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Welcome to

Warlingham Green Medical Practice
1 Church Road, Warlingham, CR6 9NW Tel: 01883 625532  Fax: 01883 625677

Chaldon Road Surgery
Chaldon Road, Caterham, CR3 5PG Tel: 01883 345466    Fax: 01883 330942

Part of the SWC Medical Group (Selsdon,Warlingham & Caterham)

 

Self Treatment


Accident & Emergency

Back Pain

Childhood Ailments

Common Ailments

Family Medicine Chest

Healthy Living

Holiday Health

 

Accident & Emergency

 

CALL AN AMBULANCE


DO NOT MOVE THE PATIENT IF

  • You think there may be a back or neck injury or any other injury that could be made worse by movement
  • The person is in shock
  • The person has breathing problems
  • The person has severe chest pains

IF THE PATIENT IS NOT SERIOUSLY ILL OR INJURED

  • Take the patient directly to the accident department of the nearest hospital

WHEN TO SEEK URGENT MEDICAL ATTENTION

  • Head injuries
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Severe bleeding, chest or stomach pains
  • Broken or dislocated bones
  • Choking

RECOVERY POSITION


If the patient is unconscious but breathing

  • Turn them on their side
  • Check airway is open by lifting their chin and tilting the head back slightly

HOW TO RECOGNISE SEVERE CHEST PAIN OR A HEART ATTACK

  • Vice-like pain in the middle of the chest, often spreading down the left arm and jaw
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sudden faintness or giddiness
  • Grey pallor to the skin
  • Lips look blue

WHAT TO DO IF THE PAIN DOES NOT EASE

  • Ring 999
  • Make the patient comfortable

HOW TO RECOGNISE MEDICAL SHOCK

  • Patient becomes pale, sweaty, drowsy and confused

IF CONSCIOUS

  • Seek urgent medical help
  • Reassure the patient
  • Do not give anything to eat or drink

IF UNCONSCIOUS BUT BREATHING

  • Place in recovery position

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.

 

Back Pain


Back pain affects thousands of people, but in most cases is not serious and medical treatment is not always necessary.


MOST BACK PAIN IS CAUSED BY

  • Stiffness or spasm of the muscles caused by sleeping in an uncomfortable position
  • Doing activities you are not used to

OTHER CAUSES

  • Being overweight
  • Pregnancy
  • Incorrect lifting techniques
  • A disc between the base of the spine moving out of position or pressing on a nerve

COMMON BACK PROBLEMS

  • Pain of the upper or lower back
  • Pain spreading from the back of the thigh to the ankle (sciatica)

BACK PROBLEMS CAN BE PREVENTED BY

  • Keeping active
  • Keeping to a healthy weight
  • Sleeping on a firm mattress
  • Lifting heavy weights correctly - crouch down, straighten knees and keep your back straight

TREATMENT AT HOME

  • Stay in bed, but no longer than one or two days
  • Massage the painful area; apply heat
  • Take painkillers
  • Exercise gently

VISITING YOUR CHIROPRACTOR


Treatment consists of well defined manipulation techniques which are aimed to improve joint pain and muscle spasms. Chiropractic is currently the second most frequently consulted complementary therapy.
The Medical Research Council have found that chiropractic is more effective than hospital outpatient treatment for lower back pain.


Chiropractic treatment is particularly favoured for easing back pain, sciatica, tension, neck, shoulder and arm pain.

 

Childhood Ailments (In Alphabetical Order)

 

CHICKENPOX


On the first day a rash appears as small red patches about 3-4mm across. Within a few hours, small blisters appear in the centre of these patches. During the next three or four days further patches will appear and the earlier ones will turn 'crusty' and fall off.

  • Calamine lotion may be applied to soothe the often severe itching
  • Cool baths may also help
  • 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 the last 'crusts' have dropped off

GERMAN MEASLES (Rubella)


The rash appears during the first day and usually covers the body, arms and legs in small pink patches about 2-4mm across and doesn't itch. No other symptoms are usually present apart from occasional aching joints.

  • It is infectious from two days before the rash appears, until the rash disappears in about four or five days from that date
  • The only danger is to unborn babies and, therefore, it is important that all contacts are informed in order that anyone who may be pregnant can contact their doctor
  • Immunisation can prevent this disease

MEASLES


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 after that date.

  • Immunisation can prevent this disease

MENINGITIS


This is a rare illness that is most common in babies, children under four years and teenagers, and requires urgent attention. It is important to be aware of the symptoms which we have listed below.

