Monday, May 4, 2009

Tetanus, what you don't see can hurt you

Much of our attention during safety week is focused on preventing injuries, but sometimes no matter how careful you are, accidents do happen. When these things happen one of the most important things you can do, appart from not bleeding on your project, is to avoid a serious infection from the wound. Your wound should be cleaned and properly dressed, and if you seek medical attention one of the first things they will ask you is, "have you had a recent Tetanus booster".
The bacteria that cause tetanus, Clostridium tetani, are found in soil, dust and animal feces. When they enter a deep flesh wound, spores of the bacteria may produce a powerful toxin, tetanospasmin, which acts on various areas of your nervous system. The effect of the toxin on your nerves can cause muscle stiffness and spasms — the major signs of tetanus. The time between infection and the first sign of symptoms is 5 days to 15 weeks, with 7 days as the average. Most cases of tetanus in the United States occur in those who have not been properly vaccinated against the disease.
The most frequent symptom is a stiff jaw, caused by spasm of the muscle that closes the mouth, accounting for the disease's familiar name "lockjaw." Muscle stiffness all over the body may follow. An infected person may also have other symptoms: difficulty swallowing, restlessness and irritability, stiff neck, arms or legs, fever, headache, and sore throat. As the disease progresses, the victim may develop a fixed smile and raised eyebrows due to facial muscle spasms. Spasms of the diaphragm and the muscles between the ribs may interfere with breathing, often requiring mechanical ventilation. The abdominal or back muscles may become rigid.
Wounds on the head or face seem to be more dangerous than those on other parts of the body. If the person survives the acute illness, recovery is generally complete.
This disease is easilly avoided with a common vaccine, which is virtually 100 percent effective in preventing tetanus. Adults that have recieved the initial vaccine in childhood shoul recieve a booster shot every 10 years or if the injury has occurred more than 5 years after the last booster.
So do what you can and get a booster vaccine every ten years, and if you do cut your finger off, remember to put it in a plastic bag and then put in ice and take it with you, perhaps they can reattach it, or if not, its really good to gross out everyone in the ER waiting room.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Limbert Tables in SketchUp

I received a couple of emails and comments on scaling the images to create templates for the two Limbert tables I recently posted as SketchUp plans. The first step is to click on each of the pictures to get the larger view, save these to your computer and print them as large as you can. You will notice that the drawing is on a grid, this grid is 1x1 inch. Take a piece of poster board and draw a 1x1 inch grid on it, you can buy poster board with a ghost grid 1/2 x 1/2 inch printed already. Next scale the drawing by transferring the corner points and some guide points for the curve onto the poster board. Connect the dots and you have an outline of the side of the table you want to create as a template. Cut it out and trace it onto a piece of plywood or MDF, cut the template out on a bandsaw and clean up the lines and you have a perfect template to use to create the sides of either or both tables. I hope that this helps.
"The only real failure in life is not to be true to the best one knows." ~Buddha