Brrrrr. Hypothermia is cold.

  • Hypothermia is when the temperature of a human body falls from its usual temperature of around 37°C (98.6°F) to below 35°C (95°F).
  • People are more susceptible to hypothermia if they are quite young or quite old, sick with permanent medical conditions, if they have consumed alcohol or drugs or if they are unusually tired.
  • Hypothermia is due to the body losing heat without being able to replace it, and can be caused by exposure to cold water or cold weather below 10°C (50°F), or not eating or drinking enough in cold conditions.
  • Between 1999 to 2004, an average of 647 people died each year in the United States due to hypothermia.
  • Hypothermia is often caused from not wearing enough warm clothes in cold conditions, and often leads to frostbite due to the brain keeping the vital organs, including the brain, warm.

wrapped, treatment, people, blanket, mountain, real, Ten Random Facts, cold, Flickr, Ten Random Facts,

Image courtesy of Asktrekker/Flickr
  • Sleepiness, weakness, pale skin, shivering uncontrollably, confusion, slow breathing, slurred speech and slow heart beating are among the signs of hypothermia.
  • Victims of hypothermia are often found motionless, since the body cannot look after itself properly, often making people think they are dead.
  • After being exposed to hypothermia, victims should not be placed in or near very hot substances such as heat lamps or hot water to warm them up, but rather slow indirect heat like the warmth from another person is helpful.
  • Victims of hypothermia can die if exposed to severe temperatures and have no medical help, and if the person moves around it can cause a heart attack because it will make their body temperature colder.
  • People who are suffering from hypothermia will sometimes remove their layers of clothing, which makes their situation worse, so this urge, known as ‘paradoxical undressing’, needs to be resisted.
Hypothermia, 2010, Medline Plus, < http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000038.htm>
Hypothermia, 2013, Better Health Channel, < http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Hypothermia>



Stop the pain with the paracetamol.

  • Paracetamol is a medical drug, also known as ‘acetaminophen’, and its chemical name is ‘N-acetyl-p-aminophenol’.
  • Paracetamol is an analgesic and antipyretic, which means it is used to relieve pain and lower fevers.
  • Paracetamol was first used by German physician, Joseph von Mering, on his patients in 1887, after it was created by Harmon Northrop Morse, an American chemist, ten years earlier.
  • Paracetamol usually comes in the form of a 500 mg tablet or capsule, but can also come in a liquid form, and is usually taken every four to eight hours to keep pain or fever reduced until symptoms subside.
  • An over dose of paracetamol can lead to liver or kidney damage or stomach problems, and nearly all drug overdoses in the main English speaking countries are from paracetamol.

 Paracetamol, White, Tablets, Full, Panadol, 12, Packet, Medication, Pain Reliever, Ten Random Facts

  • Paracetamol was not commonly used for 60 years after it was first used in 1887, because another substance, phenacetin, was more widely promoted.
  • Paracetamol is considered safe for most people of all ages, although people who have liver problems should talk to their doctor before taking any.
  • Some people may have side effects of stomach pains or skin rash after taking paracetamol, and others can be allergic to paracetamol, with symptoms of hives, swelling of the face and/or difficulty in breathing.
  • In 1947, paracetamol was fully investigated and tested for its suitability for patients, and then its use was promoted when it was first marketed in 1953 by Sterling-Winthrop Co, in the United States of America, although it wasn’t until the 1970s that it became a widely used drug.
  • Originally, paracetamol required a prescription for its purchase from pharmacies, but today prescriptions are rarely needed, and it is commonly available in supermarkets, in different branded packets.

Paracetamol, 2013, Wikipedia, <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paracetamol>
Patient Information on Paracetamol, 2011, Australian Rheumatology Association, <http://arthritisnsw.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/paracetamol230811.pdf>


Human Lungs

Without lungs what would you be?

