Summer has arrived at last and although most of us love the warmer weather, the change in temperature can bring along many health risks. Very few of these simple summer health conditions need a trip to A&E and NHSGGC is urging patients to seek treatment in the right place.
The advice comes from NHSGGC – which last summer saw a 58% rise in people attending A&E with simple insect bites and stings.
Dr Linda de Caestecker, NHSGGC’s Director of Public Health said: “Many patients attending A&E in the summer months have simple stings and bites. Clearly, unless these cause a severe reaction such as anaphylaxis, they can be treated at home, by a pharmacist or at one of our MIUs.
“By following very simple guidelines, most stings can be treated at home. Traditional home remedies, such as vinegar and bicarbonate of soda should be avoided as they're unlikely to help.”
To treat an insect bite or sting:
Last summer alone, 1239 patients people a day attended one of NHSGGC’s A&E or Minor Injuries Units – an overall rise of 4% on 2017.
Dr de Caestecker added: “Hospitals are very busy places all year round, not just in Winter and A&E staff deal with life threatening emergencies, like strokes and heart attacks. People suffering from summer symptoms like dehydration, stings and hayfever should treat themselves at home or visit their local pharmacy. "Pharmacists are available on your local high street and are trained clinicians who can provide expert advice on how to help manage illnesses, as well as providing guidance on the best treatments.
“NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde is in the fortunate position of having dedicated, nurse-led Minor Injury Units (MIUs) at Stobhill, the New Victoria and Vale of Leven Hospitals, where 100% of patients are usually seen and treated within four hours.
“MIUs can treat cuts and grazes, insect bites, minor burns, sprains and strains, limb injuries like a broken ankle, broken wrist etc and foreign bodies in ears or up noses.
However, they are unable to treat more serious conditions such as major injuries, poisoning, fever, breathing difficulties stomach pains, vomiting or diarrhoea, rashes or allergic reactions.”
There are four adult Emergency Departments within Greater Glasgow and Clyde – at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, Glasgow Royal Infirmary, the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley and Inverclyde Royal Hospital in Greenock. All adult ED departments also have facilities to treat minor injuries but patients will always be seen quicker at the stand-alone MIUs. Being prepared can prevent you feeling unwell and help to keep you safe this summer: