Health Tips

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT or blood clot in the deep leg veins)

The contraceptive pill, smoking, recent operations, cancer, pregnancy and some other medical conditions increase the risk of a DVT.

The risk is increased by dehydration and immobility. On airplanes the air is drier than usual so it tends to dehydrate you quicker. Take a bottle of water in your hand luggage and drink plenty of water during the flight. Avoid alcohol and caffeine.

Stop smoking for a couple of days before you travel.

Exercise your legs and calves at least every half an hour during the flight, if not by walking, then by rotating your feet.

Compression stockings may help.

A dose of aspirin (as long as you know it is safe with your other tablets and medical conditions) before you travel may help. (This is still be researched, however).

Jet Lag

Avoid dehydration. Adjust your watch to your destinations time zone as soon as you get on the plane and then stay awake or sleep in accordance with the time there. At your destination keep active during the day – do not take naps. Try to get outside into the sunshine as this will help regulate your body clock.

Motion Sickness

Sit near the middle of the ship/vehicle. Sit back with your head braced against the seat. Close your eyes or focus on the horizon or a fixed object. Anti-sickness pills can be bought but will make you drowsy.

Mosquito Bites

Wear long sleeves and trousers after dusk. Wear suitable insect repellent on your skin and DEET based repellent on cotton e.g. ankle/wrist bands. Plug in insecticide vapourisers and air conditioning also help. Shut windows at dusk. Use a bed net and kill any mosquitoes inside the room or bed net before going to sleep.

Tick Bites

Wear long trousers if walking through pastures/scrub or forests. Use insect repellents. Inspect for ticks every 2-3 hours and remove with tweezers or fingers protected by tissues.

Avoid Contaminated Water

If in doubt, always drink bottled water or purify it by boiling briefly. Use safe water when cleaning teeth and washing fruits/salads etc. Ice may be made from contaminated water. Water from the hot tap may be safer than that from the cold tap.

Avoid Contaminated Foods

Wash or peel all fruit and veg if it is to be eaten raw. Avoid salads in restaurants. Don’t eat undercooked meat/fish or shellfish. Don’t drink unpasturised cows milk. Protect food from flies and keep it refrigerated.

Sun

Use high factor sun screen (SPF 15 or more). Wear sunglasses that filter out UVA and UVB. Cover up – especially important for young children. Stay out of the sun during the hottest part of the day. Never fall asleep while sunbathing.

Driving

Wear seat belts. Don’t ride motorcycles (but, if you do, wear a helmet and protective clothing). Never drink and drive. Remember road traffic accidents are a common cause for someone receiving contaminated blood.

Swimming

Always supervise children. Do not dive until you know it is safe to do so.

Safe sex

Best to avoid casual sex. Risk of HIV and hepatitis B is reduced by using condoms. Condoms purchased abroad may not be of the same high standard as those from the UK.

Scuba diving

Do not plan to dive within 24 hours of flying or climbing to high altitude.

Insurance

Always take out adequate insurance as medical treatment abroad can be very expensive.

More information is available on the MASTA website.

Emergency numbers
Lister Hospital
Lister A&E
01438 314333
01438 284030
Princess Alexandra Hospital
Princess Alexandra A&E
01279 444455

01279 827000
Cheshunt Community Hospital Walk-in Minor Injuries Unit (incl X-Ray Department) 01992 622157
QE 2 Urgent Care Centre 01707 328111
Out of hours 111
Accountable GP

From 1 st April 2015 NHS England requires the practice to allocate all registered patients a named accountable GP. To find out who your named GP is please contact reception.