Signs and symptoms in BABIES and VERY YOUNG CHILDREN are:

  • Difficulty walking
  • A high pitched cry that is different from a normal cry
  • Repeated vomiting
  • Refusing feeds
  • Pale or blotchy skin, especially with red or blue/black bruises that don't go white when you press on them
  • Tight or bulging soft spot on the top of your baby's head

If you are in any doubt contact your doctor immediately.

Signs and symptoms in OLDER CHILDREN and ADULTS are:

  • A high temperature
  • A constant headache
  • 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.


MUMPS


Symptoms are: Swelling of the gland in front of one ear often followed, after a couple of days 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 after that date
  • If the pain is severe you should consult the doctor
  • Immunisation can prevent this disease

HOW TO LOOK AFTER A CHILD WITH A TEMPERATURE


A child will develop a fever because of an infection. Usually the child will get over such an infection without the need for antibiotics. Most childhood infections are caused by viruses and these do not respond to antibiotics. The following advice will help to bring your child's temperature down and make them feel better.

  1. Always keep a supply of paracetamol syrup (Calpol, Disprol) at home. If you wait until you need it, there will be none close at hand.
  2. If your child feels hot or appears unwell -
  • Give the maximum dose of paracetamol stated for a child of that age.
  • Dress your child in cool clothes. A lot of heat is lost through a child's head, so leave it uncovered. Cool down the room by opening doors and windows.
  • Give your child plenty of cool drinks as fluid is lost with a fever. If they are reluctant to drink, encourage small amounts from a favourite cup.
  • Sponging your child down with a tepid flannel will make them feel better as well as bringing their temperature down. Using tepid water is more effective than using cold water.
  • Repeat the dose of paracetamol every four hours as necessary, up to the maximum dose stated.
  • A child with a fever is likely to be restless at night. Offer cool drinks and sponge them down if they wake.
  • If your child does not improve after giving paracetamol and sponging, or appears particularly ill, call the doctor.
3. Very rarely, a child under five years will have a convulsion with a high temperature. They will shake all over and become very still. It usually subsides in less than five minutes. Lie 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.

Common Ailments


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


Bed Sores


Bed sores are far easier to prevent than cure. They are caused by prolonged pressure to certain parts of the body when lying in bed for long periods. They can be prevented by encouraging the patient to shift position as often as possible. Take care to smooth out creases in the bottom sheet to avoid irritation. If red marks appear at the pressure points such as heels, elbows, buttocks and hips, inform the doctor before they get worse.


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!


Diarrhoea


In adults, diarrhoea is usually caused by a viral infection and is therefore unable to be treated directly. The symptoms can usually be eased by the traditional kaolin and morphine mixture or by medicines containing codeine.
Holiday diarrhoea is often due to bacteria. Again, kaolin and morphine can be taken.
Consult your doctor if the symptoms persist for more than a few days.


Diarrhoea in very young children and babies 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 taking the baby off solids and feeding them a cooled solution of boiled water with a teaspoon of sugar and half a teaspoon of salt to the pint. If the symptoms persist for more than 24 hours, or are accompanied by vomiting or weakness, consult your doctor.


Flu


This is an unpleasant 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 effect. If you are elderly or have a chronic health problem (e.g. heart disease, chest disease or diabetes) we would recommend an annual flu jab.


Gastroenteritis


Gastroenteritis describes a group of diseases affecting the stomach or part of the intestine. Symptoms are often diarrhoea, sickness and stomach ache. Because the lining of the stomach is likely to be inflamed medicines are often immediately vomited up.


Large quantities of water, orange juice or thin soup should be taken to counter the effects of dehydration. Consult your doctor if symptoms persist for more than a day or, in the case of babies or young children, six hours.


Stomach Ache


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 lasts 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 has subsided. Further sprain will inevitably lead to further swelling and a longer recovery period.


Nosebleeds


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 and 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.


Sunburn


Treat as for other burns with cold water to remove the heat. Calamine lotion will relieve the irritation whilst paracetamol will also help.


Children are particularly susceptible to sunburn and great care should be taken to avoid overexposure to the harmful effects of the sun.


Insect Bites And Stings


Antihistamine tablets can be obtained from the chemist without prescription and will usually relieve most symptoms.
Note: 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 from the chemist without prescription.

 

The Family Medicine Chest


Here is a list of useful medicines and dressings with a description of their uses. All are quite cheap and worth stocking at home in readiness for minor illnesses.


Keep them in a box or cupboard with a lock - or store them well out of the reach of children.


Soluable Aspirin Tablets


Good for headaches, colds, sore throats (gargle with the solution), and pains in general. Aspirin should not be given to children under 16.


