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If you have a medical emergency such as loss of consciousness, profuse bleeding or any other emergency condition please call an ambulance for the patient.
Other non-emergency medical advice can be sought from one of our doctors. Our network of medical professionals from around the country are second to none.
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In their reply, the Doctor will provide you with all the appropriate medical advice you need, and will guide you as you choose the appropriate course of action. Remember, this can all be done from the comfort of your home. You don’t have to make repeated calls at the crack of dawn only to be told that all appointments have been taken. No more sitting in the waiting room for hours just to get some basic information from your doctor. It also saves you from the fate of “Dr Google” – self-diagnosis via pages of confusing and contradictory online information.
Expert-answers.com gives you the advice you need and offer advice on the right treatment for you.
Here are some of the most common ailments we get asked about. Always seek medical help for an emergency.
How do I clean a wound?
It’s important to clean a wound before applying a plaster or dressing to reduce the risk of infection
For more heavy bleeding apply pressure to the area. If an arm or leg is affected, raise it above heart level if possible.
Follow these steps:
wash and dry your hands thoroughly
wear disposable gloves if available
if treating someone else, tell them what you’re doing and make sure they’re sitting or lying down
don’t try to remove anything embedded in the wound – seek medical advice (see below)
rinse the wound under running tap water for 5 to 10 minutes
soak a gauze pad or cloth in saline solution or tap water, or use an alcohol-free wipe, and gently dab or wipe the skin with it – don’t use antiseptic as this may damage the skin
gently pat the area dry using a clean towel or pad of tissues, but nothing fluffy such as a cotton wool ball – strands of material can get stuck to the wound
apply a sterile dressing, such as a non-adhesive pad with a bandage, or a plaster – use a waterproof dressing if available
if blood soaks through the dressing, leave it in place and add another dressing, and continue to apply pressure on the wound
When to seek medical advice
Visit your nearest urgent treatment centre, or call NHS 111 if the wound:
does not stop bleeding
is very large or very deep
has dirt or something embedded in it
is too painful for you to successfully clean
is near to a major blood vessel or joint
becomes red and swollen or has pus coming out – it may be infected
was caused by a bite – all animal and human bites need medical attention
How do I know if I’ve broken a bone?
The 3 most common signs of a broken bone (also known as a fracture) are:
However, it can sometimes be difficult to tell whether a bone is broken if it is not out of its normal position.
If you’ve broken a bone:
you may hear or feel a snap or a grinding noise as the injury happens
there may be swelling, bruising or tenderness around the injured area
you may feel pain when you put weight on the injury, touch it, press it, or move it
the injured part may look deformed – in severe breaks, the broken bone may be poking through the skin
You may also feel faint, dizzy or sick as a result of the shock of breaking a bone.
If the break is small or it’s just a crack, you may not feel much pain or even realise that you’ve broken a bone.
Get medical help as soon as possible if you think you’ve broken a bone.
Do I need a tetanus vaccine after an accident or injury?
You may need a tetanus vaccine if you have broken the skin and your tetanus vaccinations are not up to date. Tetanus is a serious but rare condition that can be fatal if untreated.
See a GP or contact NHS 111 if you’re concerned about a wound, particularly if:
the wound is deep
the wound contains dirt or a foreign object
you have not been fully vaccinated against tetanus
you’re not sure whether you have been fully vaccinated against tetanus
Go to your nearest A&E department immediately, or call 999 for an ambulance if you develop severe muscle stiffness or spasms.
Tetanus-prone wounds are described as:
wounds or burns that need surgery, but where surgery cannot be performed within 24 hours
wounds or burns where a significant amount of tissue has been removed, or puncture-type injuries such as animal bites, particularly if they have had contact with soil or manure
wounds containing any substance that should not be there, such as dust or dirt (foreign bodies)
serious fractures where the bone is exposed and prone to infection (compound fractures)
wounds and burns in people who have systemic sepsis, a fall in blood pressure resulting from a serious bacterial infection
If you have a tetanus-prone wound and it’s considered to be high risk, treatment with tetanus immunoglobulin is recommended.
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