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You often see Cardiopulmonary resuscitation, also known as CPR, on TV and in movies. It’s almost impossible to watch an episode of a medical drama without seeing at least one instance of a patient receiving CPR. In these scenes, the patient is given CPR, possibly shocks from a defibrillator, and several rounds of epinephrine, after which they typically wake up and feel better.
Unfortunately, this is not what CPR typically looks like, especially when performed on the elderly. In reality, successful CPR may potentially cause serious physical harm. Therefore, if you have an aging family member, it's crucial to know the risks and consider their preferences regarding CPR before an emergency situation arises.
The average survival rate after CPR is around 20% when CPR is performed in a hospital and around 10% when it is performed outside the hospital for adults. The number decreases to around 12% or lower after age 70. Those with chronic conditions have a less than 5% chance of leaving the hospital after CPR.
A main factor in the success rate is how quickly CPR is performed after cardiac arrest. Other factors like the reason for the cardiac or respiratory arrest and other underlying health conditions like cancer or other diseases also contribute to the likelihood of survival after CPR.
The main concern when choosing whether or not to perform CPR on elderly patients is the quality of life after resuscitation. CPR can have long-term side effects, and many patients who survive CPR wish they had not had it. Some of the risks of CPR include:
Broken chest bones. Smaller people or people with more fragile bones - such as the elderly - are at a high risk of broken ribs or a broken sternum as a result of CPR. Studies show 81% of people who receive CPR have broken ribs afterward.
Neurological damage. When the heart stops, blood stops flowing to the brain, causing the brain to be deprived of oxygen. Brain damage begins to occur four to six minutes after the brain stops receiving oxygen. In general, around one-third of the people that survive CPR end up with neurological problems due to lack of oxygen to the brain.
Vomiting. It is not uncommon for vomiting to occur during chest compressions. This can lead to stomach contents aspirating into the lungs, which can lead to infections like pneumonia.
Other complications can arise, like organ damage or internal bleeding.
The recovery process after CPR can be long and often requires a lengthy hospital stay in intensive care. The underlying conditions that led to the need for CPR play a huge role in the outcome.
CPR is a life-saving measure that is always taken by hospital providers unless you specifically state that it should not be used. CPR is one of the few treatments that patients have to choose not to do – it’s part of the standard protocols used by hospitals and emergency responders. In order to prevent CPR from being performed, your loved one will need a DNR, or Do Not Resuscitate order. The order must be signed by a doctor and ONLY refers to CPR, not pain medication, other medicines, or nutrition. A DNR order is legally binding and cannot be overridden.
In addition to the DNR document, you can also get a medical bracelet or wallet card with the DNR information should there be an emergency. You should include the information in your advanced directive (living will) and ideally speak to your family or health care proxy about your wishes so there are no surprises or confusion.
We all know that getting a good nights rest is important. It helps keep our immune system healthy and allows us to function properly throughout the day. However, weve all experienced those days after either a late night or a restless night in bed where we dont feel as sharp, and our brain is a little foggy.Sometimes that sleep debt, or the total amount of sleep lost due to poor sleep, can be harder to make up than you think. And in addition, that sleep deprivation might be having serious effects on the brain and could be doing unrepairable damage. Just as the rest of our body needs sleep to stay healthy, so does our brain.What Is Sleep Deprivation?Simply put, sleep deprivation is when you do not get enough sleep. The number of hours of sleep a person needs varies from person to person. However, most adults require seven to nine hours of good-quality sleep every night.Sleep deprivation occurs when you dont get that many hours, whether due to an underlying health condition or another extenuating circumstance, such as work or stress. There are two main types of sleep deprivation: acute sleep deprivation and chronic sleep deprivation.Acute sleep deprivation is when there is a short-term interruption in your sleep. For example, if you stay up late binge-watching your favorite television show, that is considered acute sleep deprivation. Chronic sleep deprivation occurs when you suffer from inadequate sleep for a prolonged period weeks, months, or even years.Symptoms Of Sleep DeprivationThe most significant telltale sign that youre sleep deprived is the overwhelming feeling of exhaustion and fatigue. If youre struggling to stay awake or are having difficulty concentrating or thinking clearly, theres a good chance youre not getting enough sleep.Other symptoms include:Diminished sex driveIrritabilityFatigueMemory issuesDepressionLack of motivationPoor judgmentIf youre experiencing any of these signs of sleep deprivation, you should have an honest conversation with your provider. Your symptoms could just be related to lack of sleep, or they could be signaling youre suffering from an underlying health condition.Its important that you address your sleep deprivation to prevent long-term damage. Because regardless if your sleep deprivation is acute or chronic, its affecting your brain and quality of life.How Sleep Deprivation Affects Your BrainSleep is vital for the health of your brain. Without good sleep, you cant focus or learn properly, as poor sleep affects a part of the brain called the hippocampus, which is key for making new memories. Lack of sleep also drops your ability to learn new things by 40 percent.Contrary to what you may believe, your brain is still very much active when youre asleep. Its during your slumber when brain waves are produced that help transfer memories from the hippocampus to the prefrontal cortex-where long-term memories are stored.In addition to storing and making memories, research has found that sleep, particularly deep sleep when youre not dreaming, is integral in reducing your risk of Alzheimers. Poor sleep is a hallmark of Alzheimers disease in that during your deep sleep stage (non-REM), your brain is busy cleansing and washing away toxins and waste that have formed throughout the day. And one of those wastes is beta-amyloid a precursor protein that is known to contribute to the onset of Alzheimers.So, with that theory, if you dont get enough sleep, your brain will accumulate more and more beta-amyloid until a plaque is formed. In a brain with Alzheimers, abnormal levels of plaque begin to collect between neurons and disrupt cell function, thus leading to memory loss and dementia.Give Your Brain The Sleep It NeedsTheres no way around it. Sleep is essential to brain health. And its important to note that the sleep debt you build up now may not be able to be paid back later. Sleep deprivation can ultimately come with some costly effects on your brain. So you have to do all you can now to protect your brain and health for the future.You can accomplish this by establishing a good sleep schedule and nightly routine that promotes a healthy sleeping environment. For example, dont sleep with lights on or lights in the dark, such as a nightlight or a clock light, that will distract you and keep you from sleeping. Instead, create an environment conducive to a good nights rest. Because quality is just as important as quantity when it comes to sleep!