Paracetamol Mixture


For relief of pain or fever in young children.


Sedative Cough Linctus


For dry or painful coughs - but not coughs caused by common colds.


Menthol Crystals


Add to hot water to make steam inhalations for treating catarrh and dry or painful coughs.


Vapour Rub


Again, for steam inhalations. Also useful for children with stuffy noses or dry coughs. Rub on the chest and nose.


Ephedrine Nose Drops


For runny noses in children over one year old. Use before meals and at night but not for more than four days.


Antiseptic Solution


One teaspoon diluted in warm water for cleaning cuts and grazes.


Antiseptic Cream


For treating septic spots, sores in the nose and grazes.


Calamine Lotion


For dabbing (not rubbing) on insect bites, stings and sunburn.


Dressing Strips


For minor cuts.


3" Wide Crepe Bandage


To keep dressings in place. To support sprained or bruised joints.


Cotton Wool


For cleaning cuts and grazes.


Thermometer


For fevers.


Tweezers


For removing splinters.


Remember that your local chemist can give you advice about medicines.


Healthy Living


It's easy to take your health for granted.


By following a healthy lifestyle you can reduce the risk of getting seriously ill. You will feel better and it will help improve your immune system.


ALCOHOL


In small quantities, alcohol can actually be beneficial to health. In large quantities, on a regular basis, it can have a very serious negative effect on health. At one extreme it can kill. CIRRHOSIS of the liver, for instanc, is killing an increasing number of people, as are drivers who are over the limit.

  • An accepted safe limit is 28 units a week for men and 21 units for women, a unit being approximately a glass of wine, half a pint of beer or a single measure of spirit.
  • This recommended maximum presumes that the consumption is spread throughtout the week and not consumed all at once in a 'binge'.

SMOKING

  • Over 100,000 people die each year in the UK from smoking-related diseases
  • Every cigarette you smoke can shorten your life by an average of five and a half minutes
  • Babies of smokers are, on average, 200 grammes smaller than those of non smokers
  • Smokers smell!

HOW TO GIVE UP


Stopping smoking is all about motivation. Without the real desire to give up you are unable to succeed. You must want to give up rather than feel you should give up.

  • Set a date a week or so in the future when you intend to stop
  • Tell all your friends, relations and work colleagues that you're giving up on that day and ask for their support and encouragement. If at all possible, find someone to give up with you
  • When the big day comes, plan it carefully with plenty to keep you occupied. Avoid situations where the desire to smoke will be strongest such as whilst drinking
  • Finally, carefully put the money you would have spent on cigarettes on one side, each day, to save up for some special treat as a reward
  • If you've tried everything and failed but are still keen to give up, seek help from your doctor

DIET


If your diet is lacking, your body has ways of letting you know, for example, you may be overweight or underweight or you may have a spotty complexion or constipation. Ultimately, a bad diet can lead to serious problems such as heart disease.

  • A good diet helps fight off disease and makes you look and feel good


EIGHT WAYS TO KEEP HEALTHY


BLOOD PRESSURE
Has yours been checked in the past five years?


OVERWEIGHT
Some people are overweight - others are "undertall". Chances are you weigh more than you should.


SMOKING
More and more people are giving up smoking. There are various programmes available to help you give up.


EXERCISE
Regular exercise has both physical and mental benefits.


RELAXATION
Tension and anxiety can be helped by a psychologist or counsellor.


ALCOHOL
Can make a good servant but a bad master.


CERVICAL SMEARS
We recommend women should have regular three yearly cervical smears.


TETANUS PREVENTION
We will check if you are immune and bring your cover up to date.

 

Holiday Health


It is always a wise precaution to pack some essential items in case of illness on holiday. Do choose medicines according to your needs and the country you are visiting. If you take prescription medicines regularly remember to pack them too.


HOLIDAY KIT

  • Paracetamol
  • Travel sickness tablets
  • Plasters
  • Rehydration solutions such as Dioralyte
  • Anti-diarrhoeal, eg Imodium
  • High factor sunscreen; calamine lotion

IMMUNISATION

  • Always check whether you need any immunisations or malarial tablets before you travel
  • Seek advice well in advance in case you need a course of injections

OTHER ESSENTIALS TO PACK

  • Anti-malarials
  • Water purification tablets
  • Insect repellent
  • Condoms/ other contraceptives

MEDICAL INSURANCE

  • Arrange medical insurance
  • Obtain a form E111 from the Post Office if you are travelling in Europe. This will entitle you to free or reduced cost medical care within the EU. Take the form with you on holiday. (Care can still be very expensive even with an E111 form.)

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