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SELF TREATMENT


There are many illnesses that do not require you to seek medical attention.

Here are some suggestions to manage illnesses at home.

You can also get information by clicking on the NHS direct logo opposite.

 

FEVERS


Fever is part of many minor illnesses.  Please follow the following advice:


    Give plenty of fluids, do not worry if the patient does not eat for a few days. They will come to no harm providing they drink enough.

    Reduce temperature by striping off clothing and ensure room is cool.

    Regularly give paracetamol or ibuprofen at the right dose for the patient.

    Sponge the patient with tepid warm water or take a cool bath. Use an electric fan (if available) to cool the patient.


If you are worried or symptoms get worse, please talk to us or see the doctor.


SORE THROAT


We all get a sore throat as port of a viral illness.  Please consider the following:


    These are usually caused by viruses which do not require antibiotics.

    They often last up to three days.

    The pain can be managed with paracetamol and ibuprofen, throat lozenges, ice cold drinks.

    If it is not easing within 5 days then you may need to see a doctor.


If you every have difficulty swallowing/breathing due to a sore throat seek medical attention.


EARACHE


Ear pain is very common when children have viral illnesses.  Please consider the following:


    Earache is usually managed with paracetamol or ibuprofen

    Usually the sufferer is well apart from other cold symptoms

    If there is high fever, vomiting, crying or discharge from the ear this may indicate an ear infection, seek an appointment.


COMMON COLD


We all get a cold from time-to-time, but you may be surprised to hear that a lot of people consult their doctor.


There is no cure for the common cold.


Symptoms:


    fever

    sore throat

    earache

    catarrh

    cough

    headaches


Self-Treatment:


    Rest

    Fluids

    Paracetamol, ibuprofen, decongestants

    Steam inhalation (over a bowl or a hot shower)


Common Myths:


    Antibiotics treat colds - a cold is a viral infection, for which there is no cure.

    "It's gone onto my chest" - coughing yellow/green catarrh is part of a cold and does not indicate a chest infection.

    "But the cough has been there over a week." - a cough can be expected to last a few weeks after a cold (longer in smokers)..


INFLUENZA aka 'FLU


Influenza is a viral infection like the common cold, however the illness is much worse.

A lot of people will think they have had 'flu, but luckily most are just suffering a common cold.

The symptoms are the same as that of a cold but often also aches and pains, tiredness and weakness.

The treatment is the same as above.  It is important that unless you are unwell you do not come to the surgery.

If your 'flu spreads to a vulnerable person, such as someone elderly or with other health problems it could be much worse for them.


VOMITING AND DIARRHOEA


Vomiting is also a part of other illness with fevers or caused by a viral "bug".  It will often last less than 24 hours. Diarrhoea is often a sign of a viral infection in the gut. Most importantly is keeping sipping fluids to keep well hydrated.


It is best to stop solids/milk for the first 24 hours.


When symptoms ease introduce starchy foods (bread/potatoes/pasta).


As for 'flu, keep it to yourself, and don't come to surgery unless you are unwell.

 

RASHES


Rashes as a common part of many illnesses, if the patient is well do not worry, just contact the surgery to make an appointment.


If the patient also has a high fever, is lethargic or drowsy, or is complaining of a severe headache see immediate attention.


When someone has a rash that does not fade under pressure this is another reason to be seen urgently.

 

INSECT BITES


By their nature insect bites are usually followed by redness, heat and itching.  As a general rule an insect bite will take quite a few days to a week to get infected.


The initial redness/irritation can often be succesfully treated with anti-histamines and topical steroids - ask your community pharmacist for advice.


PLEASE REMEMBER THAT IF YOUR ARE WORRIED DESPITE THIS ADVICE PLEASE CONTACT THE SURGERY