Bangholm Medical Centre
Bangholm Medical Centre 25 Bangholm Loan Edinburgh Midlothian EH5 3AH
Tel: 0131 552 7676
Fax: n/a
Out of Hours: 111

Research has demonstrated that people can cope with their own symptoms in 8 out of 10 cases. Self care means recognising minor illnesses and being able to treat the symptoms, preventing health problems developing and knowing when to call for outside medical help.
People recover from most minor illnesses by themselves and don’t need to be seen by a doctor. For instance, many minor illnesses, including colds and flu, are caused by a virus. There are thousands of different viruses and there is no direct cure (antibiotics do not help). There are often things you can do to ease the symptoms whilst your body gets on with overcoming the virus. Resting, drinking plenty of fluid and taking Paracetamol or Ibuprofen to help with the fever and aches.
Self care doesn’t mean dealing with health problems on your own. The pharmacist can give you advice on treating minor illnesses.
Your GP and the practice team are there to help with any problems or situations you cant cope with. NHS Inform also have good advice on their website. The link for this can be found in our Useful Links tab at the top of the page.

Click here to view the NHS Minor Ailment Service booklet for further information.

Back Pain
The best answer is prevention - learn to sit, bend and lift correctly and keep generally fit. If you do have pain, rest, heat and massage with regular Analgesics e.g. Paracetamol and/or Ibuprofen will help. Consult the Surgery if the pain is severe.

Apply cold water to the affected area immediately This will stop the burning process and provide some relief.  Apply a clean dressing once dried as it is actually the air that is causing the pain to the burn.  For severe or widespread burns, please go to your nearest Emergency department as soon as possible. Please remember that the Emergency Department is for accidents and emergencies only.

Colds and Flu
These usually start with a runny nose, temperature, aches and pains. Antibiotics will not help, as these illnesses are viral. Management consists of rest and taking plenty of fluids, resting and giving your body time to heal itself. Paracetamol taken every 4-6 hours will relieve the worst of the symptoms.

Diarrhoea and Vomiting
These illnesses are usually self-limiting. Avoid food for 24 hours or until the symptoms ease. Drink plenty of water or Electrolye solutions (e.g. Dioraltyte, Rehidrat and Electrolade, they are available from your chemist). In the case of small children and babies, you may need to telephone for advice if the symptoms persist.

Earache occurs fairly commonly in children. Give Paracetamol or ibuprofen together with plenty of fluids. If the earache does not settle within 24 hours, contact your Doctor.

Fevers In Children
Fevers are mostly caused by viruses, especially in toddlers. Keep the child cool, give regular Paracetamol syrup (e.g. Calpol) according to the dosage on the bottle and plenty of drinks. Children often lose their appetite so do not worry about food if they are not interested but persist with fluids even in the form of ice lollies as this will also cool and provide some energy from the sugar. Consult the Surgery if the child seems particularly unwell or has not improved within 48 hours.

Head Lice and Worms
Both of these problems are easily dealt with by treatment available from the chemist.

Insect Bites and Stings
Wasps - Apply vinegar to neutralize the sting as soon as possible
Bees - Scrape away the sting and apply a little Bicarbonate of Soda solution as soon as possible.
Generally - keep Antihistamine tablets in the house to use when necessary (particularly if travelling abroad) to relieve irritation and soreness. Any further concerns can be dealt with by a Pharmacist.

Nose Bleeds
Sit in a chair, bend forward slightly and squeeze the nose firmly below the bone for 10 minutes.  Drink cold water/drinks as the heat will make the nose bleed again. Avoid blowing the nose even if it feels congested.  If symptoms recur, consult the Surgery.

Sore Throats
Are mainly caused by viruses and antibiotics are unlikely to help. Take plenty of fluids and take Paracetamol every 4-6 hours. If symptoms persist, please see your Doctor.

Rest and elevate the effected limb. Apply ice packs (or frozen peas) wrapped in a towel for the first few hours but no longer than 20mins at a time. After the first day combine hot and cold compresses to encourage healing.  The tissues will heal themselves with time. In the case of an ankle, foot or knee sprain, balance exercises will help strengthen the ligament back to normal function again. Most sprains usually take longer to heal than expected. If you have concerns contact Kev at the clinic who has expertise in managing strains, sprains and sporting injuries.

Avoid further exposure to sun and apply a good moisturiser or aftersun cream. Take Paracetamol for pain. When going back into the sun, cover up with loose long sleeves/trousers and use a good sunscreen with a high protection factor, especially for children. Your body will be losing fluids rapidly so remember to drink plenty of fluids. Sunstroke is rare in the UK but if you notice signs drowsiness or confusion with reluctance to eat and drink and particularly red skin with heat then contact the surgery or out of hours service.

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