Remember if you witness an accident, or find an injured person:
KEEP CALM – While helping the person, this will encourage them to remain calm and cooperative.
THINK QUICKLY – Can you care for the person? Is first aid available? What do you need to do?
SEND FOR HELP – Receiving professional assistance quickly could save a life, or prevent serious complications. Contact your local emergency services as soon as possible. Call 112 or 999.
REASSURE – Let the patient know help is on the way; while keeping them as comfortable as possible.
What to do in case of
Remember if you witness an accident, or find an injured person:
Back pain is common, but most cases are not serious and medical treatment is not always necessary. Frequent sites of pain are in the upper or lower back, or pain may spread from the back of the thigh to the foot (sciatica). Back pain is usually caused by stiffness or spasm of the muscles or a disc between the base of the spine moving out of position, or pressing on a nerve.
|Common causes include:
Unaccustomed activity or exercise
Sleeping in an uncomfortable position
Incorrect lifting techniques
|Preventative measures involve:
Keep fit & active – regular exercise
Keep to a healthy weight – diet
Sleep on a firm mattress
Lift with your legs, keep your back straight
Self help measures include
Rest – stay in bed, but no longer than one or two days
Apply Heat or Gentle Massage to the painful area
Use simple but effective painkillers from your pharmacist (paracetamol or ibuprofen)
Gently mobilise, walking and stretching to release tension, cramp or spasms.
Consult your doctor if symptoms are not improving after two or three days.
Apply large quantities of cold water to the affected area as soon as possible and maintain this until the pain subsides. This may take as long as 15 minutes! Apply antiseptic cream or aloe vera to the area. If the skin is unbroken but blistered, apply a loose, dry dressing. If the area is quite large, or if the skin is broken, consult your doctor as soon as possible.
The rash first appears as small red patches about 3mm diameter; then small blisters appear in the centre of these patches, within a few hours. Over the next three or four days, further patches will appear, while the earlier ones will turn ‘crusty’. The most infectious period is from two or three days before the rash appears and up to five days after this date. Children may return to school as soon as the last ‘crusts’ have dropped off.
There is still no prescribed cure for the common cold. Common sense advice for symptom relief applies – If you have a headache or temperature, take aspirin or paracetamol; rest (stay in bed-sleep), drink plenty of fluids. Do not bother to take antibiotics as these will have no effect!
Wash the wound thoroughly with plenty of clean water. If the wound is bleeding – apply gentle but firm pressure (with a clean cloth or dressing) over the wound for about five minutes. Apply antiseptic and cover with a clean dry dressing.
Diarrhoea in babies or very young children needs careful attention. Most babies have loose bowel action during their first six months due to their predominantly liquid diet. Sudden bouts of unusually watery diarrhoea should be treated by encouraging rehydration fluids. If the symptoms persist for more than 48 hours, or are accompanied by vomiting or weakness, consult your doctor. In adults, diarrhoea is usually caused by a viral infection and is therefore unable to be treated directly. The symptoms can be eased by drinking plenty of fluids and using non-prescription remedies from the pharmacy. Holiday diarrhoea may be due to bacteria, if symptoms began after foreign travel, or persist for more than a few days, consult your doctor.
Influenza – an unpleasant viral illness characterised by high temperature, aches and pains. The best treatment is plenty of rest and fluids; with paracetamol to relieve aches and temperature. Antibiotics have no beneficial effect. If you are elderly or have a chronic health problem, then we strongly recommend prevention, with the annual influenza vaccination.
Gastroenteritis is frequently caused by a viral infection in the stomach. Symptoms are often diarrhoea, nausea and stomach ache. Some relief remedies are available from your Pharmacist. However the stomach lining is usually irritated or inflamed, so medicines can often be immediately vomited up. Dehydration is a possible serious complication. To minimise the chances of dehydration:
- Stop food for 24 – 48 hours.
- Drink plenty of fluids (water, juice, or soup). Encourage frequent small sips rather than a large glassful at once.
If symptoms persist for more than 48 hours without any improvement or 24 hours in babies under twelve months, consult your doctor.
Treat with medicated lotion which can be obtained from your pharmacist without prescription.
Antihistamine tablets can be obtained from your pharmacist without prescription and will usually relieve most symptoms. If symptoms persist or get worse, consult your doctor.
The rash is blotchy and red and appears on the face and body around the fourth day of illness. It is at its most infectious from two or three days before the rash appears until eight to ten days afterwards. Treat as for a child with a high temperature advice, and contact your doctor.
This is a rare illness, but requires urgent assessment and treatment. It is most common in babies, children under four years old, or teenagers. It is important to be aware of the signs & symptoms which are listed below:
BABIES and VERY YOUNG CHILDREN may have:
A high pitched cry
Refuse feeds; or repeated vomiting
Tense or bulging soft spot on the top of their head
Pale or blotchy skin, especially with red or bruised spots that don’t go white if you press on them
OLDER CHILDREN and ADULTS may have
A high temperature
A constant headache
Nausea or Vomiting
Drowsiness or confusion
Dislike of bright lights
Stiffness of the neck (moving their chin to the chest will be particularly painful)
A rash of red/blue spots or bruises that don’t go white when pressed with a tumbler.
If you are in any doubt contact your doctor immediately.
Treat as for a child with a high temperature advice.
Recognisable by swelling of the gland in front of one ear, then often followed by swelling in front of the other ear. It is infectious from two or three days before the swelling appears until eight to ten days afterwards. If the pain is severe you should consult your doctor.
Pain in muscles and joints is common and seldom needs to be treated by a doctor. Look for stiffness or discomfort, especially with movement; is there a history of overexertion or acute injury? Simple sprains or strains may be treated at home as follows: Rest the injured part. (Further strain will inevitably lead to further swelling and a longer recovery period).
- Ice wrapped in a cloth – can be used to reduce the swelling. But do not apply for longer than 15 minutes at a time.
- Compress the injury, gently wrap with a crepe bandage for support.
- Elevate the injured part.
- Take painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen.
- If the pain in the joint or muscle does not improve after three days; the joint looks deformed or swollen; or if your mobility is badly affected;
then consult your doctor.
Prevention is best to avoid harm from excessive sun exposure; use sun protection (factor 50 sun block for children), wear a hat and stay hydrated. If sunburn develops – use aftersun /aloe vera / calamine lotion to ease the symptoms; and if severe burns, consult your doctor.
A Child may develop a fever because of an infection. Most childhood infections are caused by viruses and these do not respond to antibiotics. Usually the child will get over such an infection themselves with some support. The following advice will help to bring your child’s temperature down and make them feel better.
- Always keep a supply of paracetamol (e.g. Calpol) at home. If you wait until you need it, there will be none close at hand.
- If your child feels hot or appears unwell –
- Give the maximum dose of paracetamol stated for a child of that age. Repeat the dose of paracetamol every four hours as necessary, up to the maximum daily dose stated.
- Remove any excess clothing. A lot of heat is lost through a child’s head, so leave it uncovered. Cool the room by opening doors and
- Give your child plenty of cool drinks as fluid is lost with a fever. If they are reluctant to drink, encourage small amounts or sips.
- Sponge them down with a damp cloth; using tepid water is more effective than using cold water. This can make them feel better, as well as bringing their temperature down.
- If your child does not improve after giving paracetamol and sponging, or appears particularly ill, call the doctor.
- Very rarely, a child under five years may have a febrile convulsion. This can be very sudden and shocking. The child will shake all over and become very still. It usually subsides in less than five minutes. Lay the child on their side and stay with them while it lasts. If there is another adult in the house, ask them to phone a doctor. If not, call when the convulsion has passed. If the cause of the infection is not apparent, or the child appears particularly ill, contact the clinic to arrange for the child to be seen. This will do no harm and often fresh air helps.