwash on hand...... Best eaten raw (if you can tolerate) if possible as it has been known to loose some of these benefits when cooked or steamed. Some information also links garlic to having some cardiac health benefits. Eat up!

  5. WATER. Not a food, yes correct. Daily water intake is recommended to be about half your body weight in ounces. Being hydrated before you become sick keeps your body's systems working like they should and flushing out toxins at a good rate. When you are not feeling well it is easy to forget to DRINK WATER but that is when it counts most.

Many more can be added to the list, but here's a good place to start.


5 Important things you can do to keep yourself safe

This article is in reference to the tragic events that occurred that occurred recently in Milwaukee.

Uber Milwaukee and Chicago area

With this unfortunate and sad story there's not much that was in the hands of the passengers. Some safety reminders below as an increase in taxi and Uber use rises during the holiday season.

5 Important things you can do to keep yourself safe:

  1. VERIFY THE IDENTITY OF THE DRIVER AND THEIR CAR BEFORE YOU JUMP IN THE SEAT
    The Uber app provides riders with their driver’s first name, photo, license plate number and a picture of the vehicle and their driver’s rating. Verify this information ALWAYS!

  2. WAIT INDOORS FOR YOUR RIDE TO ARRIVE
    This is sure to keep you in a safe spot and not potentially waiting alone or in a poor lit area.

  3. KEEP IN CONTACT WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY
    Let people know where you are going and maybe even a timeline of when you'll be there so they know when to expect you.

  4. CONSIDER THE DRIVER’S RATING ON THE APP
    These rating exist for a reason and it is to keep you informed

  5. MAKE SURE YOUR PHONE HAS A GOOD CHARGE ANYTIME YOU ARE OUT AND ABOUT


How to Prepare for a Winter Storm

Prepare for a snow storm.Thankfully we have had a decent winter in southeast Wisconsin with only 2 notable snowfalls. This weekend the east coast got pounded with some areas receiving over 40 inches of snow. We should be prepared for the worst as we may not have time to prepare when the impact is imminent. Also, many people will be trying to fulfill their needs last minute causing delays and often making the essentials hard to find. The following is several steps you should take to ensure you are prepared before the risk is present.


Importance of Advance Directives

SignatureWe provide training day in and day out on how to resuscitate people of any age. We train lay people and healthcare providers in the multiple disciplines offered by the American Heart Association. Unfortunately these measures often can prove unsuccessful or provide results with a different quality of life. There is not always a reason as unknown medical complications arise, traumatic injuries can occur, and accidents happen. We are never fully prepared for these events and often our loved ones are the ones put in the position of having to make the difficult decisions.

Does your family know what you want if certain things happen? Why place the burden on them. Have your own advance directives or living will drawn up so you can make the decisions you want about your life. When you create your own advance directives make sure you are thorough. This will help your family, doctors, and caregivers make decisions based upon your wishes. The decisions can be difficult but do you want aggressive resuscitation? Would you want to be on life support? Would you prefer to be a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR)? This list can go on and can be completely tailored to your wishes. Other items such as faith background, invitations to clergy can all be covered within these documents.


How To Make Kale Chips

Preparing Kale ChipsThis is a quick and easy recipe to make homemade kale chips.

  • Preheat oven to 350
  • Use roughly a stuffed grocery store veggie bag or about a regular salad bowl’s worth of kale
  • Tear the leaves off the thick stems into bite size pieces
  • Briefly soak, then drain, and dry the kale (salad spinners work great)
    • It is really important to ensure the kale is dried to prevent it from steaming
  • Spread out evenly on cookie sheets
    • Wipe the cookie sheet with oil or use cooking spray to prevent the kale from sticking to the sheets
    • Keeping space between the edges of the leaves will result in the chips being crispier
  • Drizzle with about 2 teaspoons of your favorite olive oil
  • Sprinkle with the seasonings of your choice such as the ones below. Plus a sprinkle of kosher salt.
    • Parmesan
    • Chili Powder
    • Asiago
    • Garlic
    • Cinnamon
  • Bake for about 15 minutes
  • When the edges are brown and kale is crispy it is done

The final product is just like chips. Putting a good bit of kosher salt on them will make them similar to salty fries or chips.


Top 10 New Year's Resolutions for 2016

new-year-graphicA New Year starts with energy all over, at the end we formulate a plan and we bring in the New Year with heightened goals and ambitions. In the beginning we sow the seeds of resolution to guide our path over course of the coming year. Some will hold true to their resolutions for a period of time but most will fizzle out in the coming weeks and months. Remember a strong and moral resolution is the one which becomes your power, motivates you, and gives you the power to triumph in everyday life and succeed. The following are the top 10 New Year’s resolutions for 2016:

  1. To be a good person and lead a good life
  2. Bring a positive approach to life
  3. Acquire skills
  4. Don’t forget the family and friends (F&Fs)
  5. Indulge in activities that are happy and enjoyable.
  6. Seek financial wellness
  7. Overcome fears
  8. Donate blood
  9. Ensure you are an organ donor
  10. Learn CPR

Ok so maybe these aren’t the “top” ten New Year’s resolutions, but they are ours. What better way to start a new year than learn to save a life?