  • The lungs are a pair of organs that helps with breathing found in your thorax or chest, that sit side by side and are protected by your ribs.
  • The job of the lungs is to replace the carbon dioxide in our bloodstream with oxygen, by taking it from the air around us.
  • Although the lungs look identical, they are different as the right has three lobes and is a little larger than the left ,which only has two lobes.
  • Lungs are a spongy tissue which contract and expand, and a single lung is about 1.1kg (2.4 pounds) in weight.
  • Bronchi and bronchioles are tubular shaped branches that transport the air from the windpipe, or trachea, in the lungs, and if these ‘branches’, from both of the lungs, were placed side by side, the distance covered would reach approximately 2,400km (1,500 miles) in length.

Lungs, graphic, Two, Red, Pink, Trachea, Ten Random Facts, Free Digital Photos

Image courtesy of Dream Designs/ Free Digital Photos
  • At the end of the bronchioles are groups of air sacs called alveoli, and humans have between 300 and 500 million of them in their lungs.
  • It is possible for people to live with only one lung, and whilst their function maybe a little limited due to the amount of air that can be inhaled and exhaled at any one time, they can generally lead a normal life.
  • It takes about 10 seconds for a newborn baby to inflate its lungs and take its first breath, and a typical human breathes 15 to 25 times a minute.
  • A common lung disease is chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) with the main symptom being shortness of breath, which is most commonly caused by smoking, and can’t be cured but quitting smoking, healthy diets and cleaner air are some of the treatments.
  • Cancer, asthma, pneumonia, emphysema, bronchitis, apnea and lung poisoning are all common lung diseases or problems.
Freudenrich C, How Your Lungs Work, 2013, How Stuff Works, < http://science.howstuffworks.com/life/human-biology/lung.htm>
Human Lung, 2013, Wikipedia, < http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_lung>
Lung Disease & Respiratory Health Center, 2013, WebMD, < http://www.webmd.com/lung/picture-of-the-lungs>



Are you a left-hander?

  • A left handed person is also known as a ‘southpaw’, ‘lefty’, ‘cack-handed person’ or ‘cacky-handed person’, ‘mollydooker’, and many others, and terms used for either ‘left handedness’, or the word ‘left’ in most languages around the world, have a negative connotation associated with them.
  • One tenth of the world’s population is left-handed, and you are more likely to be left-handed if you are a male than if you are a female, or if other family members are left-handed.
  • The concept of left-handedness has been studied for over 150 years, yet the cause of left-handedness it still unknown and there is still little conclusive data about it, even though a number of theories exist.
  • Many left-handed people were or are forced to use their right hand mainly for writing purposes at school, and this practice should be discouraged, as it can cause confusion in the brain and have other negative effects, like learning disorders.
  • It is believed that left-handed people find it easier to multitask and remember events better than facts.

 Left-handness, hand, write, left, hand, hold, paper, Text, scribble, Ten Randm Facts, Boy

  • Left-handers have significant advantages in many sports, including have an element of surprise as many players expect or are used to a right-handed opponent.
  • It has been discovered that left-handed people are more likely to suck their left thumb whilst still in the womb and right handed people, their right thumb.
  • Mechanical and electrical tools can be more dangerous if used by left-handers, as they are often made by right-hand inventors, and are not designed with left handedness in mind, although there are a growing list of products designed specifically for left-handed people, which includes scissors, can openers and vegetable peelers.
  • There are a number of beliefs about left-handers, including that they have a shorter life span; have a higher chance of getting an autoimmune disease; that on average they have a higher IQ; and are more likely to be creative, though in most cases there has not been enough thorough research to prove these beliefs are facts.
  • Left-Handers’ Day is an international event held annually on the 13th August, and promotes the advantages and disadvantages of left-handedness, and raises the awareness of the awkwardness of left-handers living in a right-handed world.
Bibliography: Left-handedness, 2012, Better Health Chanel, <http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Left-handedness>
Understanding those Left-handers, 2013, Body+Soul, <http://www.bodyandsoul.com.au/health/health+news/understanding+those+left+handers,20515>



These facts are as contagious as conjunctivitis.

