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Home Care Technologies
Classis Business Centre
Classis, Ovens,
Co. Cork
Tel: 1890 344 344
 
                                                          EPILEPTIC NOCTURNAL SEIZURE DETECTION MONITOR EVALUATION
 
 
Patient reference:__________________________________
 
Date ____________________
 
Before deciding to purchase or recommend the use of an epileptic seizure monitor, the questions below will help to establish the suitability of a monitor for a user/patient. It should be noted that there are other parameters that can affect suitability of a monitor. In some cases it may be necessary to trial a monitor with a user/patient.
  • What is the age of the patient?(                                                                               )
  • What is the weight of the patient?(                                                                          )
  • Has the patient been diagnosed with epilepsy?(                                                      ) 
  • Does the patient have learning disabilities? (                                                           )
  • Does the patient have any other medical conditions? (                                            )
  • Are there any reference records of seizure activity? (                                              )
  • Does the patient experience Tonic/Clonic seizures? (                                              )
  • Does the patient experience limb movement during a seizure? (whole body shaking, arms and or legs moving). (                                                                                   )
  • How long do the seizures typically last? (                                                                                                                      )
  • Does the patient vocalize preceding or during a seizure? (                                                                                           )
  • If a radio link alarm is to be used, a pager for example, what is the maximum distance the pager could be away from the monitor? (                                                     )
  • Are any other types of monitors used with the patient, a baby monitor, heart or respiration monitor?(                                                                                                    )
  • What type of bed does the patient sleep on? Please describe the bed in detail (single, double, king-size, solid bed base, slatted base, profiling) including the type and size of mattress (if a sprung type, memory foam, pressure relieving etc.). (                                                                                                                                                           )
 
Information supplied by:_____________________________________
 

Dizziness is a sensation of feeling unsteady on your feet or the world moving or spinning around you. Some children use dizzy to describe feeling faint, a little woozy or just strange.

What causes it?

There are a variety of causes for dizziness. One of the most common in children is a viral infection of the inner ear (labyrinthitis) that disturbs the body's balance mechanisms.

Low blood sugar (for example, if a meal is missed) can make a child feel dizzy, as can a hot and stuffy crowded environment, stress and anxiety.

More serious causes include anaemia, infection and epilepsy, particularly a type of epilepsy called petit mal or absences, where the child feels strangely disoriented or unaware of their surroundings and they may describe as dizziness.

Who's affected?

Dizziness is very common - most people experience it occasionally.

What are the symptoms?

The child may complain they feel faint, the room is spinning or they feel wobbly or unsteady. They may also feel nauseous or actually be sick.

They may become pale, sweaty or shaky and fall to the floor unconscious in a faint, which should last no more than a couple of minutes.

There may be symptoms of an infection - such as a fever, headache, sore throat, anaemia, tiredness and paleness.

What's the treatment?

In most cases, dizziness isn't a sign of major illness and may resolve if the child is given food and allowed to sit down in the fresh air, or in a room with an open window.

If the child has a viral infection, they can be given paracetamol or ibuprofen to bring down the fever and should be encouraged to lie down and rest.

If you suspect absences, your doctor will be able to help you establish the diagnosis, although specific treatment, other than reassurance, is rarely needed.

If dizziness persists without an obvious cause, get medical advice.

If the child loses consciousness and doesn't come round within a couple of minutes, if their breathing seems slow or irregular, or if dizziness leads to a seizure (with twitching of the limbs or incontinence) get urgent medical help.

Disclaimer

 All Information taken from BBC Health

All content within BBC Health is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care professional. The BBC is not responsible or liable for any diagnosis made by a user based on the content of the BBC Health website. The BBC is not liable for the contents of any external internet sites listed, nor does it endorse any commercial product or service mentioned or advised on any of the sites. Always consult your own GP if you're in any way concerned about your health.

Common Mental Health Problems in the Elderly

Many people live a long and happy life without any mental health issues, and despite the all too prevalent image of elderly people being slow and forgetful, dementia isn't an inevitable development as we age.

There are many reasons why mental health problems can increase with age, from biological changes which can interfere with the brain's ability to process information, to social changes such as retirement and children leaving home which can lead to feelings of isolation or worthlessness. Underlying diseases such as stroke or Parkinson's which are more common with age are often important contributory factors.

Mental health problems can have a serious impact on an older person's ability to carry out many of the basic activities of daily living (from getting up, washing and dressing, to shopping and cooking, getting adequate exercise and managing financial affairs). The impact on their quality of life, even from minor symptoms, can be huge.

But problems often go undiagnosed and untreated – low mood may be dismissed as an unavoidable result of the decline from chronic disease that often develops in later years while odd behaviour is too frequently just attributed to eccentricity. Many older people struggle on without the right help – or any help at all.

