AS south Essex experiences its first cold snap of the winter, the NHS is advising people to make sure they stock up on some medicine cabinet essentials. Icy conditions are forecast for some areas this week, which could result in some people being stuck at home; and NHS hospitals dealing with high numbers of people injured due to slips, trips and falls.
Dr T Nimal-Raj, Interim Clinical Accountable Officer for NHS Thurrock Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Making sure you stock up on some essentials that can help you and your family to cope with common complaints such as colds, coughs, stomach upsets, flu and earache, will mean that you are better prepared. If you are unwell and need advice you can call 111. This means that A&E and 999 services have more time to deal with serious and life- threatening conditions, such as heart attacks, strokes, breathing problems and serious accidents.”
Some basic advice that everyone can use includes: use paracetamol if you have a temperature caused by coughs, cold
and flu paracetamol can also be used for pain relief for complaints such as
earache, stomach ache, sore throats, general aches and sprains anti-diarrhoea and re-hydration mixtures for adults if they have an upset stomach get plenty of rest and drink lots of fluids
Dr Raj added: “There is a lot that people can do to care for themselves when they have common health complaints, without needing to go to a GP. The majority of people with colds or stomach bugs will begin to feel better within three to four days. Your local high street pharmacist can give you advice on the best medicines to take for you and your family. It is worth talking to them about medicine cabinet essentials. Antibiotics have no effect on conditions such as coughs, colds, flu or stomach upsets.”
“Always read the instructions for any medicines and do not take more than the recommended dose. If your symptoms deteriorate or fail to improve over a week call NHS 111.”
For more information about self-care options for common complaints, go to www.nhs.uk