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Don't spread the bugs

09 Oct 2012 13:33:30

It may feel like we haven’t even had a summer in the UK but as we brace ourselves for colder climes TRFT is reminding people not to spread the flu virus by coming to A&E.

Rotherham Hospital, part of The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust (TRFT), A&E staff treat emergency patients every day, such as people who have had a car accident, a heart attack or a serious fall. So when people attend A&E with less serious complaints like a winter bug they can be putting the lives of elderly and vulnerable patients at risk.

Dr Simon McCormick, a consultant in the Emergency Department says: “No matter how many times this message goes out we still get people with winter bugs visiting the hospital and particularly A&E. This puts vulnerable patients and our staff who deal with them at risk of catching the virus. For most people the flu, coughs and colds are just unpleasant but for those who are already ill in hospital and elderly people they can actually be life threatening. We all have a responsibility to patients already in A&E and the staff treating them to make sure we don’t spread the bugs to them and that we choose our care well throughout the year.”

For more information about how to choose a care provider more effectively please go to http://www.choosewell.org.uk/.

If anyone is unsure where to go, or they need help assessing how urgently treatment is needed, NHS Direct is always available on 0845 4647.

Patients in Rotherham can also call 0333 321 8282 a designated telephone line which has been put in place to help members of the public to decide where is the best place to get treatment. Lines are open 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

Also at this time of year, the instances of people becoming unwell with the ‘Winter Vomiting
Disease’ norovirus increases. Symptoms include vomiting often sudden and “projectile”), raised temperature, headaches and aching limbs. The Trust advises anyone with symptoms including diarrhoea and/ or vomiting to stay at home to avoid spreading the virus to patients, other people and vulnerable groups in our communities.

Although it can be very unpleasant, the illness is generally short-lived and most people make a full recovery within a few days. If you think you may be affected by norovirus, stay at home and use the symptom checker on the NHS Direct website, which is also available on web-enabled mobile phones.

Just go to www.nhs.uk/nhsdirect from any web browser or from your mobile. If symptoms worsen or persist for more than 48 hours, if you are a senior citizen or have a long term condition making you particularly vulnerable to infection, you can contact your family doctor or take advice from NHS Direct on 0845 4647.

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