Ilkley Moor Medical PracticeSprings Lane Ilkley, LS29 8THTel: 01943 604999
Colds & Flu A factsheet on the causes, symptoms, treatment & prevention of colds & the flu
NHS Choices - is it the common cold or the flu? Colds and flu can share some of the same symptoms (sneezing, coughing, sore throat) but are caused by different viruses, and flu can be much more serious. Find out more.
Influenza – flu – is a highly infectious and potentially serious illness caused by influenza viruses. Each year the make-up of the seasonal flu vaccine is designed to protect against the influenza viruses that the World Health Organization decide are most likely to be circulating in the coming winter.
Regular immunisation (vaccination) is given free of charge to the following at-risk people, to protect them from seasonal flu:
For more information on flu immunisation, including background information on the vaccine and how you can get the jab, see Seasonal flu jab.
HPA - Season Flu Guide
RCGP & RPS Joint Statement on Flu Vaccines
Seasonal Flu guide
Dr Hargreaves gives advice on flu
Back Pain Factsheet on the causes, symptoms, treatment & prevention of back pain.
NHS Choices NHS information on back pain
Acute diarrhoea is usually caused by a viral or bacterial infection and affects almost everyone from time to time.
NHS Choices Symptoms, causes, treatment and information
To save them on your computer, right-click on any of the links below and then click 'Save Target As..." . Click on any of the links below to play the audio files:
Burns - Explains the immediate treatment for burns and scalds.
Fits - How to deal with fits (convulsions/seizures) in adults and young children.
Wounds - Immediate actions for wounds, bleeding, and bleeding associated with fractures.
Unconscious patient who is breathing - How to deal with an unrousable patient who IS breathing (includes recovery position)
CPR for adults - Adults who have collapsed, unrousable and NOT breathing.
CPR for babies - Babies who are unrousable and NOT breathing.
Collapsed patient in detail - Explains the complete scenario including checks for breathing, circulation, etc.
These files have been prepared by Sussex Ambulance Service and comply with European Resuscitation Council Guidelines.
British Red Cross - First Aid Tips Simple, straightforward and easy to understand first aid tips
BBC Health - First Aid This site has information about how to react to common injuries and emergencies.
St Johns Ambulance St John Ambulance believes that everyone should learn at least the basic first aid techniques.
Home First Aid Kit All you need to know about preparing and storing your own first aid kit
These are probably two of the most common causes for consultation in practice. Most coughs are due to self limiting viral infections and need no treatment apart from symptomatic support, but there are some symptoms that may indicate a more serious problem so –why do we cough? And what are the symptoms we need to be aware of?
A cough is an important defence reflex that allows removal of secretions and particles from the airways thus protecting against lower respiratory tract infections. Coughs may be acute (those present for less than 3 weeks) or chronic. In the former most are caused by infections or acute flare ups of a chronic condition such as asthma or obstructive airways disease. Chronic coughs can be caused by environmental irritation-such as smoking, or conditions affecting the lungs, other parts of the respiratory tract or some of you may be surprised to know- problems of the digestive tract such as acid reflux.
Most coughs do not require medical intervention-but what symptoms should you look for that may need further treatment or investigation?
1. Cough with a fever and production of sputum.
2. Cough persists over time (over 3 weeks)
3. Cough changes in character
4. Coughing blood
5. Shortness breath or difficulty breathing
6. Cough causing difficulties with day to day activities or disturbing sleep.
If you experience any of these symptoms please make an appointment to see your GP.
What home remedies may be helpful
Most of you will have realised that cough medicines are of limited use in the management of coughs. If they contain a sedative they may help you to sleep but recent research has shown chocolate had as much effect on reducing the symptoms of a cough than any cough remedy.(and more palatable to take though bad for the weight!)
Steam is a good remedy as the steam coats the airways and makes them less irritated. It also helps to reduce catarrhal problems especially when decongestants are added. So inhaling steam once or twice daily would be helpful. (In children a hot shower before bed may help them to sleep.)
Otherwise the advice is plenty of warm drinks and rest and seek help if there are any concerns.
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