Understanding why psychiatric illness develops, and how it tends to affect the elderly, is vital in helping people to manage their problems as effectively as possible and reduce the risk of serious harm. An important step is simply getting a diagnosis.

Dementia in the elderly

Dementia is an umbrella term which describes a group of related symptoms, or syndrome, where there's ongoing decline of the brain and its abilities. It increases directly with age, affecting:

About 1.5 per cent of 65 year olds

Six per cent of 75-79 year olds

Over 20 per cent of those over 85

There are more than 100 different types of dementia.

Alzheimer's disease probably accounts for over 50 per cent of cases, and causes the development of protein 'plaques' and 'tangles' within the brain causing the death of brain cells. There's also a shortage of some important neurotransmitters or chemical messengers within the brain.

Vascular dementia is also common, and is often found at the same time as Alzheimer's. This results from atherosclerosis of the blood vessels in the brain which interferes with the blood supply and oxygen delivery to the brain cells.

Other types of dementia include:

Lewy body dementia (which may be a complication of Parkinson's disease)

Fronto-temporal dementia (which particularly affects the frontal lobes, disrupting personality and behaviour)

Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome (secondary to alcohol abuse)

The exact pattern of symptoms can vary depending on the type of dementia and which parts of the brain are most affected but key problems include:

Difficulty thinking - understanding information, reasoning, planning, or making good judgment on issues

Memory - usually short term memory is lost first and distant memories are better retained

Language - the ability to speak is slowly lost

Mobility, motivation, emotions and behaviour - which typically become erratic

There's no cure for dementia and symptoms will get worse over time. Effective management strategies can help people cope better with symptoms and improve their quality of life. A number of drugs are used to treat dementia – these don't cure or stop the disease but can slow its progress or make symptoms less severe.

More important are tactics to help memory loss (such as a familiar environment and regular routines) and supportive care.

Depression in the elderly

Depression is the most common mental health problem in older people and are regularly an underlying reason why people over 70 visit their GP.

Symptoms may be similar to younger people with depression, such as:

Low mood

Poor sleep

Decreased appetite

Guilt

Self-blame

Loss of motivation or interest in hobbies or a social life

There are symptoms which are more typical in older people; they often don't actually complain of low mood but become anxious, fearful and lacking in confidence. Anxiety is a warning sign for depression in the elderly. Older people may also express their low mood through complaints about physical symptoms – especially pain (which can of course be a cause of depression, so there may be a vicious cycle). Another common symptom of depression in the elderly is confusion or forgetfulness.

Social factors often underlie depression in the elderly, especially loss of a partner or close friends, difficulties getting out to socialise which lead to isolation, and sometimes even boredom after retirement.

As with younger people, treatment consists of a combination of antidepressant drugs and 'talking treatments' such as supportive counselling or forms of psychotherapy (after addressing underlying factors such as pain and isolation for example). It's also important to rule out physical causes of depression such as an underactive thyroid gland which become more common as we age. Occasionally electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is recommended.

Anxiety in the elderly

Anxiety, panic and phobias disrupt the lives of about one in ten people. Fear is a normal emotion which helps to protect us from danger, but sometimes it becomes out of control and interferes with the ability to do even simple things. As older people already tend to face additional challenges that get in the way of day-to-day living (such as limited strength) the effect of even low levels of anxiety can be very disabling. Anxiety is also often a sign of depression in older people and can amplify the physical symptoms related to low mood, such as pain, palpitations or dizziness.

As with depression, talking treatments can be helpful, especially a treatment called cognitive behavioural therapy which helps a person understand their feelings and learn to react differently to them. Drug treatments, including some which work on both anxiety and depression can also be useful, although tranquilisers should be used with care and limited to brief courses to help through particularly difficult times such as bereavement.

Other common mental health problems in the elderly

Most mental health issues can occur at any age so conditions ranging from bipolar disorder to obsessive compulsive disorder, addiction and less commonly, schizophrenia may develop.

Psychosis – meaning mental illness where there's a loss of contact with reality is common in people in their later years, causing:

Hallucinations

Delusions (abnormal beliefs)

Impaired insight

Psychosis may be caused by:

Many of the conditions already described (especially dementia)

Because of infection, metabolic or hormonal disorders

Substance abuse

Specific psychotic or delusional disorders

Research has suggested that psychosis may trouble up to five per cent of the elderly in the community and much higher numbers in nursing homes.

Help for older people with mental health issues

Once mental health issues have been recognised there are many people who can help. The primary care health team, including GP, nurses and other therapists will often initiate or co-ordinate treatment. But specialist psycho-geriatricians and community mental health teams are also often involved, while families, patient groups such as the Alzheimer's Society, faith groups and many other local resources play a vital part.