Arm your mind, learn to save a life

Happy HeartThe unrest and turmoil in the world has spilled across to the confines of France, the United States and many other countries over the last few months. This causes uneasiness and questions in many, often wondering what can I do to help or how can I be prepared. The answers may vary but one of the best ways you can be prepared to help yourself and those around you is to be trained in first aid and CPR. These skills can help throughout life without regard to the environment or situation. No matter the cause; accident, illness, injury, or violence the actions we can take to help are the same.

One of the key paramounts to any emergency response professional or lay rescuer is advocacy and the requirement of a safe scene. This is to ensure rescuer safety and promote safety by preaching situational awareness to help us protect ourselves. What happens when the scene is not safe and will not be for an unknown period of time. Unfortunately the answer is we don’t know, and we will never know until the situation arises. This will not change the fact that if such a situation does arise the need for assistance may be great. You might be the only person or one of few people around.

Becoming certified in first aid and CPR will give you the training needed to recognize potentially life threatening situations and render aid. You never know, maybe one day you will save a life.


Becoming an AHA BLS CPR Instructor

First aidOften we get asked how to become an American Heart Association CPR instructor, there are several steps I will detail below. First of you need to be certified in Basic Life Support for the Healthcare Provider (BLS). Then you need to complete the BLS Instructor Essentials course which can be found online at www.onlineaha.org/courses. In order to do this you need to find a training center or site that is looking for BLS instructors. This will allow you to align with a training center which will allow you to teach the BLS CPR Course once you are certified as an instructor. Once you have completed this you can attend the in person BLS Instructor course. You will also be required to purchase the BLS Instructor Manual, which is an important reference and resource for the instructor. The course covers many aspects of instructing including:

  • Class planning and preparation
  • Class layout
  • Training materials
  • Required paperwork
  • Recertification requirements
  • Course specific information

The 2015 AHA Guidelines for CPR & ECC are Here!

AHA 2015 GuidelinesThe American Heart Association (AHA) published their 2015 Guidelines (based on the International Liason Committee on Resuscitation, or ILCOR, recommendations earlier this month) at 12:01 am CST on October 15, 2015. Here is a summary of what you can expect in a future CPR, First Aid, BLS, ACLS, or PALS class:

Basic Life Support (CPR) update--MOSTLY the same.

  • AHA has acknowledged that we all have cell phones, so no more "go call 9-1-1"--just "Call 9-1-1."
  • All communities should implement a Public Access Defibrillator (PAD) program.
  • We may now check breathing and pulse simultaneously
  • Sequence remains C-A-B, 30 compression: 2 breaths
  • Compression rate now 100-120/minute
  • Compression depth now 2-2.4 inches (5-6 cm)
  • Full recoil of the chest is mandatory (no leaning)
  • Anyone can give naloxone to a potential narcotic overdose

Healthy Comfort Foods

The pie season rapidly approachesWell the chill is in the air and the leaves are turning. This is not the only change this time of year as often our diets change with the season and the activity levels slow dramatically for many. We do less outside as the cooler weather brings us inside along with the Packers and Badgers. We all know nothing can make that Sunday around the house better than some comfort food to fill us and warm us from the inside out. Just remember to keep the healthy alternatives in mind when cooking so we can keep our cholesterol and sodium intake in check. Your heart will appreciate this. Here are some links to some healthy recipes for around your house.


Upcoming Courses

Student Testimonials

Adam, I enjoyed your approach and comments throughout. Humor is necessary even if there is an emergency--common sense is the most important. The skills you taught us are vital. Thank you!
- Child care specialist, Heartsaver CPR/AED Participant

The instructor made this class easy to understand; very quiet and relaxed environment great for learning. Great explanation of science and why we do what we do—Great!
- RN, ACLS Provider Recognition Participant

Close to home, good hours.
- Resident Physician, ACLS Provider Recognition Participant

I drove 60 miles one way for this class—Adam must be doing something right!
- RN, PALS Provider Recognition participant

Instructor was excellent! Made it entertaining and fun and kept our attention. Good sense of humor and charisma. I learned a lot!
- Heartsaver CPR/AED participant

Great instructor, lots of knowledge, would renew with them.
- Nursing Student, BLS for Healthcare Providers participant

Nikki is very good—knows her stuff and communicates well!
- C.N.A., BLS for Healthcare Providers participant

The course and instructor was very informative and easy to follow. Any questions I had were answered right away and everything was explained well and in detail. Thank you!
- RN, BLS for Healthcare Providers participant

Instructor was helpful with great insights—greatly appreciated! She took the time to make sure you understood.
- RN, BLS for Healthcare Providers participant

Great class. Instructor interacted with class very well.
- Neighborhood Services Director, Heartsaver CPR/AED participant

Thanks—communicated well. I liked it when someone tells it like it is.
- Dental Hygienist, BLS for Healthcare Providers participant

Nicole did a wonderful job. Very easy to follow. Thanks!
- C.N.A., BLS for Healthcare Providers participant