Keeping well this winter
5/07/2017 9:03:55 a.m.

Wednesday 5 July 2017

 

 

Keeping well this winter 

 

With winter temperatures starting to bite, Lakes District Health Board is urging people to dress warmly and take good care of themselves.

Most health services see an increase in flu and related illnesses – and a worsening of chronic conditions – during winter.

Clinical Director for Emergency Medicine at Lakes DHB, Dr Peter Freeman says those people with existing health conditions are often most affected. Those people with conditions like asthma and chronic respiratory diseases can become quite unwell.

“It’s best to keep warm, eat sensibly, and get the flu vaccination. Sick people should stay home, drink plenty of fluids and see their GP if they aren’t recovering.”

Everyone is at risk of illness over winter, but it’s often the young and the elderly are most susceptible. Trying to stay well may stop people having to come to the emergency department, or be admitted to hospital.

Where possible, people should: 

  • see their family doctor before coming to hospital (unless their issue is potentially life-threatening)
  • seek treatment early rather than waiting until they are so sick they need hospital care
  • make sure they fill their prescriptions and take their medication
  • get the flu vaccine each year.

 

Community Pharmacies can provide FREE flu vaccinations to pregnant women and those aged 65+ years. Pharmacies can also provide the vaccination to other family members for a cost.

High patient numbers during winter mean people coming to ED with non-urgent needs will need to wait longer to see a doctor. People are triaged upon arrival in ED, and depending on the severity of your complaint, will be given a triage ranking and will be seen in the order of priority.

“It can be difficult to know if you need emergency care. Anyone unsure should contact their GP, or Healthline – 0800 611 116 – for free advice from a registered nurse. If it is an emergency, dial 111.”


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