Disclaimer

All information taken from BBC Health

All content within BBC Health is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care professional. The BBC is not responsible or liable for any diagnosis made by a user based on the content of the BBC Health website. The BBC is not liable for the contents of any external internet sites listed, nor does it endorse any commercial product or service mentioned or advised on any of the sites.  Always consult your own GP if you're in any way concerned about your health.

Causes of Dizziness in the Elderly

Feeling dizzy is a universal human experience, but we all tend to mean slightly different things when describing it.

Some people may be describing a sense of light-headedness, while others simply mean they feel wobbly on their feet. They may have a feeling that the room is whirling around, although this is more properly called vertigo, especially if accompanied by nausea and vomiting.

What causes it?

Viral infections are among the most common causes of dizziness, especially those that affect the air passages in the head or the ear and result in a disruption of the inner ear. In labyrinthitis, for example, the fluid-filled canals in the inner ear that play a vital part in balance become inflamed.

Other problems with the inner ear that can cause dizziness include Meniere's disease, which results from degenerative changes or ageing, and benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) where any sudden movement of the head (usually head turning) can bring on an acute attack without warning.

If your normal blood pressure tends to be low, you're more likely to experience dizzy spells.

Many attacks of dizziness are caused by momentary, harmless drops in blood pressure, leading to a transient reduction in the blood supply to the brain. This typically happens when getting up suddenly from a sitting or lying position and is known as postural or orthostatic hypotension.

This may be aggravated by certain medications, especially those used to control high blood pressure.

In older people with arthritis of the spine in the neck, tilting the head back or twisting it from side to side can temporarily cut off the blood supply to part of the brain and induce dizziness. This is called vertebrobasilar insufficiency.

More serious disruption of the blood supply to the brain, such as a transient ischaemic attack or stroke, may cause dizziness.

Anxiety and panic attacks, especially when accompanied by hyperventilation, can lead to dizzy spells. These may be accompanied by tingling fingers and headaches.

Low blood sugar (hypoglycaemia) is another possible cause, and is easily remedied by eating some sugary food.

Other rarer causes of dizziness include:

Drug treatments

Migraine

Abnormal heart rhythms

Stress

Tiredness

Anaemia

Acute intoxication

Carbon monoxide poisoning

Can it be serious?

In most cases, dizziness is a minor annoyance, but there are a few warning signs that there may be a more serious underlying problem.

The most important of these is loss of consciousness. If someone complains of feeling dizzy on several occasions and then passes out, they should be seen by a doctor. It may be a simple faint that can be easily explained. But if this happens more than once, they should visit their doctor to get it checked out.

Other possible danger signs include:

New and intense headaches

Strange sensations or memory changes

Odd behaviour

Family history of diabetes or epilepsy

Disclaimer

All Information taken from BBC Health

All content within BBC Health is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care professional. The BBC is not responsible or liable for any diagnosis made by a user based on the content of the BBC Health website. The BBC is not liable for the contents of any external internet sites listed, nor does it endorse any commercial product or service mentioned or advised on any of the sites.  Always consult your own GP if you're in any way concerned about your health.

Causes and Prevention of Cot Death

What is cot death?

Cot death is the sudden and unexpected death of a baby. After the post-mortem examination, the cause of death remains unexplained and may be registered as sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), sudden infant death, sudden unexpected death in infancy, unascertained or cot death.

Cot death causes

No single cause has been identified. Researchers believe a number of different, undiscovered causes are likely,or that a combination of factors affect babies at a particularly vulnerable stage of their development.

Who's at risk?

Most cot deaths occur when the baby is under the age of six months, and can happen anywhere, not only in a cot.

About 300 babies aged under one die each year in the UK.

The risk is greater in boys, premature babies and those of low birth weight and babies whose parents smoke.

Preventing cot death

It's not possible to prevent cot death from occurring, but there are ways to reduce the risk:

Place babies on their back to sleep

Don't smoke during pregnancy (this applies to both parents)

Don't allow people to smoke in the same room as your baby

Don't allow your baby to get too hot

Keep your baby's head uncovered - their feet should be to the foot of the cot to stop them wriggling down under the covers

Don't fall asleep with your baby on the sofa or in an armchair

Don't share your bed with your baby if you or your partner smoke, have been drinking alcohol, are taking medication or drugs that cause drowsiness, are excessively tired, or if your baby was premature or was small at birth

Put your baby's cot in your bedroom for the first six months

Apply the same measures when your baby sleeps during the day

Settling your baby to sleep with a dummy - even for naps - can reduce the risk of cot death, even if the dummy falls out while your baby is asleep

Disclaimer

All above information is taken from BBC Health

All content within BBC Health is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care professional. The BBC is not responsible or liable for any diagnosis made by a user based on the content of the BBC Health website. The BBC is not liable for the contents of any external internet sites listed, nor does it endorse any commercial product or service mentioned or advised on any of the sites. See our Links Policy for more information. Always consult your own GP if you're in any way concerned about your health.