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St Augustine's Medical Practice
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SELF-HELP AND EMERGENCIES

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Emergencies - Quick Links:

Anaphylactic shock
Bleeding (severe)
Broken limb
Dental Emergencies
Electric shock
Emergency Contraception
Fitting/Seizures
Head injury
Heart Attack
Recovery Position
Stroke

 

Anaphylactic shock

Call for Help  999

Anaphylactic shock is a life-threatening allergic reaction. Usually, but by no means always, it is a reaction to something to which the victim is known to be allergic e.g. nuts, wasp sting. The initial symptoms are: chest tightness, difficulty in swallowing, sweating and looking pale. These are followed by breathing difficulties and possible collapse.

Anaphylactic shock demands immediate action and speedy injection of adrenaline (epinephrine).

Those known to be at risk should always carry an EPIPEN - a device to enable easy self-injection of the required dose of adrenaline (available on prescription). Inject first, then Call for Help 999

 

Bleeding (severe)

Call for Help  999

If blood is gushing from a wound, urgent action is needed. Apply direct pressure to the wound with the hand. If you know or suspect something (e.g. glass) is in the wound, press round it.

If other injuries allow, lay the patient down and raise the injured limb/area. 
Even less serious head injuries often bleed profusely. Apply pressure round the wound.

Note  Nosebleeds are rarely serious: head forward, pinch soft part of nose firmly and continuously for 15 - 20 minutes and apply cold compress, if available, to the forehead. If the nosebleed fails to stop after this time then you should attend your nearest Accident & Emergency Department.



Broken limb

Obvious fractures need to be taken directly to the Accident & Emergency Department nearest to you.

Suspected fractures (e.g. ankles or wrists) could be assessed by one of our nurses/doctors at either surgery between 8-50 a.m. and 6-00 p.m.

 

Dental Emergencies

We don't provide this service so if you have a dental emergency please see your own dentist or, if you don't have one ring NHS Direct on 0845 46 47

 

Electric shock

Call for Help  999

Do not touch the victim until the power has been switched off.
If it cannot be switched off, try to break the victim's contact with something non-conducting. Make sure you are standing on something dry and use, say, a long-handled brush.
Only once the source of the shock has been removed, begin resuscitation if necessary.



Emergency contraception

Every now and again couples make a mistake with contraception or don't use it when they should have. Emergency contraception using a pill is available free from the surgery providing the female partner sees a doctor or nurse as soon as possible but certainly within 72 hours of unprotected sex. There is no need to tell the receptionist what the appointment is for, just let them know that you need to be seen today.

There is an alternative method that involves fitting a coil or intra-uterine device and is effective within five days of unprotected sex. The important thing is to come and get advice as soon as possible.

Emergency contraception can also be purchased from local pharmacies by those over 16 for approximately £25. You can also attend one of the family planning centres below for emergency contraception (please ring for an appointment)

  • Riverside Health Centre (James St West, near Sainsbury's) run a young persons'  clinic on Fridays 3pm to 5pm & Saturdays 11am-1pm. No appointment needed
  • NHS Walk-in-Centres can help with emergency contraception. Tel: 01225 447695
  • Keynsham Family planning Centre, Keynsham  Tel: 0117 9862423
  • Tower Hill Family Planning Centre, Bristol  Tel: 0117 927 6781


Fits/Seizures

You should call 999 if;

  • The patient is unconscious for more than ten minutes
  • the seizure continues for more than five minutes
  • they have repeated seizures
  • it's their first seizure
  • someone is fitting after they have received a serious injury to the head
  • they or you are not aware of any reason for the seizure.

You should also move dangerous objects away from the person fitting, and once the fit is over place the person in the recovery position.


Head injury

Any head injury which causes the victim to have even a short temporary loss of consciousness (say 5-10 seconds) needs to be seen at the Accident and Emergency Department.

Most people have a headache, look pale and feel sick and not 'with-it'. This is concussion and should last only about 3-4 hours.
If you are worried or if any of the following symptoms develop, then call the Practice for advice on (0117) 986 2343

  • double vision
  • severe headache
  • confusion/speech disturbance
  • vomiting
  • neck stiffness


Heart Attack

Call for Help  999

The pain of a heart attack usually comes on suddenly, but is not always severe. It typically lasts for 30 minutes or more and is not relieved by rest or GTN spray.
The pain is usually a pressure in the centre of the chest which may pass down the left arm, up to the neck, into the jaw and which may give a feeling of weakness. 
There may also be

  • shortness of breath
  • cold sweat
  • nausea and/or vomiting
  • unconsciousness


For further information: please click on the link below
British Heart Foundation 


The Recovery Position

If the patient is unconscious make sure they are able to breathe properly. It may be a good idea to place them in the recovery position, if you are able.

the recovery position

 

Stroke

Call for Help  999

To help you recognise if someone is having a stroke quickly use FAST - the Face Arm Speech Test

Facial weakness - can the person smile? Has their mouth or eye drooped?

Arm weakness - can the person raise both arms?

Speech problems - can the person speak clearly and understand what you say?

Time to call 999

If the person has failed any one of these tests, you must call 999
Please note: If the symptoms described above get better after within hour, do not ignore them. Contact the surgery immediately and ask to be seen the same day.

Please click on the link below for further information:
www.stroke.org.uk

 

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