  • Conjunctivitis is also known as ‘pink eye’ and ‘madras eye’.
  • Conjunctivitis is redness and swelling of the clear tissue that covers the eye, the conjunctiva, and the inside layer of the eyelids.
  • There are four main types of  conjunctivitis, bacterial conjunctivitis; viral conjunctivitis; allergic conjunctivitis; and chemical conjunctivitis.
  • Along with eye redness and swelling, bacterial conjunctivitis usually includes a combined mucous and pus discharge, which can cause crusting around the eye, and a gritty or scratchy feeling in the eye, that usually affects both eyes, although it may begin in one.
  • Virus caused conjunctivitis is usually a result of an infection from a common cold, and generally includes itchiness and a watery discharge from the eye, and may affect one or both eyes, and is usually left untreated.


Conjunctivitis, Disease, virus, red, eye, one, illness, sickness, Ten Random Facts, Flickr

Image courtesy of Lone Primate/Flickr
  • Allergy based conjunctivitis has similar symptoms to viral conjunctivitis, with eye itchiness and a watery discharge, but it is generally accompanied by other symptoms, like an itchy nose and sneezing, as in hay fever, or other symptoms associated with an allergy, and is usually treated with antihistamines if deemed necessary.
  • Chemical induced conjunctivitis is cause by chemicals that enter the eye, which can include airborne chemicals like smoke and fumes, as well as chlorine from swimming pools and other chemicals that may have splashed in the eye, and flushing of the eye with water to remove the chemical is usually helpful.
  • Bacterial and viral conjunctivitis is highly contagious and so extra care with hand washing and isolation from other people is important.
  • Antibiotics can be used to treat bacterial conjunctivitis if the eye has not healed within five days, however they are not useful in treating other forms of conjunctivitis.
  • Children under five years of age are most susceptible to getting conjunctivitis.
Conjuctivitis, 2010, The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne, < http://www.rch.org.au/kidsinfo/fact_sheets/Conjunctivitis/>
Conjunctivitis, 2013, Wikipedia, < http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conjunctivitis>


Itchy pains…

  • Chilblains are also known as ‘pernio’ or ‘perniosis’.
  • Chilblains are an abnormal reaction caused from being cold, or lack of blood circulation, or both, and usually occur on the extremities of the body, especially on toes and fingers, and sometimes on the nose and ears, due to the body using its warmth to keep vital organs functioning properly.
  • Blood vessels contract when you are exposed to cold, and then they expand back to normal when you are exposed to heat, and if, during this contracting and expanding process, the blood vessels leak blood, the result is a chilblain.
  • Chilblain symptoms include red, blue or purple swollen skin, blisters, itching, tenderness and pain.
  • Chilblains usually heal after one to two weeks, depending on whether the body is kept warm and there is no further exposure to the cold.

Chilblains, One, Red, Swell, Finger, Lady, Pinky, Hand, Medical, Blister, Ten Random Facts

  • In medieval times, an egg, wine and fennel root mixture would be applied to help cure chilblains.
  • Females are more likely to get chilblains than males, and some groups of people are more susceptible to chilblains including elderly people, smokers (due to nicotine that causes poor blood circulation), those with a family history of chilblains, people that are underweight, or those that have circulation or blood vessel problems.
  • Chilblains can cause the skin to dry and crack, or can cause ulceration, both of which can be very painful and can become infected.
  • There is no satisfactory cure for chilblains, and it is better to prevent them in the first place, by having good blood circulation which can be improved with extra exercise, no smoking, and a healthy diet, and keeping one’s body temperature warm, with warm socks, gloves and other warm clothing, and keeping away from cold weather or temperatures.
  • Then are many suggested remedies for treating chilblains, including topical steroid cream (which is not advisable) and a medicine called nifedipine which dilates the blood vessels, however most of them do not work or not very satisfactorily, so if you are affected by chilblains, it is recommended that you keep your body temperature warm and resist the urge to itch the chilblains (as this leads to cracking and infection).
Chilblains, 2012, Better Health Channel, <http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Chilblains>
Chilblains, 2013, Body+Soul, <http://www.bodyandsoul.com.au/health/health+az/chilblains,23250>
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