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Self Treatments

Many common aches & pains can be simply treated at home without the need to consult a doctor.

BURNS

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.  If the skin is unbroken but blistered, apply a loose dry dressing.  If the burn is larger than four or five inches in diameter or if the skin is broken, consult your doctor as soon as possible.

COLDS

Even in this day and age there is still no magic cure for the common cold.  Go to bed, take plenty of drinks.  If you have a headache or are feverish, take aspirin or Paracetamol.  Do not bother to take antibiotics as these will have no effect.

STOMACHE

Most attacks are not serious and are usually caused by indigestion or wind.  A hot water bottle will often relieve the symptoms and in the case of indigestion, a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda in half a glass of water will help.  If the pain persists for longer than eight hours or increases in intensity you should consult your doctor.

SPRAINS

Treat with a cold compress, containing ice if possible, for 15 to 30 minutes to reduce the swelling.  Then apply, firmly a crepe bandage and give the sprain plenty of rest until all discomfort as subsided.  Further strain will inevitably lead to further swelling and a longer recovery period.  

NOSE BLEEDS

Sit in a chair, lean forward with your mouth open, and pinch your nose just below the bone for approximately 10 minutes, by which time the bleeding should have stopped.  Avoid hot drinks or hot food for 24 hours.  If symptoms persist, consult your doctor.

MINOR CUTS AND GRAZES

Wash the wound thoroughly with water a little soap.  To stop bleeding apply a clean handkerchief or dressing firmly to the wound for about five minutes.  Cover with a clean dry dressing.  

INSECT BITES AND STINGS

Antihistamine tablets can be obtained from the chemist without a prescription and will usually relieve most symptoms.  Bee stings should be scraped away rather than plucked in order to avoid squeezing the contents of the venom sac into the wound.  

HEAD LICE

These creatures, contrary to popular belief, prefer clean hair and are, therefore, not a sign of poor personal hygiene.  Medicated head lotion can be obtained form the chemist without prescription.

DIARRHOEA

In adults diarrhoea is usually caused by a viral infection and cannot be treated directly.  However it is important to stop eating all foodstuffs, including milk, and to maintain an adequate intake of clear fluids.  If holiday diarrhoea persists more than two days consult your doctor.  Diarrhoea in very young children and babies need to seek medical advise.  

When to see medical advise

  • If the diarrhoea or discomfort does not begin to settle within 48 hours
  • If there is continuous pain rather then separate bouts of stomach cramp
  • If diarrhoea occurs in an infant under six months
  • If an attack comes shortly after a visit to a foreign country
  • If the patient suffers repeated attacks
  •  If there is blood mixed with the stool
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