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Stock Hill Medical Centre
(Formerly Stock Hill Surgery)
Stock Hill Medical Centre
Stock Hill
Biggin Hill
Westerham
Kent
TN16 3TJ

Phone: 01959 58 00 11

Self Treatment of Common Illnesses

Many illnesses can be simply treated at home without the need to consult a doctor. Sometimes it may be more appropriate to attend the chemist first for remedies to treat coughs, colds, diarrhoea and minor aches and pains, allowing the surgery team to see the more serious problems. If your symptoms persist it would be reasonable to contact us to be reassured that your illness is truly minor. Many minor conditions get better on their own, pills and medicines are often unnecessary.

You may well leave the surgery without a prescription.

The Child With A Raised Temperature (Fever)

If you are concerned about your child we will always see them the same day at the surgery. Very often a fever may be caused by a cold or virus, especially if the child is otherwise well in themselves; sleeping, eating and playing as usual. If this is the case, we recommend giving the child a regular maximum dose of children’s paracetamol (Calpol or Disprol) every four to six hours to reduce the fever.

Encouraging the child to take cold drinks will also help lower their temperature; cooling may be helped by dressing in a light layer of clothing or just underwear and opening the windows. Contrary to common belief, a child will come to less harm by being cool than being kept too warm. Over heating will often make children feel worse.

If the fever does not improve with these measures within two to three days, it is worth bringing the child along to the surgery to be checked.

Colds

There is no cure for the common cold. Even if nasal discharge is coloured and offensive, antibiotics are seldom of any use at all. Most colds get better within seven to ten days. Drink plenty of fluids and take regular paracetamol to relieve headache or fever. Nasal congestion may be relieved by remedies available at the chemist. Often people experience a cold that ‘goes on for weeks’, this is due to a succession of different viruses, each causing a cold that lasts seven to ten days. In such cases antibiotics are of no help, these colds will eventually resolve with time.

Sore Throats

Research has shown that most sore throats get better by themselves, without treatment in seven to ten days. In children the best remedy is regular paracetamol and plenty to drink. Adults may gargle and swallow two or three tablets of dispersible aspirin every four hours (adult maximum dose 12 tablets per day). Please note children under the age of 16 should not have aspirin. Contact us if the pain is still worsening after two days, if there is marked earache or if the temperature is above 39.5C (103F).

Nosebleeds

Sit forward in a chair with your mouth open, firmly pinch the soft part of your nose, below the bone, and so the nostrils are held tightly shut. Release the grip after 15 minutes, if the nosebleed has not stopped despite this treatment, then packing of the nose may be required at the hospital casualty department.

Insect Bites & Stings

Antihistamine tablets may be bought from the chemist without prescription and will usually relieve most symptoms, relief from wasp stings can be can helped by applying vinegar to the sting area. Likewise, bee sting pain relief is helped by the application of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) solution.

Diarrhoea & Vomiting

Usually due to a viral infection, the best treatment is to sip small amounts of clear fluid (water, squash or Dioralyte) to avoid dehydration. Once any vomiting has settled, a normal diet can be resumed, but dairy foods (those containing milk or milk products) are best avoided until the diarrhoea clears. Most cases of vomiting and diarrhoea settle within three days, should the diarrhoea not improve by that time, or there is blood or pus in the stool, you should seek medical advice. Young children and babies need careful attention and advice should be sought from a doctor.
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