Neuropathy is a condition that affects the peripheral nervous system. It can have a profound impact on your quality of life. Characterized by nerve damage, neuropathy can show up in various ways. Its crucial that you take note of symptoms and seek timely medical attention so the condition can be managed effectively. Here are some of the most common warning signs of neuropathy and how you should address them. Understanding NeuropathyNeuropathy, often referred to as peripheral neuropathy, is a term used to describe a group of disorders that result from damage to the peripheral nerves. These nerves are responsible for transmitting signals between the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord) and the rest of the body, including the limbs, skin, and internal organs. When these nerves are damaged, they send abnormal signals to the brain, leading to a wide range of symptoms. The leading cause of neuropathy is diabetes. Poorly managed diabetes (blood sugar) accounts for roughly 60 percent of the total number of people with neuropathy. Most of the patients develop symptoms after 10 years of being diagnosed with diabetes mellitus, said VIPcare primary care provider Dr. Richard Santiago. All depends on how well the diabetes is controlled.Common Warning Signs Of NeuropathyNeuropathy can be displayed in a variety of ways and symptoms. This often leads to neuropathy being mistaken for some other condition, such as fibromyalgia. However, there are specific warning signs of neuropathy you should take notice of if present. Almost all the symptoms are on lower extremities, said Dr. Santiago. The symptoms that Im looking at are pain, burning sensation, tingling, numbness, and unbalance. Numbness and Tingling: One of the earliest and most common signs of neuropathy is a sensation of numbness or tingling, often described as a pins and needles feeling. This can occur in the hands, feet, arms, or legs.Burning Sensation: Individuals with neuropathy may experience a persistent burning or electric shock-like sensation in the affected areas.Loss of Sensation: As neuropathy progresses, some individuals may notice a decreased ability to feel temperature changes, pain, or touch in the affected areas.Muscle Weakness: Neuropathy can lead to muscle weakness or a feeling of heaviness in the limbs, making it difficult to perform everyday tasks.Balance Issues: Nerve damage can affect proprioception (the sense of body position), leading to balance problems and an increased risk of falls.Pain: Neuropathic pain can range from mild discomfort to severe shooting pain. It may be constant or intermittent and can significantly impact a persons daily life.Difficulty Walking: As neuropathy progresses, some individuals may experience difficulty walking or have an unsteady gait.Changes in Reflexes: Neuropathy can affect reflexes, leading to abnormally brisk or diminished responses.Sensitivity to Touch: Some individuals may become hypersensitive to touch, experiencing pain or discomfort even from gentle contact.Digestive Issues: Neuropathy can affect the nerves controlling the digestive system, leading to symptoms such as bloating, constipation, diarrhea, or difficulty swallowing.When To Seek Medical AttentionIf you experience any of the above warning signs of neuropathy, its essential to seek medical attention immediately. Early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent further nerve damage and improve overall outcomes. Diagnosis And TreatmentDiagnosing neuropathy involves a combination of medical history, physical examination, and diagnostic tests such as nerve conduction studies and electromyography. Identifying the underlying cause of neuropathy is crucial for effective treatment. Treatment options may include:Medications: Depending on the cause and severity of neuropathy, providers may preseribe pain relievers, anticonvulsants, and antidepressants to manage symptoms.Physical Therapy: Physical therapy exercises can help improve muscle strength, balance, and coordination.Lifestyle Modifications: Lifestyle changes, including managing blood sugar levels (for diabetic neuropathy), maintaining a healthy weight, and avoiding alcohol, can help slow the progression of neuropathy.Pain Management Techniques: Techniques such as acupuncture, massage, and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) may provide relief from neuropathic pain.Underlying Condition Treatment: Addressing the underlying cause of neuropathy, such as diabetes or vitamin deficiencies, is essential to prevent further nerve damage. Its very important to start in the early stages of the diagnosis, said Dr. Santiago about neuropathy management. Keep A1c levels at seven or less. Fasting blood sugar at least at 130 mg/dl. Do exercise. Healthy diet. Keep a good weight and take B complex with folic acid. Also, its very important to keep regular follow up with your PCP. Neuropathy is a complex and often debilitating condition that can have a significant impact on your well-being. By recognizing the warning signs of neuropathy and seeking medical attention as soon as you develop symptoms, you can take proactive steps to manage the condition and improve your quality of life. Prevention and early intervention are key to better outcomes and Better Health. Contact your primary care provider for proper evaluation, diagnosis, and guidance on managing your neuropathy.
If youre one of the one billion people worldwide suffering from migraines, you know the difference between a migraine and a headache. Many use the words interchangeably, but they are by far anything but the same. Headaches can be unpleasant but are often short-lived. Whereas migraines, on the other hand, can be excruciating, debilitating, and linger on for long periods of time. Anything from weather to hormones can trigger a migraine. But did you know that your migraine may be a result of something to do with your teeth? Its true. There is actually a strong connection between dental issues and the onset of migraines. So, how can dental issues cause migraines? Read on to learn more about their relationship. What Is A Migraine?Before we dive right into what dental issues may be causing your migraines and why lets first discuss what exactly a migraine is. The Migraine Research Foundation emphasizes that a migraine is more than a powerful headache its a debilitating neurological disorder. Therefore, there are different symptoms and treatment approaches for migraines than other headache disorders. Symptoms vary by person but typically include: Severe or intense painPain may be on one side of the head or bothPain around the eyes and behind the cheeksThrobbing, pounding, or pulsating sensationPain gets worse with physical activity or any movementNausea and/or vomitingSensitivity to light, noise, and/or smellsPain prevents you from participating in regular, daily activities, such as workAttacks last anywhere from four hours to several days What Causes A Migraine?Many factors ranging from environmental to lifestyle, can trigger a migraine attack. One of the most common causes of migraines is genetics. If you have a family history of migraines, you are more likely to experience them yourself. Research has found that up to 80 percent of people with migraines have a family history of the condition. Hormonal changes are also believed to be a contributing factor to migraines. Women are more likely to experience migraines than men, and many women report that their migraines are linked to their menstrual cycles and/or menopause. Other potential triggers of migraines include stress, certain foods or drinks (such as alcohol or caffeine), and changes in sleep patterns. It is important to note that not everyone who experiences these triggers will develop migraines, and not everyone who experiences migraines will have the same triggers. Sometimes, your dental pain may even be mistaken for a migraine. When this occurs, its called referred pain. The Migraine-Tooth ConnectionReferred pain means that you feel a painful sensation in a different area of your body than the body part thats actually causing the pain. This occurs because of nerve connections, including from the trigeminal nerve. The trigeminal nerve is a cranial nerve responsible for controlling facial and eye movements and providing feeling to most of your face. Studies have linked the trigeminal nerve to the development of migraines. Orofacial refers to your head, neck, and oral cavity. All of those regions are closely connected and directly affect each other. One of the connections between your orofacial regions is the trigeminal nerve. Several orofacial conditions can trigger a migraine due to the trigeminal nerve connection. These conditions include: ToothacheA simple toothache caused by any number of dental issues, including untreated cavities, cracked teeth, or impacted wisdom teeth, can irritate the trigeminal nerve. This can lead to a migraine as the nerve can evoke intense sharp pains. BruxismBruxism or teeth grinding is a common culprit of a migraine. Often caused by stress or misaligned teeth, the act of grinding or clenching your teeth usually occurs at night and without you even realizing it. Headaches and migraines associated with bruxism typically cause a dull pain that wraps around the head and is also felt behind the eyes. A sore and tight jaw are also symptoms you may be grinding your teeth. In addition, the continuous grinding can cause nerve damage and irritation, thus radiating pain throughout your face and head. Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ)TMJ, or temporomandibular joint disorder, results when the ball and socket joint connecting your upper and lower jaw doesnt function correctly. The pain usually starts near the ear and moves toward the jaw, temple, or neck. Sometimes you can hear a popping sound when opening and closing your mouth; other times, your jaw may feel completely stuck. Alleviate Migraine Pain With Treatment And PreventionMigraines are no doubt painful and debilitating. For temporary relief, you should take an over-the-counter pain reliever and ensure you get enough sleep and drink enough water. If you suffer from migraines, discuss your symptoms with your provider in addition to your dentist if you think it could be related to your teeth. Tooth pain, jaw pain, and headaches are all types of pain that you should speak to your healthcare provider about, as they could trigger a migraine. Never just ignore pain, as its your body informing you something is going on and needs to be addressed. It may be helpful to keep a migraine diary to track your symptoms and identify any potential triggers that may be contributing to your condition. This information can prove helpful for your provider when determining a cause and treatment plan
What type of care do you need?Staff members from each office work with you to understand your needs, so we can recommend the type of home care thats best for you and your loved one. Before youre matched with a caregiver, a coordinator will speak with you over the phone and meet with you in person for an in-home discussion.